against Franklin and Marshall on the Old Athletic Field, 1890
Photograph courtesy of
the Dickinson College Archives
This game between Dickinson College and Franklin and Marshall was
played on the field which was located on the corner of Cherry and Louther
streets. (For more on this place and Dickinson football, click
here) According to the Dickinsonian, the Franklin and Marshall
team arrived in Carlisle on Saturday morning, November 1, 1890, thinking
they would have an easy victory. The eleven of Dickinson thought
differently. Although the Red Devils lost, F&M was victorious
by only a point. The College newspaper reported the game as close
throughout; it was just a matter of who had control of the ball.
As was the style in 1890, a rushing game dominated, with most of the Dickinson
offensive attack coming from the middle, but there were some energetic
runs to the outside. The F&M team used their "rotary motion,"
which was effective against their opponents, though they often lost the
ball on downs.
The Old Athletic Field
By all accounts the match was played in a sportsmanlike way but
the event was not without controversy, as the Dickinsonian reported.
Referees and umpires were not neutral in 1890. Rather, teams brought
their own officials, usually one from either side. The Dickinson
umpire was physiology Professor Willard Geoffrey Lake, new to the College
faculty that year after graduating in the class of 1887. The referee
of this game, Mr. H. Apple, was brought from F&M and, according to
the newspaper reporter, he was the cause of the controversy.
F&M had the ball, but, in the opinion of the home observers,
did not advance the five yards required in 1890 to get a first down and
keep possession. The referee called a first down and continued
the play with Franklin and Marshall. Because of this, F&M scored
a touchdown and took the lead 10-9.Things only got worse, according
to the aggrievedDickinsonian
writer, alsowhen on a fumble by F&M, Dickinson recovered the ball but he referee
called a foul and gave F&M the ball. At this point the captain
of Dickinson, William F. Patton, asked for a new referee. F&M
refused to play without their man, and the two teams left the field with
the 10-9 score.So, Dickinson came out narrowly with another
loss, adding to their three wins and six loss record for the season, the
first that used the newly acquired field on Cherry and Louther streets.
The roster of the two teams at that game were follows:
Sources 1. Gobrecht, Wilbur J. The History of Football
at Dickinson College 1885-1969. Chambersburg, PA, 1971.
2. Sellers, Charles Coleman. Dickinson College:
A History. Middletown, CT. Wesleyan University Press, 1973.
3. Dickinsonian, November, 1890.