Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gordon Hungar Passes

The Seattle P-I dubbed him "the Last Minute Kid," supplying Gordon Hungar with a nickname created from sportswriter exasperation as much as admiration.

In 1945, Hungar, a freshman running back for Washington, came off the bench and surprised everyone by slipping free for a 38-yard touchdown run with three minutes left to play at Husky Stadium to beat Washington State 6-0 in the first post-World War II meeting between the rival schools.

Hungar was an unknown, a third-team player from Lake Stevens without a scholarship, someone whose name was neither listed in the game program nor familiar to anyone covering the team.

While reporters frantically scrambled to come up with any information they could find on this instant hero, P-I sports editor Royal Brougham sat down and reflexively typed what he knew, labeling the running back the Last Minute Kid.

On Tuesday, Hungar died at Northwest Hospital and Medical Center from a sudden illness brought on by complications from asbestos exposure. He was 81. No one had to ask who he was now.

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