1894 Yale vs harvard

1894 Yale vs Harvard Football Program (Heritage Auctions)


New York Herald - November 25, 1894

First Half

The whistle sounded, and at two minutes past two o’clock the giant Hickok drove the leather straight down the field to Charley Brewer, who stood at Harvard’s twenty-five yard line.  Half a dozen blue stockinged players were up in the crimson half before he could move out of his tracks, and in a few seconds Harvard had her men in line and ready for her first play.  Wrenn handed the ball to Wrightington for a punt, but the leather had hardly left the hands of the Harvard quarter when big Stillman dashed through and headed straight for the crimson kicker.  Wrightington’s punt struck Stillman on the chest and the ball bounded back and rolled directly beneath the crossbar of Harvard’s goal post.  The big Yale centre followed closely after the bounding leather, and just as it crossed the Harvard line he dropped on it so quickly that even Yale men did not know what had happened.  Less than a minute of the game had elapsed and Yale had scored.  It was not a fluke, either, but by a good straight play, and Hickok added two more points to the score by kicking the goal.

As the teams lined up again in the centre of the field, Harvard’s supporters arose, almost as one man, and cheered on their men.  Wrenn, who was running the crimson team, evidently thought it was high time for a trick, for he ordered Waters to make the opening play.  It was a rolling kick off, and a cleverly planned play to fool the dashing Yale rushers.  The Harvard line followed the ball, and the two ends and the centre fell on it almost simultaneously, at Yales’ forty-five yard line.  Charley Brewer then made his first plunge into Yale’s left wing, a point which from this play until the game had ended continued to be a mark for the Harvard backs.  Brewer gained a good seven yards, but Wrightington failed to advance the ball, and Brewer was hurt before he could make Harvard’s required gain.  The injury was slight, but the ball went to Yale at this point, which was near her thirty-five yard line, Harvard being unable to advance it on four downs.

It was Yale’s chance now to display her offensive tactics, and Adee gave the leather to Butterworth, who went round Harvard’s left end for thirty-five yards, and was getting on dangerous speed when Waters brought him down.  The ball, however, was taken back to Yale’s thirty-five yard line for holding in the centre of the line, and the penalty for this offense was increased by restoring the possession of it to Harvard.  Then Brewer twice tried the Yale line, and so did Wrightington, both men plunging fiercely into the centre, well protected by the interference of their ends and backs, who lined up alongside of them.

Beard gained three yards for Yale against Harvard’s left tackle and the great Butterworth was stopped with a still less gain.  Harvard’s defensive work looked so dangerous that Hinkey yanked off the canvas jacket which had been already half torn from him, so fierce was the playing in the game.  Yale had not made her required gains and McCrea was tried, and so was Beard, and still Yale’s advance was lacking of five yards, and the ball was therefore Harvard’s.

Wrightington then showed Yale men that Harvard had some offensive as well as defensive surprises up her sleeve.  He struck Hinkey’s end this time and went between the silent man and Beard for a good twelve yards.  Then Mackie was tried around the right end as an interferer for Brewer, and the latter made another gain before Murphy stopped him.  Waters fumbled on the next play and it took a long time to untangle the scrimmage and discover that the ball was on Yale’s twenty-five yard line.

A slight gain by Brewer behind his interference against the centre, and another one on a double pass from Brewer to Wrightington, failed to make Harvard’s necessary five yards, and Fairchild was therefore called upon for a trial goal from the field.  His drop was well aimed, for it struck the bar squarely in the center.  Butterworth captured the ball, but Waters was hard upon him, and a tussle followed after the ball had been called down, which resulted in Butterworth dropping the leather and Waters falling on it just over the line.  It looked like a touchdown, and several minutes of uncertainty for the spectators elapsed before Yale lined up and “Brinck” Thorne punted out to the 40-yard line.

1894 Yale vs Harvard Football Ticket (SCP Auctions)

As the teams came down the field it was noticed that Butterworth was staggering like a blind man.  Waters had tackled him so fiercely that he had jammed his fingers into Butterworth’s right eye, and cut it so that the blood gushed out, and obscured his vision.  The big fullback scarcely looked as though he knew what he was doing, and the accident to him so disorganized the Yale team that they lost ten yards, and then five yards for interference, during a series of four plays by Charley Brewer against the Yale ends, which landed the ball within a dozen yards of Yale’s goal.  Harvard’s fierce offensive work and the alarming condition of Butterworth made Yale’s men nervous, and Josh Hartwell went on the field during a delay and gave Butterworth some encouragement.  Charley Brewer’s ankle had begun to trouble him, and Dr. Conant went out to examine it, just as Yale began long cheering, which fairly shook the turf beneath the feet of the players.

Fairchild tried another goal from the field, which looked so easy that it did not seem as though he could miss it, but he was slow in his work and the Yale line was through upon him, and blocked the ball twenty-five yards in front of Yale’s goal.  This was Charley Brewer’s last play.  A moment later he limped off the field and Jack Hayes took his place.  Josh Hartwell’s face wore an anxious look as he turned to the crowd on the Yale side of the field and asked them to do some cheering.  Hartwell’s warning came too late, for Hayes went around Yale’s right end and Wrightington around the left end for gains, and then a double pass from Hayes to Fairchild left the ball six yards in front of Yale’s line.

Wrightington’s plunge was stopped, but Hayes on the next play was shoved over through the left wing of Yale’s line, scoring Harvard’s first and only point and making the score six to four in Yale’s favor.  As the ball went over the line, well to the left side of Yale’s goal, Harvard chose to have Hayes kick out for a fair catch.  Wrenn made a poor try at capturing the ball and the score was left 6 to 4, and the ball given to Yale for a kick-out.  Thirty two minutes had been consumed, but a great deal of time had been taken out.  Hickok drove the ball clear down to within a few yards of Harvard’s line, and it rolled over at the left corner of the field before anyone was able to gather it up.  This gave Harvard a free kick from the 25-yard line, and Wrightington punted down to Hinkey at the centre of the field.

The Yale captain made a fierce dash of twenty yards after catching the ball that brought Yale men upon their feet, and set them to cheering.  The silent man shook off a half dozen tacklers before he was stopped by Hallowell at Harvard’s forty yard line.

“Hurrah!  Hurrah for Yale!  Hurrah for Captain Hinkey, too!”  rose from the great crowd that sat beneath the blue flags to the tune of “Marching through Georgia,” as Butterworth was given the ball for a plunge into the centre.  The big fullback was not himself, however, and he staggered helplessly against the Harvard line, little indeed, like the terrific plunger that the crowd had so often seen in former games.  Hinkey fell back to fullback and Butterworth went up to the line for a trick, but Jerrems fumbled.  Beard went around the end on the next play to interfere for Thorne, but the latter failed to gain.  Thorne was then called upon for a punt.  Wrightington stopped the ball at Harvard’s 25-yard line and Beard downed him in his tracks.  There had been interference in the centre, however, by Wrenn, who was bothering Stillman and Adee a great deal, and the ball was called back and Yale given ten yards.  Wrightington had been hurt and Whittemore was called in to take his place. (Note: This is the play many historians falsely claim Frank Hinkey “kneed” Wrightington.  This newspaper account is consistent with Anson Beard’s testimony, which you can read further here) Jerrems made one of the few gains that stand to his credit, but in the play there was an ugly piece of business between Hallowell and Murphy.

Wren again bothered Adee, and Captain Hinkey’s quick work in falling on the ball alone saved Yale from a serious accident.  It was Yale’s ball at Harvard’s 25 yard line and there Harvard got it on four downs.  Fairchild punted down to Captain Hinkey at the 45 yard line and the Yale back carried the leather to Harvard’s 25 yard line, where Thorne tried for a goal from the field.  The kick fell short of the bar and Hayes captured the ball five yards in front of Harvard’s goal.  The latter made a poor kick out and it was Yale’s ball again.  Thorne first tried the left end and then centre and through the latter he completed the ten yards which Yale had to gain in order to cross Harvard’s line.  Hickok kicked the goal, making the score 12 to 4, which remained the score of the game.

Waters kicked off to L. Hinkey, who advanced the ball ten yards before he was downed.  During the scrimmage in this play Murphy received a terrible blow, which finally compelled him to retire from the game.  There are two version of the affair.  Hickok says that Murphy was running in the interference and as he fell struck his head against Hallowell’s foot.  Heffelfinger, the old Yale guard, declares that Mackie deliberately slugged Murphy under the chin.  It took quite a while for Murphy to recover, and just as he did, “Billy” Rhodes, one of the Yale coaches, who had not cared to see Yale start into the game, made his appearance on the sidelines.  Butterworth made a gain of seven yards through the centre, and the Thorne failed, and Butterworth also failed, and Thorne was called upon for a punt.  The ball went out at Harvard’s 40 yard line.

Only three minutes of play were left.  Whittemore and Hayes both made good gains for Harvard, and then Hayes punted to Yale’s 15 yard line and the ball rolled over the Yale goal line.  Arthur Brewer followed it over and pushed Butterworth away as he was about to fall on it.  Brewer captured the leather, but was compelled to return it to Yale for a free kick form the 25 yard line, as he (Brewer) was offsides.  Captain Hinkey kicked out to Hayes at the 50 yard line, and the latter gained five yards for Harvard just as time was called for the first half.

Richard Armstrong, William Orville Hickok and John Campbell Greenway circa 1894 (Greenway Scrapbooks)

Second half

The second half started at 3:31 with a kick off by Waters to Captain Hinkey, at Yale’s 25 yard line.  The Yale man advanced the ball 15 yards before he was downed.  Yale started off with her usual dash, and had made a play before she had missed Murphy, who lay stretched out on the field unconscious of what was going on.  The punt had carried the ball to the 50 yard line, and when Yale lined up at this point Chadwick was in Murphy’s place.  Whittemore gained 15 yards through the left side of Yale’s line, but was well stopped by Brinck Thorne.  A similar play by Whittemore and the ball was at Yale’s 40 yard line, where Thorne again stopped him.  Waters made a slight gain against Yale’s right end before Louis Hinkey could bring him down, and Butterworth was compelled to stop playing for a couple minutes, just as the stretcher was brought to carry Murphy from the field. (Did you catch that?  Murphy was laying down on the field unconscious for several plays before being carried off.)

The game had begun to take on a desperate and even terrible appearance.  Harvard was playing for her life and Yale was fighting hard to defend the victory that was already within her grasp.  The Harvard halfbacks each made short gains and then Yale stopped them three times, but on the fourth play Hayes made his distance and landed the ball on Yale’s twenty yard line.  The plucky Harvard half carried it five yards further before his team had to surrender it.  Jerrems was replaced by Armstrong at this point, owing to a slight injury in his side.  Thorne punted to Fairchild at the centre of the field and Beard gathered up the Harvard man’s muff.  Thorne fumbled and lost ten yards for Yale and then punted to Harvard’s fifty yard line, Beard again tackling Hayes, who made the catch.  The latter returned the punt to Thorne at Yale’s forty yard line, but Brinck muffed it and Armstrong had to fall on the ball.  Thorne punted out at Harvard’s thirty-five yard line and Fairchild once more sent the ball back to Thorne at Yale’s forty-five yard line.  Thorne immediately returned it to Fairchild at Harvard’s thirty-five yard line, where Captain Hinkey put the Harvard fullback down.

Butterworth’s pluck had excited the admiration of everyone, but with his right eye closed and suffering from a bad blow on the head and another on the arm, his playing had become pitiable.  The Yale coaches literally dragged him off the field at this point in the game and put Letton, a fresh man, in his place.  Whittemore made a fierce dash around Hinkey’s end, and the Yale captain had to run him out of bounds before he downed him at the 45-yard line.  Waters went through Hickok for a short gain, and Fairchild punted to Thorne at Yale’s 15-yard line, the latter advancing the ball five yards before he was downed.

Armstrong and Hayes were ruled off (expelled) at this point for slugging.  Both men deny that any blows were exchanged, but some who saw the play say that both were getting ready to do some slugging when they were ruled off.  Captain Hinkey’s versatility as a player stood him in good stead, for, not having a halfback whom he cared to trust, he went to that position himself, and put Bass in at left end.  Gonterman took Hayes’ place at halfback for Harvard.  Thorne punted to Fairchild at the centre of the field, where Bass made a splendid tackle.  Harvard lost the ball on the second play for offside work.  Thorne gained seven yards around the right end, and after this play Hallowell, who was badly used up, had to retire with Wheeler taking his place.  Thorne punted down to Harvard’s ten yard line, where Bass and Louis Hinkey downed Whittemore.  Fairchild returned Thorne’s compliment, but in doing so kicked out at the twenty-five yard line and allowed Yale to get the ball gain.  Thorne tried for a goal from the field, but failed, and Harvard on her kick-out punted back to the centre.  Captain Hinkey fumbled, but recovered in good shape.

1894 Yale Football Pendant (Hinkey Archive)

Yale was given ten yards for offside play and then Letton made two gains through the Harvard centre.  Thorne increased Yale’s advance and tried for a punt, but Waters blocked the ball.  Letton, however, recovered it for Yale at Harvard’s forty yard line.  Rushes by Frank Hinkey, McCrea and Thorne carried the ball up within thirty yards of Harvard’s goal, and there Waters blocked another of Thorne’s tries for goal from the field.  Beard fumbled and Wrenn fell on the ball for Harvard at their twenty-five yard line.

There was less than ten minutes of play left and Yale men were beginning to leave the ground.  Louis Hinkey stopped Hayes and Fairchild punted to Captain Hinkey, who made a fair catch at Harvard’s forty-five yard line.  The crimson centre men blocked Yale’s kick-off and recovered the ball, without Yale having advanced it.  Fairchild punted after Waters had failed to gain and Thorne recovered the ball at Yales’ twenty-five yard line, where Captain Hinkey fumbled it.  The latter in Yale’s first play made a desperate plunge of twenty-five yards through the Harvard centre and then Letton punted to Fairchild at Harvard’s thirty-five yard line.  Harvard was given fifteen yards for unnecessary piling on Fairchild by Yale’s backs.  On failing to gain Fairchild once more punted down to Yale’s twenty-five yard line.  Letton, who had captured the ball for Yale, punted to Harvard’s forty yard line.  The Harvard backs fumbled on a double pass and then Fairchild punted to Captain Hinkey at Yale’s forty-five yard line.  The Yale captain had a hard catch to make and he failed and the ball went to Harvard for the last time.  Whittemore and Hayes both made a series of gains for Harvard which carried the leather up to Yale’s fifteen yard line.

Brinck Thorne went through and stopped Whittemore in his tracks, and then Fairchild was stopped in a dash against the Yale centre.  Wrenn called upon Fairchild to try for goal, but Linesman Pratt was waving his hand calling time, and the whistle sounded just as the ball went back to Fairchild.  The latter kicked a neat goal, but unkind fortune took away from Harvard those five points that would have been a consolation at least.  The goal was not allowed.  The game was over, and Yale’s players were dashing off the field as hundreds rushed over to the sidelines to see what had happened.

Final Score: Yale 12, Harvard 4