Tornadoes Time Warp | 1931 Dover-Phila Preview
The first page of the 1931 Dover-Phila game program trumpets the arrival of the 20th annual Thanksgiving Day contest.
One has to assume the combined editorial staffs of the Crimson and Gray and The Delphian had done their research. And so, counting backward brings us to the first Dover-Phila game, played on Thanksgiving, 1897.
But there were 5 earlier-season matches between the rivals played as well. And as a rule, few had gone particularly well for Dover.
First 6 games:
In the early years of the rivalry, according to the 1931 game program, Dover squared off against New Phila just six times between 1897 and the first of two matchups in 1914 between the schools. It may have been well for Dover to cry off at that point, when the series stood with Dover in favor 2-1-3 even though Phila had notched a 23-21 advantage in total scoring. Because the next two decades would mostly be a downer.
Middle 9 games:
From the Thanksgiving games of 1914 through 1921 the Quakers amassed an 8-1 record over the hapless Crimsons. Phila rolled up 240 points to just 14 scored by Dover, which found itself on the wrong end of 27-0, 39-0, 42-0, 61-0 and 47-0 blowouts, broken only by its 7-0 triumph in 1916.
In 1917 alone, the Quakers scored 108 unanswered points (in two games).
1919 featured the only forfeit of the series, when Dover coach Albert “Dutch” Senhauser pulled his squad from the field in protest of a controversial call. Phila, leading the game 7-0 at the time, earned a 1-0 official win. (According to A Century of Excitement: Dover Football 1896-1996, by Denny Rubright. Yes, I finally got my hands on the resources I lost.)
Last 9 games:
From 1922 through 1930, though New Phila still outscored its rival 118-56 (mainly attributable to a 64-0 win in 1924), Dover eked out a 3-4-2 record. Though they had suffered the record margin of defeat in 1924, the Crimsons had also pulled some heady upsets and a crafty tie to preserve their undefeated 7-0-2 record in 1926.
If Dover could pull out a repeat of 1930’s late-game heroics, it could pull even for the decade of 1922-1931 at 4-4-2.
Of course, that would still put the Crimsons behind 7-13-5 in the overall series, coming off a point deficit of 381-91. But hey, they had the next 80 years to make up that ground. Of course, the yearbook accounting below didn’t record at least two other early games found by Rubright, both Dover losses, including a 54-0 blowout.
But not to worry, Crimson Tornadoes fans — they’d finally pull even in 2007.
In other matters germane to previewing the game, the yearbook staffers introduced both bands, and the alma maters and fight songs as they were sung, circa 1931. And dutifully reported the rosters of both squads. Click on the thumbnails below to catch up on all that’s fit to print about Dover vs. Phila, 1931.
Tomorrow: A pre-game telegram puts the pressure on Don Foutz.
ABOUT THE “TIME WARP”
Each week, this series runs in tandem with the 2010 Dover (Ohio) Tornadoes football schedule to share historic game-by-game summaries of Dover’s 1931 season, in which Colt Foutz’s grandfather, Don Foutz, played a starring role. Game stories and photos are excerpted from Don Foutz’s football scrapbook, with thanks to Fred Foutz. How did Dover do this week (in 2010)? Get the latest Dover Tornadoes news from the Sports section of The Times-Reporter.