Army Navy Football
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Football Days, by WILLIAM H. EDWARDS MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK 1916
XII.—ARMY AND NAVY. 194-225
Character and Training of West Point and Annapolis Players—Experience of the Visitor Watching the Drill of Battalion—Annapolis Recollections and Football Traditions at Naval Academy—Old Players—A Trip de Luxe to West Point—West Point Recollections—Harmon Graves—The Way They Have in the Army—The Army and Navy Game.
ARMY AND NAVY
There is a distinctive flavor about an Army-Navy football game which, irrespective of the quality of the contending elevens and of their relative standing among the high-class teams in any given season, rates these contests annually as among the “big games” of the year. Tactically and strategically football bears a close relation to war. That is a vital reason why it should be studied and applied in our two government schools. [Pg 195]
On the part of the public there is general appreciation of the spirit which these two academies have brought into the great autumn sport, a spirit which combines with football per se the color, the martial pomp, the elan of the military. The merger is a happy one, because football in its essence is a stern, grim game, a game that calls for self-sacrifice, for mental alertness and for endurance; all these are elements, among others, which we commonly associate with the soldier’s calling.
If West Point and Annapolis players are not young men, who, after graduation, will go out into the world in various civil professions or other pursuits relating to commerce and industry, they are men, on the contrary, who are being trained to uphold the honor of our flag at home or abroad, as fate may decree—fighting men whose lives are to be devoted to the National weal. It would be strange, therefore, if games in which those thus set apart participate, were not marked by a quality peculiarly their own. To far-flung warships the scores are sent on the wings of the wireless and there is elation or depression in many a remote wardroom in accordance with the aspect of the news. In lonely army posts wherever the flag flies word of the annual struggle is flashed alike to colonel and the budding second lieutenant still with down on lip, [Pg 196]by them passed to the top sergeant and so on to the bottom of the line.
Every football player who has had the good fortune to visit West Point or Annapolis, there to engage in a gridiron contest, has had an experience that he will always cherish. Every team, as a rule, looks forward to out of town trips, but when an eleven is to play the Army or the Navy, not a little of the pleasure lies in anticipation.
Mayhap the visitor even now is recalling the officer who met him at the station, and his hospitable welcome; the thrill that resulted from a tour, under such pleasant auspices, of the buildings and the natural surroundings of the two great academies. There was the historic campus, where so many great Army and Navy men spent their preparatory days. An inspiration unique in the experience of the visitor was to be found in the drill of the battalion as they marched past, led by the famous academy bands.
There arose in the heart of the stranger perhaps, the thought that he was not giving to his country as much as these young men. Such is the contagion of the spirit of the two institutions. There is always the thrill of the military whether the cadets and midshipmen pass to the urge of martial music in their purely military duties, or in equally perfect order to the ordinary functions of life, such as the daily meals, which in the colleges are so informal and in the mess hall are so precise. Joining their orderly ranks in this big [Pg 197]dining-room one comes upon a scene never to be forgotten.
In the process of developing college teams, an eleven gets a real test at either of these academies; you get what you go after; they are out to beat you; their spirit is an indomitable one; your cherished idea that you cannot be beaten never occurs to them until the final whistle is blown. Your men will realize after the game that a bruised leg or a lame joint will recall hard tackling of a player like Mustin of the Navy, or Arnold of West Point, souvenirs of the dash they put into their play. Maybe there comes to your mind a recollection of the Navy’s fast offense; their snappy play; the military precision with which their work is done. Possibly you dream of the wriggling open field running of Snake Izard, or the bulwark defense of Nichols; or in your West Point experiences you are reminded of the tussle you had in suppressing the brilliant Kromer, that clever little quarterback and field general, or the task of stopping the forging King, the Army’s old captain and fullback.
Not less vivid are the memories of the spontaneous if measured cheering behind these men—a whole-hearted support that was at once the background and the incentive to their work. The “Siren Cheer” of the Navy and the “Long Corps Yell” of the Army still ringing in the ears of the college invader were proof of the drive behind the team.[Pg 198]
I have always counted it a privilege that I was invited to coach at Annapolis through several football seasons. It was an unrivalled opportunity to catch the spirit that permeates the atmosphere of this great Service school and to realize how eagerly the progress of football is watched by the heroes of the past who are serving wherever duty calls.
It was there that I met Superintendent Wainwright. His interest in Annapolis football was keen. Another officer whose friendship I made at the Academy was Commander Grant, who later was Rear Admiral, Commander of the Submarine Flotilla. His spirit was truly remarkable. The way he could talk to a team was an inspiration.
It was during the intermission of a Navy-Carlisle game when the score was 11 to 6 in Carlisle’s favor, that this exponent of fighting spirit came into the dressing-room and in a talk to the team spared nothing and nobody. What he said about the White man not being able to defeat the Indian was typical. As a result of this unique dressing-room scene when he commanded the Navy to win out over the Indians, his charges came through to victory by the score of 17-11.
There is no one man at Annapolis who sticks closer to the ship and around whom more football traditions have grown than Paul Dashiell, a professor in the Academy. He bore for many years the burden of responsibility of Annapolis foot[Pg 199]ball. His earnest desire has been to see the Navy succeed. He has worked arduously, and whenever Navy men get together they speak enthusiastically of the devotion of this former Lehigh hero, official and rule maker. Players have come and gone; the call in recent years has been elsewhere, but Paul Dashiell has remained, and his interest in the game has been manifested by self-denial and hard work. Defeat has come to him with great sadness, and there are many games of which he still feels the sting; these come to him as nightmares in his recollections of Annapolis football history. Great has been his joy in the Navy’s hour of victory.
It was here at Annapolis that I learned something of the old Navy football heroes. Most brilliant of all, perhaps, was Worth Bagley, a marvelous punter and great fighter. He lost his life later in the war with Spain, standing to his duty under open fire on the deck of the Winslow at Cardenas, with the utter fearlessness that was characteristic of him.
I heard of the deeds on the football field of Mike Johnson, Trench, Pearson, McCormack, Cavanaugh, Reeves, McCauley, Craven, Kimball and Bookwalter. I have played against the great Navy guard Halligan. I saw developed the Navy players, Long, Chambers, Reed, Nichols and Chip Smith, who later was in charge of the Navy athletics. He was one of the best quarterbacks the Navy ever had. I saw Dug How[Pg 200]ard grow up from boyhood in Annapolis and develop into a Navy star; saw him later coach their teams to victory; witnessed the great playing of Dougherty, Piersol, Grady and Bill Carpenter, who is no longer on the Navy list. All these players, together with Norton, Northcroft, Dague, Halsey, Ingram, Douglas, Jerry Land, Babe Brown and Dalton stand out among those who have given their best in Army and Navy games.
Young Nichols, who was quarterback in 1912, was a most brilliant ground gainer. He resigned from the Service early in 1913, receiving a commission in the British Army. He was wounded, but later returned to duty only to be killed shortly afterward. Another splendid man.
In speaking of Navy football I cannot pass over the name of W. H. Stayton, a man whose whole soul seemed to be permeated with Navy atmosphere, and who is always to be depended upon in Navy matters. The association that I formed later in life with McDonough Craven and other loyal Navy football men gave me an opportunity to learn of Annapolis football in their day.
The list of men who have been invited to coach the Navy from year to year is a long one. The ideal method of development of an undergraduate team is by a system of coaching conducted by graduates of that institution. Such alumni can best preserve the traditions, correct blunders of other years, and carry through a continuous [Pg 201]policy along lines most acceptable. Graduate coaching exclusively is nearly impossible for Navy teams, for the graduates, as officers, are stationed at far distant points, mostly on board ship. Their duties do not permit of interruption for two months. They cannot be spared from turret and bridge; from the team work so highly developed at present on shipboard. Furthermore, their absence from our country sometimes for years, keeps them out of touch with football generally, and it is impossible for them to keep up to date—hence the coaching from other institutions.
Lieutenant Frank B. Berrien was one of the early coaches and an able one. Immediately afterward Dug Howard for three years coached the team to victory. The Navy’s football future was then turned over to Jonas Ingram, with the idea of working out a purely graduate system, in the face of such serious obstacles as have already been pointed out.
One of the nightmares of my coaching experiences was the day that the Army beat the Navy through the combined effort of the whole Army team plus the individual running of Charlie Daly. This run occurred at the very start of the second half. Doc Hillebrand and I were talking on the side lines to Evarts Wrenn, the Umpire. None of us heard the whistle blow for the starting of the second half. Before we knew it the Army sympathizers were on their feet cheering and we [Pg 202]saw Daly hitting it up the field, weaving through the Navy defense.
Harmon Graves, who was coaching West Point that year, has since told me that the Army coaches had drilled the team carefully in receiving the ball on a kick-off—with Daly clear back under the goal posts. On the kick-off, the Navy did just what West Point had been trained to expect. Belknap kicked a long high one direct to Daly, and then and there began the carefully prepared advance of the Army team. Mowing down the oncoming Navy players, the West Point forwards made it possible for clever Daly to get loose and score a touchdown after a run of nearly the entire length of the field.
This game stands out in my recollection as one of the most sensational on record. The Navy, like West Point, had had many victories, but the purpose of this book is not to record year by year the achievements of these two institutions, but rather catch their spirit, as one from without looks in upon a small portion of the busy life that is typical of these Service schools.
Scattered over the seven seas are those who heard the reveille of football at Annapolis. From a few old-timers let us garner their experiences and the effects of football in the Service.
C. L. Poor, one of the veterans of the Annapolis squad, Varsity and Hustlers, has something to say concerning the effect of football upon the relationship between officers and men.
“Generally speaking,” he says, “it is considered that the relationship is beneficial. The young officer assumes qualities of leadership and shows himself in a favorable light to the men, who appreciate his ability to show them something and do it well. The average young American, whether himself athletic or not, is a bit of a hero worshipper towards a prominent athlete, and so the young officer who has good football ability gets the respect and appreciation of the crew to start with.”
J. B. Patton, who played three years at Annapolis, says of the early days:
“I entered the Academy in 1895. In those days athletics were not encouraged. The average number of cadets was less than 200, and the entrance age was from 14 to 18—really a boys’ school. So when an occasional college team appeared, they looked like old men to us.
“Match games were usually on Saturday afternoon, and all the cadets spent the forenoon at sail drill on board the Wyoming in Chesapeake Bay. I can remember spending four hours racing up and down the top gallant yard with Stone and Hayward, loosing and furling sail, and then returning to a roast beef dinner, followed by two 45-minute halves of football.
“One of our best games, as a rule, was with Johns Hopkins University. Paul Dashiell, then a Hopkins man, usually managed to smuggle one or more Poes to Annapolis with his team. We [Pg 204]knew it, but at that time we did not object because we usually beat the Hopkins team.
“Another interesting match was with the Deaf Mutes from Kendall College. It was a standing joke with us that they too frequently smuggled good football players who were not mutes. These kept silent during the game and talked with their hands, but frequently when I tackled one hard and fell on him, I could hear him cuss under his breath.”
M. M. Taylor brings us down to Navy football of the early nineties.
“In my day the principal quality sought was beef. Being embryo sailors we had to have nautical terms for our signals, and they made our opponents sit up and take notice. When I played halfback I remember my signals were my order relating to the foremast. For instance, ‘Fore-top-gallant clew lines and hands-by-the-halyards’ meant that I was the victim. On the conclusion of the order, if the captain could not launch a play made at once, he had to lengthen his signal, and sometimes there would be a string of jargon, intelligible only to a sailor, which would take the light yard men aloft, furl the sail, and probably cast reflections on the stowage of the bunt. Anything connected with the anchor was a kick. The mainmast was consecrated to the left half, and the mizzen to the fullback.
“In one game our lack of proper uniform worked to our advantage. I was on the sick list [Pg 205]and had turned my suit over to a substitute. I braved the doctor’s disapproval and went into the game in a pair of long working trousers and a blue flannel shirt. The opposing team, Pennsylvania, hailed me as ‘Little Boy Blue,’ and paid no further attention to me, so that by good fortune I made a couple of scores. Then they fell upon me, and at the close all I had left was the pants.”
J. W. Powell, captain of the ’97 team, tells of the interim between Army-Navy games.
“Our head coach was Johnny Poe,” he says, “and he and Paul Dashiell took charge of the squad. Some of our good men were Rus White, Bill Tardy, Halligan and Fisher, holding over from the year before. A. T. Graham and Jerry Landis in the line. A wild Irishman in the plebe class, Paddy Shea, earned one end position in short order, while A. H. McCarthy went in at the other wing. Jack Asserson, Bobby Henderson, Louis Richardson and I made up the backfield. In ’95, Princeton had developed their famous ends back system which was adopted by Johnny Poe and the game we played that year was built around this system. Johnny was a deadly tackler and nearly killed half the team with his system of live tackling practice. This was one of the years in which there was no Army and Navy game and our big game was the Thanksgiving Day contest with Lafayette. Barclay, Bray and Rinehart made Lafayette’s [Pg 206]name a terror in the football world. The game resulted in an 18 to 6 victory for Lafayette.
“My most vivid recollections of that game are McCarthy’s plucky playing with his hand in a plaster cast, due to a broken bone, stopping Barclay and Bray repeatedly in spite of this handicap, and my own touchdown, after a twelve yard run, with Rinehart’s 250 pounds hanging to me most of the way.”
I recall a trip that the Princeton team of 1898 made to West Point. It was truly an attack upon the historical old school in a fashion de luxe.
Alex Van Rensselaer, an old Princeton football captain, invited Doc Hillebrand to have the Tiger eleven meet him that Saturday morning at the Pennsylvania Ferry slip in Jersey City. En route to West Point that morning this old Princeton leader met us with his steam yacht, The May. Boyhood enthusiasm ran high as we jumped aboard. Good fellowship prevailed. We lunched on board, dressed on board. Upon our arrival at West Point we were met by the Academy representative and were driven to the football field.
The snappy work of the Princeton team that day brought victory, and we attributed our success to the Van Rensselaer transport. Returning that night on the boat, Doc Hillebrand and Arthur Poe bribed the captain of The May to just miss connecting with the last train to Prince[Pg 207]ton, and as a worried manager sat alongside of Van Rensselaer wondering whether it were not possible to hurry the boat along a little faster, Van Rensselaer himself knew what was in Doc’s mind and so helped make it possible for us to rest at the Murray Hill Hotel over night, and not allow a railroad trip to Princeton mar the luxury of the day.
I have a lot of respect for the football brains of West Point. My lot has been very happily cast with the Navy. I have generally been on the opposite side of the field. I knew the strength of their team. I have learned much of the spirit of the academy from their cheering at Army and Navy games. Playing against West Point our Princeton teams have always realized the hard, difficult task which confronted them, and victory was not always the reward.
Football plays a valued part in the athletic life of West Point. From the very first game between the Army and the Navy on the plains when the Middies were victorious, West Point set out in a thoroughly businesslike way to see that the Navy did not get the lion’s share of victories.
If one studies the businesslike methods of the Army Athletic Association and reads carefully the bulletins which are printed after each game, one is impressed by the attention given to details.
“King, of course, stands first. Captain for two years he brought West Point from second class directly into first. As fullback he outplayed every fullback opposed to him and stands in the judgment of all observers second only to Brooke of Pennsylvania. Let us read what King has to say of a period of West Point football not widely known.
“I first played on the ’92 team,” he says. “We had two Navy games before this, but they were not much as I look back upon them. At this time we had for practice that period of Saturday afternoon after inspection. That gave us from about 3 p. m. on. We also had about fifteen minutes between dinner and the afternoon recitations, and such days as were too rainy to drill, and from 5:45 a. m., to 6:05 a. m. Later in the year when it grew too cold to drill, we had the time after about 4:15 p. m., but it became dark so early that we didn’t get much practice. We practiced signals even by moonlight.
“Visiting teams used to watch us at inspection, two o’clock. We were in tight full dress clothes, standing at attention for thirty to forty-five minutes just before the game. A fine preparation for a stiff contest. We had quite a character by the name of Stacy, a Maine boy. He was a thickset chap, husky and fast. He never knew what it was to be stopped. He would fight it [Pg 209]out to the end for every inch. Early in one of the Yale games he broke a rib and started another, but the more it hurt, the harder he played. In a contest with an athletic club in the last non-collegiate game we ever played, the opposing right tackle was bothering us. In a scrimmage Stacy twisted the gentleman’s nose very severely and then backed away, as the man followed him, calling out to the Umpire. Stacy held his face up and took two of the nicest punches in the eyes that I ever saw. Of course, the Umpire saw it, and promptly ruled the puncher out, just as Stacy had planned.
“Just before the Spanish War Stacy became ill. Orders were issued that regiments should send officers to the different cities for the purpose of recruiting. He was at this time not fit for field service, so was assigned to this duty. He protested so strongly that in some way he was able to join his regiment in time to go to Cuba with his men. He participated in all the work down there; and when it was over, even he had to give in. He was sent to Montauk Point in very bad shape. He rallied for a time and obtained sick leave. He went to his old home in Maine, where he died. It was his old football grit that kept him going in Cuba until the fighting was over.
“No mention of West Point’s football would be complete without the name of Dennis Michie. He is usually referred to as the Father of Foot[Pg 210]ball at the Academy. He was captain of the first two teams we ever had. He played throughout the Navy game in ’91 with ten boils on his back and neck. He was a backfield man and one of West Point’s main line backers. He was most popular as a cadet and officer and was killed in action at San Juan, Cuba.
“One of the longest runs when both yards and time are considered ever pulled off on a football field, was made by Duncan, ’95, in our Princeton game of ’93. Duncan got the ball on his 5-yard line on a fumble, and was well under way before he was discovered. Lott, ’96, later a captain of Cavalry, followed Duncan to interfere from behind. The only Princeton man who sensed trouble was Doggy Trenchard. He set sail in pursuit. He soon caught up with Lott and would have caught Duncan, but for the latter’s interference. Duncan finally scored the touchdown, having made the 105 yards in what would have been fast time for a Wefers.
“We at West Point often speak of Balliet’s being obliged to call on Phil King to back him up that day, as Ames, one of our greatest centres, was outplaying him, and of the rage of Phil King, because on every point, Nolan, ’96, tackled him at once and prevented King from making those phenomenal runs which characterized his playing.”
Harmon Graves of Yale is a coach who has contributed much to West Point’s football.
“Harmon Graves is too well known now as coach to need our praise,” says a West Pointer, “but it is not only as a successful coach, but as a personal friend that he lives in the heart of every member of the team and indeed the entire corps. There will always be a sunny spot at West Point for Graves.”
In a recent talk with Harmon Graves he showed me a beautifully engraved watch presented to him by the Cadet Corps of West Point, a treasure prized.
Of the privileged days spent at West Point Graves writes, as follows:
“Every civilian who has the privilege of working with the officers and cadets at West Point to accomplish some worthy object comes away a far better man than when he went there. I was fortunate enough to be asked by them to help in the establishment of football at the Academy and for many years I gave the best I had and still feel greatly their debtor.
“At West Point amateur sport flourishes in its perfection, and a very high standard of accomplishment has been attained in football. There are no cross-cuts to the kind of football success West Point has worked for: it is all a question of merit based on competency, accuracy and fearless execution. Those of us who have had the privilege of assisting in the development of West Point football have learned much of real value from the officers and cadets about the game and [Pg 212]what really counts in the make-up of a successful team. It is fair to say that West Point has contributed a great deal to football generally and has, in spite of many necessary time restrictions, turned out some of the best teams and players in the last fifteen years.
“The greatest credit is due to the Army Officers Athletic Association, which, through its football representatives, started right and then pursued a sound policy which has placed football at West Point on a firm basis, becoming the standing and dignity of the institution.
“There have been many interesting and amusing incidents in connection with football at West Point which help to make up the tradition of the game there and are many times repeated at any gathering of officers and cadets. I well remember when Daly, the former Harvard Captain, modestly took his place as a plebe candidate for the team and sat in the front row on the floor of the gymnasium when I explained to the squad, and illustrated by the use of a blackboard, what he and every one else there knew was the then Yale defense. There was, perhaps, the suggestion of a smile all around when I began by saying that from then on we were gathered there for West Point and to make its team a success that season and not for the benefit of Harvard or Yale. He told me afterwards that he had never understood the defense as I had explained it. He mastered it and believed in it, as he won and [Pg 213]kept his place on the team and learned some things from West Point football,—as we all did.
“The rivalry with the Navy is wholesome and intense, as it should be. My friend, Paul Dashiell, who fully shares that feeling, has much to do with the success of the Navy team, and the development of football at the Naval Academy. After a West Point victory at Philadelphia, he came to the West Point dressing room and offered his congratulations. As I took his hand, I noted that tears were in his eyes and that his voice shook. The next year the Navy won and I returned the call. I was feeling rather grim, but when I found him surrounded by the happy Navy team, he was crying again and hardly smiled when I offered my congratulation, and told him that it really made no difference which team won for he cried anyway.
“The sportsmanship and friendly rivalry which the Army and Navy game brings out in both branches of the Service is admirable and unique and reaches all officers on the day of the game wherever in the world they are. Real preparedness is an old axiom at West Point and it has been applied to football. There I learned to love my country and respect the manhood and efficiency of the Army officers in a better way than I did before. I recall the seasons I have spent there with gratitude and affection, both for the friends I have made and for the Army spirit.”
Siding with the Navy has enabled me to know West Point’s strength. Any mention of West Point’s football would be incomplete without the names of some officers who have not only safeguarded the game at West Point, but have been the able representatives of the Army’s football during their service there. Such men are, Richmond P. Davis, Palmer E. Pierce, and W. R. Richardson.
THE WAY THEY HAVE IN THE ARMY
If there is any one man who has permanently influenced football at West Point that man is H. J. Koehler, for years Master of the Sword at the Academy. Under his active coaching some of the Army’s finest players were developed. In recent years he has not been a member of the coaching staff, but he none the less never loses touch with the team and his advice concerning men and methods is always eagerly sought. By virtue of long experience at the Academy and because of an aptitude for analysis of the game itself he has been invaluable in harmonizing practice and play with peculiar local conditions.
Any time the stranger seeks to delve either into the history or the constructive coaching of the game at the Academy, the younger men, as well as the older, will always answer your questions by saying “Go ask Koehler.” Always a hard worker and serious thinker, he is apt to give [Pg 215]an almost nightly demonstration during the season of the foundation principles of the game.
Not only West Pointers, but also Yale and Princeton men, who had to face the elevens under Koehler’s coaching will remember Romeyn, who, had he been kicking in the days of Felton, Mahan and the other long distance artillerists, might well have held his own, in the opinion of Army men. Nesbitt, Waldron and Scales were among the other really brilliant players whom Koehler developed. He was in charge of some of the teams that played the hardest schedules in the history of West Point football. One year the cadets met Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Syracuse and Penn State. Surely this was a season’s work calculated to develop remarkable men, or break them in the making. Bettison, center, King Boyers at guard, and Bunker at tackle and half, were among the splendid players who survived this trial by fire. Casad, Clark and Phillips made up a backfield that would have been a credit to any of the colleges.
Soon, however, the Army strength was greatly to be augmented by the acquisition of Charles Dudley Daly, fresh from four years of football at Harvard. Reputations made elsewhere do not count for much at West Point. The coaches were glad to have Plebe Daly come out for the squad, but they knew and he knew quite as well as they, that there are no short cuts to the [Pg 216]big “A.” Now began a remarkable demonstration of football genius. Not only did the former Harvard Captain make the team, but his aid in coaching was also eagerly sought. An unusual move this, but a tribute to the new man.
Daly was modesty itself in those days as he has been ever since, even when equipped with the yellow jacket and peacock feather of the head coach. As player and as coach and often as the two combined, Daly’s connection with West Point football covered eight years, in the course of which he never played on or coached a losing team. His record against the Navy alone is seven victories and one tie, 146 points to 33. His final year’s coaching was done in 1915. From West Point he was sent to Hawaii, whence he writes me, as follows:
“There are certain episodes in the game that have always been of particular interest to me, such as Ely’s game playing with broken ribs in the Harvard-Yale game of 1898; Charlie de Saulles’ great playing with a sprained ankle in the Yale-Princeton game of the same year; the tackling of Bunker by Long of the Navy in the Army-Navy game of 1902—the hardest tackle I have ever seen; and the daring quarterback work of Johnny Cutler in the Harvard-Dartmouth 1908 game, when he snatched victory from defeat in the last few minutes of play.”
Undoubtedly Daly’s deep study of strategy and tactics as used in warfare had a great deal [Pg 217]to do with his continued ascendency as a coach. Writing to Herbert Reed, one of the pencil and paper football men, with whom he had had many a long argument over the generalship of the game, he said in part:
“Football within the limitations of the rules and sportsmanship is a war game. Either by force or by deception it advances through the opposition to the goal line, which might be considered the capital of the enemy.”
It was in Daly’s first year that a huge Southerner, with a pleasant drawl, turned up in the plebe class. It was a foregone conclusion almost on sight that Ernest, better known to football men throughout the country as Pot Graves, would make the Eleven. He not only played the game almost flawlessly from the start, but he made so thorough a study of line play in general that his system, even down to the most intimate details of face to face coaching filed away for all time in that secret library of football methods at West Point, has come to be known as Graves’ Bible.
Daly, still with that ineradicable love for his own Alma Mater, lent a page or two from this tome to Harvard, and even the author appeared in person on Soldiers’ Field. The manner in which Graves made personal demonstration of his teachings will not soon be forgotten by the Harvard men who had to face Pot Graves.
Graves has always believed in the force men[Pg 218]tioned in Daly’s few lines quoted above on the subject of military methods as applied to football. While always declaring that the gridiron was no place for a fist fight, he always maintained that stalwarts should be allowed to fight it out with as little interference by rule as possible. As a matter of fact, Graves was badly injured in a game with Yale, and for a long time afterwards hobbled around with a troublesome knee. He knew the man who did it, but would never tell his name, and he contents himself with saying “I have no ill will—he got me first. If he hadn’t I would have got him.”
A story is told of Graves’ impatience with the members of a little luncheon party, who in the course of an argument on the new football, were getting away from the fundamentals. Rising and stepping over to the window of the Officers’ Club, he said, with a sleepy smile: “Come here a minute, you fellows,” and, pointing down to the roadway, added, “there’s my team.” Looking out of the window the other members of the party saw a huge steam roller snorting and puffing up the hill.
Among the men who played football with Graves and were indeed of his type, were Doe and Bunker. Like Graves, Bunker in spite of his great weight, was fast enough to play in the backfield in those years when Army elevens were relying so much upon terrific power. Those [Pg 219]were the days when substitutes had very little opportunity. In the final Navy game of 1902 the same eleven men played for the Army from start to finish.
In this period of Army football other first-class men were developed, notably Torney, a remarkable back, Thompson, a guard, and Tom Hammond, who was later to make a reputation as an end coach. Bunker was still with this aggregation, an eleven that marched fifty yards for a touchdown in fifteen plays against the midshipmen. The Army was among the early Eastern teams to test Eastern football methods against those of the West, the Cadets defeating a team from the University of Chicago on the plains.
The West Pointers had only one criticism to make of their visitors, and it was laconically put by one of the backs, who said:
“They’re all-fired fast, but it’s funny how they stop when you tackle them.”
In this lineup was A. C. Tipton, at center, to whom belongs the honor of forcing the Rules Committee to change the code in one particular in order to stop a maneuver which he invented while in midcareer in a big game. No one will ever forget how, when chasing a loose ball and realizing that he had no chance to pick it up, he kicked it again and again until it crossed the final chalk mark where he fell on it for a touchdown. Tipton was something of a wrestler too, [Pg 220]as a certain Japanese expert in the art of Jiu-jitsu can testify and indeed did testify on the spot after the doctors had brought him too.
There was no lowering of the standards in the succeeding years, which saw the development of players like Hackett, Prince, Farnsworth and Davis. Those years too saw the rise of such wonderful forwards as W. W. (Red) Erwin and that huge man from Alaska, D. D. Pullen.
Coming now to more recent times, the coaching was turned over to H. M. Nelly, assisted by Joseph W. Beacham, fresh from chasing the little brown brother in the Philippines. Beacham had made a great reputation at Cornell, and there was evidence that he had kept up with the game at least in the matter of strategic possibilities, even while in the tangled jungle of Luzon. He brought with him even more than that—an uncanny ability to see through the machinery of the team and pick out its human qualities, upon which he never neglected to play. There have been few coaches closer to his men than Joe.
Whenever I talk football with Joe Beacham he never forgets to mention Vaughn Cooper, to whom he gives a large share of the credit for the good work of his elevens. Cooper was of the quiet type, whose specialty was defense. These two made a great team.
It was in this period that West Point saw the development of one of its greatest field generals. There was nothing impressive in the physical ap[Pg 221]pearance of little H. L. Hyatt. A reasonably good man, ball in hand, his greatest value lay in his head work. As the West Point trainer said one day: “I’ve got him all bandaged up like a leg in a puttee, but from the neck up he’s a piece of ice.” The charts of games in which Hyatt ran the team are set before the squad each year as examples, not merely of perfect generalship, but of the proper time to violate that generalship and make it go, a distinction shared by Prichard, who followed in his footsteps with added touches of his own.
One cannot mention Prichard’s name without thinking at once of Merillat, who, with Prichard, formed one of the finest forward passing combinations the game has seen. Both at Franklin Field and at the Polo Grounds this pair brought woe to the Navy.
These stars had able assistance in the persons of McEwan, one of the greatest centers the game has seen and who was chosen to lead the team in 1916, Weyand, Neyland and O’Hare, among the forwards, and the brilliant and sturdy Oliphant in the backfield, the man whose slashing play against the Navy in 1915 will never be forgotten. Oliphant was of a most unusual type. Even when he was doing the heaviest damage to the Navy Corps the midshipmen could not but admire his wonderful work.
What the Hustlers are to Annapolis the Cullom Hall team is to West Point. It is made up [Pg 222]of the leftovers from the first squad and substitutes. One would travel far afield in search of a team with more spirit and greater pep in action, whether playing in outside games, or as their coach would put it, “showing up” the first Eleven. Not infrequently a player of the highest caliber is developed in this squad and taken to the first eleven.
The Cullom Hall squad, whose eleven generally manages to clean up some of the strongest school teams of the Hudson Valley, draws not a little of its spirit, I think, from the late Lieutenant E. M. Zell, better known at the Academy as “Jobey.” It was a treat to see the Cullom Hall team marching down the field against the first Eleven with the roly-poly figure of Jobey in the thick of every scrimmage, coaching at the top of his lungs, even when bowled over by the interference of his own pupils. Since his time the squad has been turned over to Lieutenants Sellack and Crawford, who have kept alive the traditions and the playing spirit of this unique organization.
Their reward for the bruising, hard work, with hardly a shadow of the hope of getting their letter, comes in seeing the great game itself. Like the college scrub teams the hardest rooters for the Varsity are to be found in their ranks.
Now for the game itself. Always hard fought, always well fought, there is perhaps no clash of all the year that so wakes the interest of the gen[Pg 223]eral public, that vast throng which, without college affiliations, is nevertheless hungry for the right of allegiance somewhere, somehow.
While the Service Elevens are superbly supported by the men who have been through the exacting mill at West Point and Annapolis—their sweethearts and wives, not to mention sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts—they are urged on to battle by that great impartial public which believes that in a sense these two teams belong to it. It is not uncommon to find men who have had no connection with either academy in hot argument as to the relative merits of the teams.
Once in the stands some apparently trifling thing begets a partisanship that this class of spectator is wont to wonder at after it is all over.
Whether in Philadelphia in the earlier history of these contests on neutral ground, or in New York, Army and Navy Day has become by tacit consent the nearest thing to a real gridiron holiday. For the civilian who has been starved for thrilling action and the chance to cheer through the autumn days, the jam at the hotels used as headquarters by the followers of the two elevens satisfies a yearning that he has hitherto been unable to define. There too, is found a host of old-time college football men and coaches who hold reunion and sometimes even bury hatchets. Making his way through the crowds and jogging elbows with the heroes of a sport that he understands only as organized combat he becomes [Pg 224]obsessed with the spirit of the two fighting institutions.
Once in possession of the coveted ticket he hies himself to the field as early as possible, if he is wise, in order to enjoy the preliminaries which are unlike those at any other game. Soon his heart beats faster, attuned to the sound of tramping feet without the gates. The measured cadence swells, draws nearer, and the thousands rise as one, when first the long gray column and then the solid ranks of blue swing out upon the field. The precision of the thing, the realization that order and system can go so far as to hold in check to the last moment the enthusiasms of these youngsters thrills him to the core. Then suddenly gray ranks and blue alike break for the stands, there to cut loose such a volume of now orderly, now merely frenzied noise as never before smote his ears.
It is inspiration and it is novelty. The time, the place and the men that wake the loyalty dormant in every man which, sad to say, so seldom has a chance of expression.
Around the field are ranged diplomat, dignitary of whatsoever rank, both native and foreign. In common with those who came to see, as well as to be seen—and who does not boast of having been to the Army-Navy game—they rise uncovered as the only official non-partisan of football history enters the gates—the President of the United States. Throughout one half of the [Pg 225]game he lends his support to one Academy and in the intermission makes triumphal progress across the field, welcomed on his arrival by a din of shouting surpassing all previous effort, there to support their side.
It is perhaps one of those blessed hours in the life of a man upon whom the white light so pitilessly beats, when he can indulge in the popular sport, to him so long denied, of being merely human.
Men, methods, moods pass on. The years roll by, taking toll of every one of us from highest to lowest. Yet, whether we are absorbed in the game of games, or whether we look upon it as so many needs must merely as a spectacle, the Army-Navy game will remain a milestone never to be uprooted. I have spoken elsewhere and at length of football traditions. The Army-Navy game is not merely a football tradition but an American institution. It is for all the people every time.
May this great game go on forever, serene in its power to bring out the best that is in us, and when the Great Bugler sounds the silver-sweet call of taps for all too many, there will still be those who in their turn will answer the call of reveille to carry on the traditions of the great day that was ours.
Stecker’s memorable run for the lone TD – Army 6 – Navy 0
compiled from Pittsburgh Press, Dec 13, 1930 by grimmr22
Navy 24, Army 0 Nov. 29, 1890 – West Point, N.Y.
Veteran Red Emerich scored 20 of Navy’s 24 points in its series-opening shutout of the host Cadets. Moulton Johnson added the other touchdown (touchdowns were worth four points), as the Mids served as Army’s first college football opponent.
Army 32, Navy 16 Nov. 28, 1891 – Annapolis, Md.
Army avenged its series-opening loss to Navy by doubling up the Midshipmen, 32-16, in Annapolis. The Cadets overpowered the Midshipmen on the ground, scoring three first-half touchdowns to take an 18-6 lead at intermission. Elmer Clark scored on two touchdown runs, while plebe Fine Smith blocked Worth Bagley’s punt and returned it for a touchdown. Navy was not to be embarrassed on its home field and answered with touchdowns from C.F. Maclin and Henry Pearson to open the second half. Nonetheless, the Cadets padded their lead with two more touchdowns to provide the 16-point difference.
MILITARY CADETS VERSUS NAVAL CADETS. ANNAPOLIS November 20, 1891,
Navy 12, Army 4 Nov. 26, 1892 – West Point, N.Y.
Worth Bagley proved to be quite valuable to Navy, accounting for eight of the team’s 12 points in a 12-4 win over Army. All of the scoring came in the second half. Walter Izard had Navy’s first touchdown run, and Bagley added the conversion. Army’s Thomas Carson answered with a touchdown for the Cadets, but Bagley put the game away with six more points late in the half.
Navy 6, Army 4 Dec. 2, 1893 – Annapolis, Md.
Henry Kimball’s one-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion was all Navy needed in a 6-4 victory over Army. The Cadets’ Thomas Carson responded with his second touchdown in as many years against Navy, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
Army 17, Navy 5 Dec. 2, 1899 – Philadelphia, Pa.
In the first Army-Navy game held at Franklin Field, Army’s Verne Rockwell and Bob Jackson combined to score three touchdowns in the Cadets’ 17-5 victory. Considering Navy had shut out its previous three opponents – North Carolina, Trinity and Lehigh – by a combined 71-0 score, this game was termed an upset of sorts. After Jackson started the scoring in the first half with a short run, Navy drove to the Army nine-yard line before time ran out in the half. Rockwell and Jackson tallied second-half scores, as the Cadets took a commanding 17-0 lead. The Midshipmen avoided a shutout when Ward Wortman scored with just seconds left in the game.
Cadets Against Middies
Army and Navy Meet Today My And Navy Meet Today Philadelphia
Boston Evening Transcript – Dec 2, 1899
The State, War and Navy departments were almost deserted today as a result of the West Point- Annapolis football game in Philadelphia…
CADETS AT FOOTBALL TO-DAY; Rival Teams – New York Times
West Point Defeats Annapolis
Boston Evening Transcript – Dec 4, 1899
ARMY WHIPS NAVY – Boston Daily Globe
Navy’s Battered Team.
Baltimore American – Dec 4, 1899
It could not lose this game and, have any reputation at football. They had been preparing for it for six years…Philadelphia
Naval Academy, 5; West Point, 17
Navy 11, Army 7 Dec. 1, 1900 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Navy’s Bryon Long may have hit the game-tying field goal in the first half, but his recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone proved more valuable in the Midshipmen’s 11-7 win over Army. Emory Land’s touchdown run early in the second half snapped a 5-5 tie and made the score 11-5 after Orie Fowler’s extra point. Then, with 10 seconds left in the game, the Cadets’ Quinn Gray blocked Charles Belknap’s punt into the Navy end zone. If Gray recovers the punt, it’s an Army touchdown. But if Long recovers it, it’s a safety. Fortunately for the Midshipmen, Long pounced on the ball in the end zone, and Navy had itself an 11-7 triumph.
Army 11, Navy 5 Nov. 30, 1901 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, who was sworn in as chief executive right after William McKinley was assassinated, became the first president to watch an Army-Navy game. He saw Army quarterback Charles Daly turn in a fine individual performance, leading the Cadets past Navy, 11-5. Daly opened the scoring with a first-half field goal, only to have Navy’s Newton Nichols tie the score with a touchdown just before intermission. The multi-talented Daly then took the wind out of Navy’s sails with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half and clinch the 11-5 victory.
Army 22, Navy 8 Nov. 29, 1902 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Offense, defense and special teams each had a hand in Army’s 22-8 victory over Navy. Paul Bunker and quarterback Charles Daly each had rushing touchdowns for the Cadets, while Navy’s Ralph Strassburger tackled Daly in the end zone for a safety. Navy cut Army’s lead to 10-8 just before halftime when Strassburger returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. The Cadets held off the furious Navy comeback with a pair of second-half touchdowns. Bunker reached the end zone for the second time that afternoon, while Daly scored a touchdown and added the extra point.
ARMY AND NAVY FOOTBALL; Cadets and Midshipmen WEST POINT PICKED TO WIN Both Teams Did Their Final Practicing on Franklin Field — Annapolis Prepared to Make a Stiff Fight. New York Times – Nov 29, 1902
… the Army and Navy elevens will wind up the college football season of 19O2… University of Pennsvlvania. in Philadelphia, was offered and accepted,…
ARMY 22, NAVY 8 – Boston Daily Globe
ARMY DEFEATED NAVY AT FOOTBALL; West Point and Annapolis in Their Annual Gridiron Struggle Annapolis Cadets Scored Eight Points to the Winners’ Twenty-two — Prominent Government Officials Present. – New York Times – Nov 29, 1902
Army 40, Navy 5 Nov. 28, 1903 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Click on photo
Army used two Navy fumbles and a blocked field goal attempt to overcome a five-point deficit and overwhelm the Midshipmen, 40-5. Navy took a 5-0 lead on an H.L. Chambers field goal in the first half, but that was the extent of the Mids’ offensive output. They mustered just three first downs the rest of the day. Army, on the other hand, boasted a balanced scoring attack. Fred Prince had 15 points, Ray Hill added 10, Tom Doe seven, Russell Davis five, while Ernest Graves, Charles Davis and Horatio Hackett had one point each.
ARMY AND NAVY FOOTBALL; West Point and…- New York Times – Nov 27, 1903
Army Versus Navy Football At Philadelphia
Newburgh Daily Journal – Nov 28, 1903
… looked upon as a football society function rather than as a spectacular gridiron, battle, and ‘or that reason the demand for tickets has been enormous…
Army Against Navy Rival Cadets Meet…- Boston Evening Transcript – Nov 28, 1903
New York Times – Nov 28, 1903
SOCIETY AT ARMY-NAVY GAME.; Great Exodus to Philadelphia…- New York Times – Nov 28, 1903
The Secretary of War and Miss Root will go to Philadelphia to-morrow to see the West Point-Annapolis football game. The trip will be by special car…
West Point Defeats Middies…- Sunday Morning Star – Nov 29, 1903
Army 11, Navy 0 Nov. 26, 1904 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Midway through the first half, Navy lined up to accept Army’s punt at the 50-yard line. The ball apparently touched Navy’s Homer Norton, and the Cadets’ Art Tipton, racing down the field, kicked the ball ahead of him. The game had suddenly transformed into a modern day soccer match, with Tipton kicking the ball once again toward the Navy goal line. When the ball reached the end zone, Tipton fell on top of it for Army’s first touchdown. Despite the controversy surrounding this incident, it was ruled a touchdown and set the tone for Army’s 11-0 triumph. This was the Cadets’ fourth win in a row over Navy and Army’s first shutout in series history.
Army Vs. Navy Big Game To-day – Meriden Daily Journal – Nov 26, 1904
Ready to do or die, the navy football players left Annapolis yesterday for Philadelphia. The players wero given a rousing send-off when they left the acdemy grounds…
ARMY 11, NAVY 0 – Boston Daily Globe
Tipton’s Kicking Great Football – Meriden Daily Journal – Nov 27, 1904
Army Beats Navy – Sunday Morning Star – Nov 27, 1904
In Hard Fought Game Won Annual Football Match
Navy 6, Army 6 Dec. 2, 1905 – Princeton, N.J.
Princeton President Woodrow Wilson convinced West Point and Annapolis officials to play the 1905 Army-Navy game at Princeton, where the two service academies battled to a 6-6 tie. It was immediately obvious that Princeton was ill-equipped to handle the large crowd in attendance, as a huge traffic jam made both teams late for kickoff. As a result, the game was suspended with four minutes left due to darkness. Henry Torney scored Navy’s touchdown early in the first half, while Archibald Douglas tallied Army’s touchdown.
Navy 10, Army 0 Dec. 1, 1906 – Philadelphia, Pa.
“Anchors Aweigh” made its debut at the 1906 Army-Navy game, and the Midshipmen took the song to heart in defeating the Cadets, 10-0. The win over Army was Navy’s first since 1900. The 1906 football season was memorable nationwide, as it marked the debut of the forward pass. Navy coach Paul Dashiell added a twist to this new rule to help his team to victory. Thanks to a long field goal by Percy Northcroft, Navy led 4-0 in the second half. On the Mids’ next possession, Navy’s Homer Norton dropped back in punt formation. Yet, when the ball was snapped, he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jonas Ingram to give Navy the 10-0 victory.
Navy 6, Army 0 Nov. 7, 1907 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Navy combined an early Army turnover with a solid defensive outing to turn back the Cadets, 6-0. The Midshipmen’s Percy Wright recovered Frederick Montiford’s punt at the Army 25-yard line. It took Navy six plays to score, as Archibald Douglas plowed through from the one-yard line to give Navy all of the points it would need in its second-straight shutout over Army.
Army 6, Navy 4 Nov. 28, 1908 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Ed Lange’s fumble on the opening kickoff proved costly to Navy, as Army’s Henry Chamberlain retrieved the loose ball and raced all the way to the Navy one-yard line. From there, Bill Dean crossed the goal line for the touchdown (worth five points). He kicked the extra point himself to account for all six points in the 6-4 Army win. Lange somewhat redeemed himself by kicking a second-half field goal (worth four points), but it wasn’t enough to upend the Cadets.
Rivals Leave For Big Game – West Point Cadets and Annapolis Middies Depart for Battle Field.
Youngstown Vindicator – Nov 25, 1908
ARMY AND NAVY IN FOOTBALL BATTLE; West Point and Annapolis Cadets Clash at Philadelphia To-day. TEAMS FIT AND CONFIDENT Battalions of Both Academies to See Conflict — Social and Official Throngs as Spectators. – New York Times – Nov 28, 1908
The football season for 1908 will close this afternoon when the rival … To-day is a general reunion day in Philadelphia…
30,000 PERSONS SEE ARMY TEAM DEFEAT NAVY ON FRANKLIN FIELD; Grizzled Veterans of Uncle Sam’s Service Mingle with Youth and Beauty, While Embryo Generals and Admirals Contest for Football Supremacy. ARMY VANQUISHES NAVY ON GRIDIRON – New York Times – November 29, 1908,
PHILADELPHIA, Penn., Nov 28 — The thirteen engagement in the perennial strife of football between West Point and Annapolis went into history this afternoon with a score of “Army, 6, and Navy, 4,” to be emblazoned in Army archives, and to be recorded on the other side of the ledger at Annapolis.
Army Vanquishes The Navy – Lewiston Morning Tribune – Nov 29, 1908
Navy 7, Army 0 Nov. 27, 1920 – New York, N.Y.
Navy’s first offensive touchdown in 10 Army-Navy games proved to be a big one, handing the Cadets a 7-0 defeat. This also evened the all-time series mark at 11-11-2. Army was unable to convert on any of its three first-half field goal attempts, forcing the teams into halftime deadlocked in a scoreless tie. This remained until Vic Noyes tossed a seven-yard touchdown to Ben Koehler for the score. The Midshipmen nullified any hopes of an Army comeback with an interception at midfield to end the game.
Navy 7, Army 0 Nov. 26, 1921 – New York, N.Y.
Allowing just 124 yards of total offense, Navy posted its sixth shutout in its last-seven wins with a 7-0 victory over Army. Vince Conroy gave Navy all the points it needed with a short touchdown run midway though the first quarter. The Midshipmen defense sealed the deal with a superb effort, halting the Cadets on two key occasions. Army had driven to the Navy 33-yard line in the fourth quarter, as Denis Mulligan’s field goal attempt fell short. The Midshipmen’s Ira McKee spoiled Army’s next hope with an interception at the Navy eight-yard line. This win was Navy’s third-straight victory over its archrival. In addition to outscoring Army 20-0 in the last three quarters, Navy had a 40-13 advantage in first downs and had outgained the Cadets, 683-230.
Army 17, Navy 14 Nov. 25, 1922 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Army’s George Smythe proved to be a thorn in Navy’s side, as his 47-yard punt return set up his seven-yard touchdown pass to Fran Dodd and gave the Cadets a 17-14 win before 55,000 fans at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field. Trailing 10-7, momentum swung to Navy’s side as Vince Conroy’s one-yard touchdown run gave the Midshipmen a 14-10 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. However, the excitement shifted back to the Army sideline, as Smythe’s punt return and touchdown pass gave the Cadets a lead they would not relinquish. The Army defense clinched the victory by stopping Navy at the Cadet 22-yard line late in the game. Despite the final outcome, the Midshipmen won the statistical battle, outgaining Army, 283-154.
West Point’s Eleven Reaches Philadelphia. – Schenectady Gazette – Nov 21, 1922
Coolidge, Weeks and Denby to Be on Hand for Army-Navy Clash…- Boston Daily Globe – Nov 22, 1922
CHEERING THRONGS GREET ARMY TEAM; West Point Delegation Gets a Great Welcome Upon Arrival in Philadelphia. – New York Times – – Nov 24, 1922
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23.–From the time the West Point football squad, thirty-six strong, arrived at the Reading Terminal at 1:25 o’clock this afternoon until it arrived at Green Hill Farms. Overbrook, the players were greeted lavishly.
ARMY PLAYERS OUT ON FRANKLIN FIELD – Boston Daily Globe – Nov 24, 1922
PHILADELPHIA, Nov 23–Behind holted and guarded gates, the Army football team went through a snappy practice on Franklin Field this afternoon in preparation for the annual struggle with the Navy Saturday.
Walter Camp Looks for Much Passing When Army and Navy Elevens Clash – Middies Will Rely on Long Heaves, While Army Will Shoot Over Many Shorter Ones -Atlanta Constitution – Nov 24, 1922
The Army and Navy game at Philadelphia will hold the center of interest in the football world Saturday. This will be due to the fact that the Army has not been defeated and that this is the Year…
ARMY-NAVY TEAMS READY FOR CLASH; Arrive in Philadelphia and Put on Finishing Touches for Today’s Football Struggle.55,000 EXPECTED AT GAME Hotels in Quaker City, Are Full,Streets, Are Crowded and Service Uniforms Everywhere. – New York Times – Nov 25, 1922
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 24.–This city was invaded without a struggle today, the civil population giving way gracefully to the advance guard of the Army and the Navy. …The usual phrase that Philadelphia Is football mad on the eve of tomorrow’s, the twenty-fifth , Army and Navy game would not be true…
WEST POINT MOVING TO FRANKLIN FIELD; Military Post Will Be Deserted Today While Everybody Goes to Football Game…- New York Times – Nov 25, 1922
Service Squads Ready – Lewiston Daily Sun – Nov 25, 1922
Army-Navy Game Will Sure Be Full Of Fireworks – Rochester Evening Journal – Nov 25, 1922
ARMY TRIUMPHS BY MIGHTY EFFORT, 17-14 – First Score Against Navy Since 1916–Colorful Scenes For 55,000–Smythe Stars- Boston Daily Globe – Nov 26, 1922
PHILADELPHIA, Nov 25–Playing true to form, the Army football eleven defeated the Navy on Franklin Field today, 17 to 14, in one of the hardest and cleanest gridiron struggles seen on the Pennsylvania field in a long time..
Army Team Stages Rally In Final Period…-Atlanta Constitution – Nov 26, 1922
Playing true to the season’s form the Army football elevens defeated their old rivals, the Navy, on Franklin field today by the score of 17 to 14, in a hard, clean gridiron struggle.
DALY OVERJOYED AT ARMY’S SHOWING; West Point Coach Proud of His Team–Refuses Credit for Victory Over Navy – New York Times – Nov 26, 1922
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 25–There was a riotous scene within the dressing quarters of the Army players shortly after their victory over the Navy eleven at Franklin Field this afternoon.
Army 0, Navy 0 Nov. 24, 1923 – New York, N.Y.
The 1923 Army-Navy game may have resulted in a scoreless tie, but that doesn’t mean the afternoon was lacking in excitement. After all, when the two teams combine to punt 26 times, something is bound to happen – maybe even more than once. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Army’s Henry Baxter blocked Navy punter Carl Cullen’s kick. The alert Cullen scrambled to recover the punt inside his own 10-yard line, which under the rules allowed Navy to retain possession. Although this was long before instant replay existed, the 65,000 fans were treated to the same incident on Navy’s next punt. Again, the Mids were inside their own 10-yard line as August Farwick got a hand on Cullen’s kick, which the Navy punter also recovered. Navy closed its season with a 14-14 tie against Washington in the Rose Bowl to finish 5-1-3 on the year.
Army 12, Navy 0 Nov. 29, 1924 – Baltimore, Md.
Given the choice of where to play the 1924 Army-Navy game, Annapolis officials chose Baltimore’s 80,000-seat stadium. But this supposed home field advantage did not pay the dividends the Mids had hoped, as Edgar Garbisch booted four field goals to give Army a 12-0 win. He may have accounted for all 12 points, but Garbisch had the opportunity to score 21 against the Mids. Army’s opening drive ended with Garbisch attempting a 30-yard dropkick field goal, however, it was blocked. Garbisch recovered the block, but his 40-yard attempt four downs later fell short. He also had a 45-yard attempt midway through the second quarter that sailed wide. Navy may not have reached the end zone, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. The Mids set a then series record by completing 12-of-22 passes for 50 yards. The Army victory gave the Cadets a 13-12-2 series advantage, a lead it would not relinquish for 56 years.
Army 10, Navy 3 Nov. 28, 1925 – New York, N.Y.
Six turnovers proved to be Navy’s demise, as Army held on for a 10-3 triumph before 60,000 fans at the Polo Grounds. After driving to the Army three-yard line early in the second quarter, Navy had to settle for a 12-yard field goal by Tom Hamilton. The Cadets, on the other hand, were able to capitalize upon a fourth down situation just before halftime. On fourth-and-four from the nine, Neil Harding hit Henry Baxter for the touchdown and the 7-3 win. Russell Reeder tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter for the victory.
Army 21, Navy 21 – Nov. 27, 1926 – Chicago, Ill.
In his first season as head coach at his alma mater, West Point graduate Biff Jones used an intriguing strategy for the Army-Navy game. By starting his second-team units against the Midshipmen, he hoped to give Navy a false sense of confidence. The Mids took full advantage of the “mismatch,” as touchdown runs by Henry Caldwell and James Schuber handed Army an early deficit. The Cadets responded with three touchdowns, the last a 44-yard run by Chris Cagle, to take the lead by the end of the third quarter. Nonetheless, an eight-yard touchdown run by Alan Shapley in the fourth quarter salvaged a 21-21 tie for Navy. Army may have spoiled the Midshipmen’s bid for a 10-0 record, but coach Bill Ingram’s club still laid claim to the national title.
THE GREATEST ARMY–NAVY
By Ray Schmidt
“…No single game in college football history has ever so completely combined the color, spectacle, national media coverage, public popularity, and top-flight level of play as the Army-Navy battle of 1926 at Soldier Field.
Robert Kelley of the New York Times defined the game’s significance when he wrote that day:
“Football had the greatest pageant, its high spot of color, and so did sport in the United States.”
Army 14, Navy 9 Nov. 26, 1927 – New York, N.Y.
In the last Army-Navy game played at the Polo Grounds, the Cadets overcame a pesky Midshipmen club to claim a 14-9 victory. Navy held a 2-0 lead at halftime, but it could have just as easily been 16-0. On its first possession, Navy reached the Army eight-yard line, but came away without a point. Midway through the second quarter, the Mids’ Carl Giese blocked a punt out of the end zone to give Navy a 2-0 lead. Navy had another chance to reach the end zone just before halftime, but Army stopped Joe Clifton on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. A two-yard run by Lighthorse Harry Wilson gave the Cadets a 7-2 advantage early in the third quarter. Army added another touchdown to its lead when Chris Cagle intercepted an Ed Hannegan pass and returned it 41 yards to the Navy four-yard line. Wilson scored again, and Army was on its way to the win.
Navy scored its touchdown when Russell Lloyd hit Ted Sloane on a 28-yard touchdown, but it wasn’t enough.
Time Magazine When the U. S. Academies at West Point and Annapolis agreed last summer, after a three-year breach (Editors note – 2 years 1928 & 1929) of athletic relations, to resume playing football with each other, they failed to settle the differences on which the breach was based. Navy like other colleges observes the three-year eligibility rule; at West Point cadets who have played three years of varsity football elsewhere are still eligible for the team. This gives West Point an obvious advantage in Army-Navy games. Navy has not won since 1921.
Navy celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Army-Navy game with a solid, all-around effort, resulting in a 14-0 triumph. Navy scored on its first drive, as Bill Busik went the final-two yards for the touchdown to make it 7-0. The Midshipmen covered 54 yards in 12 plays, with Busik accounting for 50 of those 54 yards. Although the Army offense could muster just 107 yards of total offense on the afternoon, the Cadet defense held Navy without a point on its next-two drives, which were halted deep in Army territory. However, the Midshipmen tallied their final score in the third quarter when Howie Clark tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Everett Malcolm.
As a Naval Academy player from 1919-21, Swede Larson never lost to Army. And in his first-two years as head coach, his teams shut out the Cadets by a combined score of 24-0. But prior to the 1941 Army-Navy contest, the Marine major was informed he was being sent to the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., immediately after the football season. As you can imagine, he wanted nothing more than a final victory over Army, which is why he was less than pleased when his club trailed West Point, 6-0, at halftime. Challenging his team to win its last battle on the football field, the Midshipmen answered the call in the second half. Bill Busik’s effective running and passing set up touchdowns by Phil Hurt and Howie Clark, which led to a 14-6 Navy win.
In an effort to conserve transportation resources due to World War II, the Army-Navy game was moved to Annapolis in 1942 and West Point for 1943. This meant the West Point Corp of Cadets, with the exception of two cheerleaders, would not be permitted to attend the game, nor would anyone else outside a 10-mile radius of the Maryland state capital. Thus, half of the Brigade of Midshipmen would serve as the Army cheering section, while the other half would root for the Mids. As it turns out, the Cadets would need much more help than this, as Navy turned back Army, 14-0. Backup halfback Joe Sullivan opened the scoring with a short touchdown run in the second quarter. Hillis Hume set up the other touchdown with an interception deep in Cadet territory midway through the third stanza. Hal Hamberg proceeded to hit Ben Martin with an 18-yard scoring strike. Hume clinched the win with another interception of Army quarterback Doug Kenna at the Navy seven-yard line.
For the first time in 50 years, West Point, N.Y., played host to an Army-Navy game. The Midshipmen were less than gracious guests on the field, however, scoring two touchdowns in the second half of a 13-0 triumph. In the first half, Army got inside the Navy 40-yard line three times but failed to reach the end zone. Navy finally cracked the scoreboard midway through the third quarter when Bob Jenkins capped a 42-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Jim Pettit then contributed two of the game’s biggest plays, one on each side of the ball. His one-yard touchdown run stretched the lead to 13-0, and he halted an Army drive at the Navy 24 when he intercepted Doug Kenna’s pass.
Two weeks prior to the 1944 Army-Navy game, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the contest would be moved from Annapolis to Baltimore as part of the “Sixth War Bond Drive.” The U.S. Treasury Department designated 20,000 seats as War Bond Seats. In other words, buy a war bond and get a free ticket to the game. The arrangement not only generated $58.6 million in war bonds, but also allowed 70,000 fans to see a 23-7 Army win. “Dale Hall” put Army on the scoreboard with a 20-yard touchdown run, and Joe Stanowicz’s blocked punt in the end zone stretched the lead to 9-0 in the third quarter. Clyde Scott’s one-yard touchdown run cut the deficit to 9-7, but “Mr. Inside,” “Doc Blanchard”, and “Mr. Outside,” “Glenn Davis”, each scored fourth-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach. The 9-0 Cadets closed the fall atop the Associated Press poll, while 6-3 Navy finished fourth.
Navy entered the 1945 season finale toting a 7-0-1 record. The No. 2 Midshipmen defense opened the season with three-consecutive shutouts and had never allowed more than one touchdown in any of the following five contests. However, it hadn’t played an offense as potent as No. 1 Army, who posted a decisive 32-13 win. Felix “Doc Blanchard” caught the attention of the Heisman Trophy voters, who awarded the Army halfback with the honor days after his three-touchdown performance. The Cadets jumped out to a 20-0 lead, and the Mids were unable to recover. They scored their first touchdown on a 39-yard Bruce Smith-to-Clyde Scott touchdown to cut the halftime deficit to 20-7. Blanchard erased any hope of a Navy comeback when he intercepted Smith’s pass and returned it 52 yards for his last touchdown of the game. Smith returned the favor by intercepting a “Glenn Davis” pass to set up Navy’s second touchdown, a Joe Bartos three-yard plunge. Finally, Davis atoned for his aerial miscue by scampering 28 yards for the final score to give Army the win and eventual national title.
After finishing second in the final 1945 AP poll, Navy endured the other end of the spectrum in 1946. With just eight returning lettermen, Navy struggled to a 1-8 campaign. While these eight losses included a 21-18 defeat at the hands of rival Army, it was the Cadets who held the short end of the stick when all was said and done. Three weeks before its annual grudge match against Navy, No. 2 Army and No. 1 Notre Dame played to a scoreless tie. And while the Cadets would battle the Mids on Nov. 30, the Fighting Irish were set to meet Southern California. Thus, the outcomes on this day were critical to the final AP polls. Down 21-6 at halftime, Navy came back with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter Bill Hawkins had a two-yard rushing touchdown, and Reaves Baysinger hit Leon Bramlett for a short touchdown to bring the Midshipmen within three points. Unfortunately for the Mids, they were unable to convert on any of the extra points, and the Cadets prevailed. Unfortunately for Army, AP voters took more notice of Notre Dame’s 26-6 victory than they did of Army’s narrow triumph, voting Notre Dame first in the final AP poll.
In front of 103,000 fans, including President Harry S. Truman, Army scored one touchdown in each of the first-three quarters to cruise to a 21-0 victory over Navy. A Bill Hawkins fumble led to Army’s first touchdown, as “Bill Kellum” caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Elwyn Rowan. Navy drove right back down the field on the next possession, but turned the ball over on downs inside the Army 10-yard line. On Army’s first play from scrimmage, “Rip Rowan” went around the end and down the field 92 yards for the go-ahead score. He finished the afternoon with 148 yards rushing. ( “Joe Steffy” once asked Col Blaik what his Greatest Thrill was in Coaching — Rip Rowan’s 92 yard run from scrimmage)
Considering Army entered the 1948 season finale with an 8-0 mark, as opposed to Navy’s 0-8 record, it should not be a surprise that the Cadets were a 20-point favorite. Yet, the Midshipmen proved the oddsmakers wrong by battling Army to a 21-21 tie. Navy quarterback Reaves Baysinger opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. However, short touchdown runs by Rudolph Cosentino and Harold Shultz enabled the Cadets to take a 14-7 lead at the half. Navy responded with a one-yard Bill Hawkins touchdown run to tie the game at 14 in the third quarter. Army then took its second lead of the game when quarterback Arnold Galiffa scored on a 10-yard bootleg. Finally, Hawkins preserved the tie with clutch plays on both sides of the ball. He followed a one-yard touchdown run by knocking away a Galiffa pass on fourth down to end the game.
If Navy had any question about Army’s No. 4 national ranking in 1949, the Cadets erased those doubts with a 38-0 trouncing of the Midshipmen in the 50th meeting between the two academies. The statistics certainly told the story on this afternoon Army had 27 first downs compared to eight for Navy, not to mention a 459-107 advantage in total offensive yardage. The Mids advanced no further than the Army 47-yard line, as Cadet fullback “Gil Stephenson” gained 127 yards on 26 attempts.
Navy 3, Army 0 Nov. 26, 1910 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Seven proved to be a lucky number for both Jack Dalton and his Midshipmen teammates. After missing his first-six field goal attempts in the 1910 Army-Navy game, Dalton connected on his seventh, which was all Navy needed in a 3-0 triumph. This field goal was also valuable in that it capped the Mids’ first undefeated season, a year that saw them outscore all nine opponents, 99-0. Dalton’s field goal was the lone offensive highlight in a game that saw both clubs combine to punt 40 times.
Navy 3, Army 0 Nov. 24, 1911 – Philadelphia, Pa.
On paper, the 1911 Army-Navy game was slated to be an even matchup. Army entered the season finale 6-0-1, while Navy was 5-0-3. Each team had surrendered less than two points per contest, while averaging two touchdowns per outing. The game lived up to its billing, with Jack Dalton’s second-quarter field goal proving to be the difference in a 3-0 win. Dalton did much more than kick a field goal, however. He had a pair of 15-yard runs on the Mids’ scoring drive and also recorded a 72-yard punt.
Navy 6, Army 0 Nov. 30, 1912 – Philadelphia, Pa.
At 6-2, 228 pounds, Navy’s John “Babe” Brown was not your typical placekicker. In fact, he used his imposing frame to his advantage in the 1912 Army game, and the result benefitted all of the Midshipmen. With five minutes left in the game, he lined up to attempt a field goal. But rather than dropkick the ball when it was snapped to him, he took off running before the Cadets tackled him at the five-yard line. He booted a 12-yard field goal two plays later and tacked on a 35 yarder with less than a minute left to give Navy a 6-0 victory. The triumph was Navy’s sixth in nine decisions and dropped Army’s final record to 5-3.
Army 22, Navy 9 Nov. 29, 1913 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Navy coach Doug Howard could look at the 1913 season from two perspectives. His defense allowed a total of 29 points in nine games, which is quite impressive. But when you consider the Midshipmen allowed 22 in one game, and it was the game against Army, Howard’s club did not end the year on a solid note. Indeed, Navy would need more than three Babe Brown field goals to overcome the Cadets. Vernon Prichard and Louis Merrilat caught the Midshipmen defense off-guard with two touchdown passes, and Merrilat’s 60-yard run set up West Point’s other score in the 13-point victory.
Cadets Final Practice – Army Eleven Ready for Big Game in Gotham Saturday – The News and Courier – Nov 27, 1913
OPEN FOOTBALL IS PROVED THE BEST; West Point Victory Is Another Verdict for Open Game as Played This Season – New York Times – Dec 1, 1913
A decisive triumph for the open style of play, as compared with the more conservative and less spectacular line bucking species, stands out as the main feature of the 1913 football season, which came to a close Saturday at the Polo Grounds, when the Army and Navy elevens clashed in their annual battle.
There is little doubt that football in the future will far excel that of the past … The main reason for the transfer from Philadelphia to New York was that…
Army 20, Navy 0 Nov. 28, 1914 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Army capped its first undefeated season (9-0) with a “textbook perfect” 20-0 triumph over Navy. The Cadets took advantage of a blocked punt and two Navy fumbles to score their first-14 points. After forcing Navy to punt on its opening possession, Louis Merillat blocked the punt in the end zone for a safety.
The Mids’ H.C. Blodgett fumbled a second-quarter punt that “Robert Neyland” picked up at the Navy 20-yard line. One play later, Louis Merillat was in the end zone after catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Vernon Prichard. Finally, Blodgett fumbled a second punt that quarter which resulted in a Paul Hodgson one-yard touchdown run.
ARMY TEAM WELCOMED.; Annual Homecoming Scenes at West Point ;- Wyand Elected Captain.- New York Times – Nov 30, 1914
WEST POINT, N.Y., Nov. 29. — The victorious Army football team reached home at 4 o’clock this afternoon and received a rousing welcome. The scenes which annually feature the homecoming of the football men, whether they are winners or losers, were enacted, although, if possible, with a little more enthusiasm than in the past.
The football men brought with them from Philadelphia the blue and gold blanket which has adorned the back: of the Navy;s mascot goat for many years…
ARMY-AND NAVY END PRACTICES FOR THEIR GAME- Atlanta Constitution – Nov 27, 1914
Army And Navy Teams in Annual Gridiron Contest
About 33,000 Spectators Witness Football Struggle at Philadelphia This Afternoon – Army Scored Safety and Two Touchdowns in First Half – The Day – Nov 28, 1914
Largest Crowd On Record At Army And Navy Game – Sunday Tribune – Nov 28, 1914
Army And Navy In Their Greatest Fight Of The Year…Surrounded by Mighty Crowd, cadets and Middies battle on Franklin Field Today – Army is Slight favorite – The Day – Nov 28, 1914
ARMY SHUTS OUT NAVY BY 20 TO 0. – Boston Evening Transcript – Nov 29, 1914 – PHILADELPHIA, Nov 28
The West Point football players today beat Annapolis, 20 to 0, this afternoon before the biggest crowd ever assembled on Franklin Field, the Cadets superiority being even greater than indicated by the…
Boston Daily Globe – Nov 29, 1914
PHILADELPHIA, Nov 28–The West Point football players today beat Annapolis, 20 to 0, this afternoon before the biggest crowd ever assembled on Franklin Field…
Army 14, Navy 0 Nov. 27, 1915 – New York, N.Y.
The 1915 Army-Navy game marked the first time each team wore numbered jerseys for identification. However, the Navy offense finished with the same number it had a year ago, 0, as Army blanked the Midshipmen, 14-0. Elmer “Ollie” Oliphant certainly left his impression on the Navy defense, accounting for 130 of his team’s 196 total offensive yards, along with 11 punt returns for 114 yards. The contest once again fell victim to bad weather, which factored into a combined 30 punts and 10 turnovers between the two teams.
Army VS. Navy On Saturday – Reading Eagle – Nov 26, 1915
Army Mule and Navy Goat In Annual Game at Gotham – Atlanta Constitution – Nov 27, 1915
The football elevens of the United States Naval and Military academies will close the eastern gridiron season with their annual contest here tomorrow afternoon. Indications point to a hard-fought game.
Service Game Today May Break Existing Series Tie. Army and Navy Have Each Won Nine Games .. – Lewiston Daily Sun – Nov 27, 1915
Army VS. Navy On Gridiron. Cadets Score First In Annual Contest….- Reading Eagle – Nov 27, 1915
Soldier and Sailor Elevens Will Try to Break Tie – The Day – Nov 27, 1915
40,000 SEE ARMY BEAT NAVY, 14 TO 0; Drizzling Rain Robs Football Game at Polo Grounds of Usual Brilliancy. VICTORS’ SCORE MADE IN MUD President Wilson’s Party, Including Mrs. Galt, Is Saluted by the Cadets in Mass. OLIPHANT HAILED AS STAR Makes Both Touchdowns and Goals ;- Flock of Doves, Set Loose, Attributed to Ford. 40,000 SEE ARMY BEAT NAVY IN MUD; WILSON ATTENDS In Fog and Drizzle West Point Piles Up 14-0 Score, with Oliphant as Star. MRS. GALT WITH PRESIDENT Cheers and Music Resound at Polo Grounds, but Weather Mars the Spectacle. FLOCK OF DOVES SET LOOSE Rumored They Are Furnished by the Ford Peace Promoters, but the Teams Fight On.
SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Playing upon a field slippery with a morning’s rain, and in a mist that now and then thickened to a drizzle which all but blotted out the teams toward the end of the last quarter, the United States Military Academy football team defeated the Naval Academy at the Polo Grounds yesterday by a score of 14 to 0.
November 28, 1915 Front Page
Army 15, Navy 7 Nov. 25, 1916 – New York, N.Y.
Through 103 Army-Navy games, there has been one constant – neither team can ill-afford to miss an extra point. Of course, there are exceptions to this standard. Take 1916, when “Ollie Oliphant” missed the extra point on Army’s first score of the afternoon. Army coach Charles Daly could not have been that upset, considering Oliphant had carried the ball three times for 89 yards during that drive. It was just a sign of things to come for Navy, which suffered a 15-7 defeat at the hands of the Cadets. Oliphant added a field goal late in the first quarter, and the Cadets used a trick play for their final score of the day. Army was attempting a field goal when holder Charles Gerhardt took the snap and threw to fullback Eugene Vidal for the touchdown. Navy scored its first series touchdown since 1907 when Harry Goodstein blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown
ARMY CONQUERS NAVY, 15-7, AMID CHEERS OF 45,000; Oliphant the Chief Figure in West Point’s Victory at the Polo Grounds. MAKES A RUN OF 83 YARDS Goodstein Scores for Losers by Turning Blocked Kick Into a Touchdown. NOTABLES IN GAY THRONG President Wilson Absent, but Crowd Includes Men Prominent in All Walks of Life.
– New York Times – Nov 26, 1916
More than 45,000 cheering spectators saw the Army football team defeat the Navy by a score of 15 to 7 at the Polo Grounds yesterday. Famous for its gala crowds, the annual contest never attracted a more brilliant assemblage, while spectacular playing, especially by Oliphant and Vidal, the Army stars, transformed the banks of the huge eclipse of the Brush stadium into a mass of shouting, flag-waving humanity..
Navy 6, Army 0 Nov. 29, 1919 – New York, N.Y.
After a two-year series hiatus due to World War I, Army and Navy renewed their heated rivalry in 1919. Despite posting seven times as much total offensive yardage as the Cadets, Navy could only manage a pair of Clyde King field goals. Fortunately for Naval Academy fans, that was enough for a 6-0 win. The victory marked the fourth time in 10 years that Navy had beaten Army strictly by kicking field goals. Although the game was played in a steady downpour, neither team lost a fumble or committed a turnover. The Midshipmen finished the year 6-1, while the Cadets were 6-3.
Army 6, Navy 0 Dec. 13, 1930 – New York, N.Y.
A disagreement regarding eligibility policies may have cancelled the 1928 and ’29 Army-Navy games, but a capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium welcomed the rivalry’s return Dec. 13, 1930. Unfortunately for Navy, Army retained its recent series dominance with a 6-0 victory. The final score certainly doesn’t reflect Army’s commanding performance, as the Cadets finished the afternoon with 265 yards of total offense, compared to 63 for the Midshipmen. Yet, Navy was able to keep Army off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, when Ray Stecker ran 56 yards for the game’s lone score. Navy had a chance to win the game on its final possession. Army’s Wendell Bowman fumbled a punt on his own 37-yard line, and the Midshipmen’s John Byng recovered. The Mids drove 12 yards, but were stopped on downs. The Cadets took over and advanced to the Navy seven-yard line as time ran out.
Midshipmen – Yankee Stadium December 13, 1930
Army 17, Navy 7 Dec. 12, 1931 – New York, N.Y.
The running of Ed Herb and Ray Stecker paced Army to a 17-7 win over Navy at Yankee Stadium. The first of Herb’s touchdown runs and a Travis Brown 25-yard field goal gave the Cadets a 10-0 halftime lead. Navy cut the deficit to 10-7 in the third quarter when Lou Kirn and Harvey Tschirgi connected on a 55-yard scoring strike. Herb then erased any hopes of a Navy triumph when he went up and over from the one-yard line late in the final stanza. By reaching the end zone twice, Herb certainly garnered a majority of the headlines. However, the real hero was Stecker, who turned in a workman-like 141 yards on 29 carries.
Army 20, Navy 0 Dec. 3, 1932 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Thanks in large part to a Navy offense that mustered just 15 yards on the ground and turned the ball over seven times, Army rolled to a 20-0 win over the Midshipmen. Rip Miller’s club had an early indication this may not be its day when its opening drive was halted by an interception at the Army six-yard line. On first down, the Cadets’ Kenneth Field “quick-kicked” the ball 85 yards to the Navy 15-yard line. Peck Vidal opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and Army added two more scores in the final half. Jack Buckler scored one on a short run and took a lateral from Tom Kilday and passed 43 yards to Bill Frentzer for the other touchdown.
Army 12, Navy 7 Nov. 25, 1933 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Army scored a pair of first-half touchdowns and held on for a 12-7 win over a feisty Rip Miller-coached Navy club. The win was Army’s ninth in as many games, and a Dec. 2 victory over 2-5-1 Notre Dame would all but guarantee the Cadets the 1933 national title. However, the Fighting Irish spoiled these hopes by handing Army a 13-12 setback. For the first time since 1916, Army scored in the opening quarter against Navy. Paul Johnson took Bill Clark’s punt and returned it 81 yards for the touchdown. But the extra point was blocked, which enabled Navy to take a 7-6 lead when Red Baumberger galloped 38 yards to the Cadet end zone. Nonetheless, Army’s Jack Buckler, whose extra point was blocked on his team’s first score, raced 25 yards for the winning touchdown in the second half.
Navy 3, Army 0 Dec. 1, 1934 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Despite the driving rainstorm at Franklin Field, Navy kicker Slade Cutter’s 28-yard field goal ended an 11-game drought, as the Midshipmen’s 3-0 win marked their first triumph over Army since 1921. Nothing indicates the treacherous weather conditions better than the final statistics. Army and Navy combined to record five first downs and 132 yards of total offense between them. Collectively, they also completed three-of-eight passes and punted 25 times.
Army 28, Navy 6 Nov. 30, 1935 – Philadelphia, Pa.
The 1935 matchup was a tale of two halves. In the first two quarters, Army piled up 303 yards of total offense, holding Navy to just 37. Yet, in the second half, the Mids had more than eight times the total offense than that of the Cadets – 259 yards to 31 for Army. Despite these similarities, there was also one visible difference. Army scored four times in its half, while the Mids were unable to reach the end zone. Final score: Army 28, Navy 6. Quarterback “Monk Meyer” had 35- and 40-yard touchdown passes in the opening half, while Whitey Grove added an 80-yard touchdown run on a reverse. Sneed Schmidt’s four-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter was the only offensive highlight in the Midshipmen’s season finale.
Navy 7, Army 0 Nov. 28, 1936 – Philadelphia, Pa.
In an effort to meet the supreme ticket demand, the 1936 game was moved from 88,000-seat Franklin Field to 102,000-seat Municipal Stadium. Despite driving deep into Navy territory in the first half, Army was unable to capitalize, as John Schmidt’s three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was all Navy needed for a 7-0 win over the Cadets. Following the series’ first scoreless opening half since 1930, the third quarter was even less exciting. Army fumbled the football away on three of its next-four possessions, while the Midshipmen were unable to reach the Cadet end zone on three possessions. However, Navy was able to take advantage of a “Monk Meyer” fumble in the fourth quarter. Aided by a pass interference call against the Cadets’ Jim Craig, Schmidt scored his touchdown with two minutes left.
Army 6, Navy 0 Nov. 27, 1937 – Philadelphia, Pa.
In a game that saw the two teams punt a combined 32 times, Army’s Jim Craig managed to score a three-yard touchdown run to give his team a 6-0 victory. Craig’s run capped off a 44-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 19-yard pass from Woody Wilson to Jim Schwenk. The teams had a combined 255 yards of total offense, as Craig was the game’s high rusher with 47 yards on 20 carries.
Army 14, Navy 7 Nov. 26, 1938 – Philadelphia, Pa.
In front of 102,000 fans, the largest crowd to see a sporting event in 1938, Woody Wilson scored on a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to help Army to a 14-6 win over Navy. Army’s Charley Long brought Cadet faithful to their feet in the first quarter when he returned Lem Cooke’s punt 79 yards for a touchdown. Navy drove deep into Army territory on each of its next-two possessions, only to be stopped once on downs and once on a Wilson interception. However, Cooke tied the score with a one-yard touchdown run before halftime. Navy opened the third quarter poised to take the lead, but Emmette Wood fumbled on the Cadet 17-yard line. Army more than capitalized on this miscue, driving the length of the field to take the lead, and eventually the win, on Wilson’s touchdown.
Navy 10, Army 0 Dec. 2, 1939 – Philadelphia, Pa.
When Emory “Swede” Larson took over the Navy program in 1939, no one had to define the magnitude of the Army-Navy rivalry to him. A three-year letterwinner (1919-21), Larson had played on three teams victorious over the Cadets. In fact, Larson arranged to have Billy VIII, Navy’s mascot, wear the same blanket that adorned the 1921 goat. This superstition must have paid off, as the Midshipmen shut out Army, 10-0. Navy scored on its opening drive, as Ulmont Whitehead booted a 33-yard field goal between the uprights to give the Mids a 3-0 lead. Halfback Dick Shafer added a 22-yard touchdown run in the last quarter, as Navy utilized six Army turnovers to finish 3-5-1 on the season.
1942/11/28 Army 0 – Navy 14 L
Coach: Earl Henry “Red” Blaik (February 15, 1897 – May 6, 1989)
Dartmouth 1934-1940 – 45-15-4
Army: 1941-1958 – 121-33-10
AFCA Coach of the Year (1946)
College Football Hall of Fame, Inducted in 1964
Howitzer 1943 January 1943
Navy Captain – Cameron #34 – Army Captain – Mazur #45, Class of January 1943
Army 6 Navy 0
Coach – Ralph Sasse Class of 1916
Captain – Charles Humber
Midshipman Robert Bowstrom Class of 1931 Kicks Out
Midshipmen – Yankee Stadium December 13, 1930
1957 Army 7-2
1957/10/12 Army 21 – Notre Dame 23
1957/11/30 Army 0 – Navy 14 L
SI- December 02, 1957 Army
– – ArmyFB_1957_vsNebraska_MiamiNews_Sep291957 ArmyFB_1957_vsNebraska_ReadingEagle_Sep291957 ArmyFB_1957_vsNebraska_42-0_NUYearbook58 ArmyFB_1957_vsNotreDame_MiamiNews_Oct61957-1 ArmyFB_1957_VictoriaAdvocate_Oct91957 ArmyFB_1957_vsNotreDame_ReadingEagle_Oct131957 ArmyFB_1957_NotreDameOfficialReview_recap – ArmyFB_1957_MacArthur_NewsDispatch_Oct101957 ArmyFB_1957_vsUtah_DeseretNews_Nov81957 ArmyFB_1957_vsUtah_DeseretNews_Nov91957 ArmyFB_1957_vsUtah_DeseretNews_Nov111957 ArmyFB_1957_BobAnderson_ReadingEagle_Nov111957 ArmyFB_1957_Anderson-Belichick_MiamiNews_Nov191957 ArmyFB_1957_NEA-All-Americans_MiamiNews_Nov221957 – ArmyFB_1957_vsNavy_WashingtonObserver_Nov261957 ArmyFB_1957_vsNavy-pre_byMurrayOlderman_TimesDaily-FlorenceAl_Nov271957 – – ArmyFB_1957_JimKernan_TimesDaily_Nov301957-1 ArmyFB_1957_Army-starters_MiamiNews_Dec11957 – December 02, 1957 Army This year Coach Earl Blaik has assembled his favorite kind of Army team—a big, strong bulldozer that has averaged 405 yards per game. It will go over, through or around you, and only Notre Dame has stopped it. It lacks guile but needs none…. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/edb/reader.html?magID=SI&issueDate=19571202&mode=reader_vault – – – – – news articles etc., provided by Russ “Skip” Grimm – Class of ’76
By Rabble Jan 16, 2003 Army vs Navy, 1957* – Rabble takes a look back on the 1957 Army-Navy game. (* title corrected from 1953 to 1957) In 1957, the Army football program was again on the rise as the Black Knights swept to an impressive 7-2 record but the two losses came against Armys two biggest rivals, Notre Dame and Navy. The team was 16 points away from going undefeated that season. A 23-21 loss to the Irish in Philadelphias Municipal Stadium and a 14-0 loss to the Mids . . . . . .to close the season in that same stadium prevented the team from going all the way that year in Blaiks next to last season before his retirement the following year when he produced his last undefeated season at West Point. Only a tie with Pitt that year marked a spectacular 8-0-1 log. Jimmy Powers was a respected columnist of the NY Daily News in the 1950s. The following column was written by him after the loss to Navy that season of 1957. His column was appropriately called THE POWERHOUSE by Jimmy Powers-
THE POWERHOUSE By Jimmy Powers Philadelphia, Nov. 30, 1957 -Ned Oldham was the hero, of course. He scored all the points. But there was more to it than that. Navy was faster, more alert and had more deception in its attack. Navy ran its play crisply and there was no question, as the game wore on, that its diversified attack was just too much for the gallant Cadets to cope with. There were a few penalties for elbowing and piling on but flareups quickly subsided as the lads settled down to their assignments. Navy used a variety of screened pass plays most effectively. Navy’s line switching constantly piled up ball carriers with almost ridiculous ease. The highly publicized Bob Anderson appeared sluggish in contrast to the speedy ends and defensive backs who hauled him down. Tom Forrestal kept the opposition off balance and Bob Reifsnyder played such an outstanding game he provoked a near riot in the final quarter when frustrated Cadets went after him with bare fists. It was an exciting contest despite the drab, spongy, gray skies and cutting wind. And it was a delightfully colorful show to watch “live” as well as on TV. TOUCHDOWN PUNCTUATES PERIOD When Navy appeared in pastel jersey and pale gold numerals, half-drowned viewers amused themselves by trying to identify the exact shade of blue. It definitely was not the familiar rich dark navy blue. It was more of a Mediterranean blue bleached to a robin’s egg hue. It brought on quite a few whistles. I had never seen a touchdown scored in the exact second that ended a quarter, but that’s exactly what happened when Navy marched 72 yards in 19 plays. The play was a peculiar one. Ned Oldham lunged off right tackle as the clock registered 15:00. He appeared to be smothered by several dark shirts scrambling to snatch at him. Oldham kept his feet, pivoted like a man going beserk in a revolving door, and next we knew he was dashing upright across the goal, running well into the end zone with a powerful leg drive. The Middies immediately broke out a gaudily painted banner… “We’ll beat Army black and blue in color.” How right they were. Army came blazing back with Dawkins running wild, but just inside the 10 Navy’s Caldwell leaped upon a loose ball and drew it fiercely to his bosom, a timely recovery. A series of consecutive penalties caused a succession of huddles by the men in the candy-striped shirts and brought down upon their unheeding ears innumerable witticisms from the crowd. Forrestal grew a bit reckless as halftime approached. A long pass was intercepted, but Navy’s line held on the 36 and took over. Army just was riot shaking any man loose for the long gainers that had distinguished its play on this same turf against Notre Dame. As the second quarter wore on, the sky grew darker and, off to our right, the buildings of downtown Philadelphia faded from sight. Beneath us, the gray block of Cadets sat huddled morosely in ponchos. They stirred expectantly as, with 20 seconds on the clock, Army’s golden helmets conferred in a huddle resembling satellites. They whirled back to positions. A long pass was com- pleted. Then came the letdown . . . “Illegal receiver downfield.” EVEN MULES FOUND GOING TOUGH As the soggy athletes trotted off, Navy’s cheering section unfurled another alliterative command . . . “Mash the Mule.” One poor mule started across the green swamp. Following the urgings of its rider, it walked slowly downfield to join its assistant, another equally damp mascot. There was a rather elaborate balf time parade of floats, faintly reminiscent of the early Pasadena or California collegiate school, then the third quarter opened. Army intercepted. a deflected pass, but again its attack fizzled. There was a rhubarb on the 4 when Anderson fumbled and had the ball stolen from him, apparently a fraction of a second after the whistle. The ball was as tenderly cared for as a baby, nursed and covered with a turkish towel. Actually, more than a dozen balls were used, coming out of an assembly line dryer. Once, the wet ball squirted out of Harry Hurst’s hands, but the Navy got it back on an interception, thereby surgically removing goat’s horns from Mister Hurst’s noodle. Then came the cruncher. Ned Oldham took Barta’s punt and made one of the prettiest broken field runbacks in the history of the series. He skidded to his right, reversed, used some tricky toe dancing and change of pace. After 44 thrilling yards, he crossed standing up, kicked the point and thus accounted for all of Navy’s 14. Oldham figured in another interception. Army made a great goal-line stand, but when the lights came on and the rain shrank away to a few drops, you could see the silhouettes of Navy’s third team mirrored in the great lake of water that surrounded the gridiron. When they were whistled in, in clean dry uniforms, to share in the final glory, you knew it was all over. –
1960: Army vs Navy
Date: Mar 11, 2003
The following article was written the day after the Army team took the Navy down to the wire in a most thrilling Army-Navy games of that era. Navy prevailed that year, 17-12. Described by the Dean of New York sports writers, Red Smith (1905-1982), he aptly describes the exciting action in his exclusive column.
Philadelphia, November, 26, 1960—–The first time they gave Joe Bellino the ball, Army’s John Ellerson leaped upon his sternum and spread him out like apple butter 14pon the painted meadow of Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium The second time, he faked a quick-kick, spun to run to his left, and was hit from behind by a runaway beer truck named Bob McCarthy.
On his third try he did no better, and up in the press box and said, ” Army’ll beat this team.” Just then Bellino took the ball again. He shot through a gap near the middle of Army’s line, veered to the left on a long slant through the secondary, and raced 58 yards before George Kirschenbauer hauled him down on the Army 42-yard line. Navy was off and rolling in the 61st engagement of its Seventy Years’ War with the football paladins of West Point.
That first daring dash by the swift and stumpy marauder from the Severn didn’t lead directly to a score, but in one stroke it changed the complexion of the struggle from Gray to Navy Blue. Taking the opening kickoff, Navy was smashed flat by the same clamoring Cadets who had smeared the dangerous runners of Syracuse and Pitt earlier this season. Then a punt by Army’s Paul Stanley pinned the Sailors down a yard from their own goal line.
There was Navy staring glumly down the throat of a howitzer, and then Bellino busted loose. Before the first quarter was over, Navy was in front, 6-0. At intermission the score was 17-0, and 98,616 witnesses had a premonition that this might degenerate into another rabbit-hunt like Navy’s 43-12 gambol last year.
Early Errors Nobody could foresee the heroics which the second half would produce, the wild excursions and alarums, the mounting tension as Army came clawing back in a frantic struggle against the stubborn foe on the field and the coldly impartial clock hung up against a bright blue sky.
At halftime it seemed a shabby show, in spite of the mildest, loveliest weather this production had enjoyed in years, in spite of all the elegant trappings of traditional pageantry, in spite of the exciting presence of the admirable Bellino.
Army had messed it up early through mental and mechanical error. After the Cadets smothered Navy’s first action and forced a punt, Joe Blackgrove unwisely tried to field the bouncing kick with his back to an advancing horde. Smashed from behind, he fumbled away Army’s first chance to attack.
Stanley’s fine punt, repaired that damage, and after Bellino’s long run took the ball into Army territory, the military braced and Navy tried a fourth-down field goal which Greg Mather missed. So it was still a scoreless game, but on the very next play Al Rushatz, the West Point fullback, fumbled the ball back to Navy, Needing 23 yards for a touchdown, Navy got ’em fast, Bellino slanting over for the last four wearing Kirschenbauer like a stole across his shoulders.
Up off the Rug
THERE never was another one-piece play like Bellino’s big run, but in the second quarter he was a constant menace, butting the middle for short yardage and slipping outside the tackles to wriggle like a brook trout through congested traffic. With Joe running and Hal Spooner passing handsomely, Navy pushed down into scoring range again and Mather made the score 9-0 with a 26-yard field goal.
As the first half sifted away, the Midshipmen put on still another foray, once more with Spooner passing and Bellino carrying. With 17 seconds remaining, the quarterback threw to Jim Luper, who fell across the goal line with Bill Sipos hanging on. Trapped trying to pass for two extra points, Bellino flipped the ball back to Spooner, who ran for the 16th and 17th points.
Navy seemed In complete control. The Army attack, such as it had been, offered little to cheer the 2,400 Cadets in the stands. West Point backs couldn’t seem to get traction on tile dyed green grass, kept falling before they reached the line of scrimmage. Even the fire of the Army defense seemed damped after Navy’s first touchdown.
Something happened between halves, though. The third quarter opened, and it was a different game. With Tom Blanda’s passes complementing the rushes of Rushatz, Glen Adams and Kirschenbauer, Army drove for one touchdown and almost immediately set out after another. Again misfortune balked the Cadets; a penalty for having an inengible receiver downfield on a pass play slowed one drive, and the score was still 17-6 when the last period began.
The jubilant Midshipmen on the stadium’s west slope had just about had it. Now and then they whooped and brandished white caps aloft, but mostly they sat transfixed, watching and praying, Dick Eckert, Army’s second quarterback, engineered a solid advance that Rushatz consummated with a dive into the end zone. Now it was 17-12 with nine minutes remaining for Army to chew at a five-point lead. Navy stopped a drive, then fumbled, Rushatz recovered for Army, 17 yards from victory. Yard by yard, cuddling the line for short gains, Army ground ahead to the 6-yard line. There a hasty lateral got loose, rolled back to the Navy 20. Blanda passed and missed, passed and missed again. The clock showed 1:55 remaining when his last throw fell incomplete and Navy took the ball.
The contest was over, needing only a final theatrical flourish. There was a guy on hand to furnish just that. Guy named Bellino. Unable to run out the clock, Navy punted to midfield. Blanda wound up for the last prayerful shot, took aim on Blackgrove and fired. Bellino got in front of the receiver, picked off the ball on the goal line and went swirling 45 yards back to safety as the curtain came down.