Dover vs. Phila 1931 – A Good Luck Telegram


Don Foutz: 1931 Dover halfback and punter

In his high school career, Don Foutz provided the crucial points in six Dover victories. But he had to wonder, on the eve of the 1931 grudge match with New Phila, whether he could again rise to the heroics that carried Dover to victory the previous season.

Tornadoes Time Warp | Foutz Prepares for Phila

Today, and for the last several decades, the annual Dover-Phila game has been the pinnacle of a week-long buildup of student body dress-up days, pep rallies, parades, bonfires and general community merriment run amok.

Even if you knew nothing of the game, and could care less about the outcome, it would be hard not to get caught up in the sweep of emotions attending the biggest contest of the season, and for the vast majority of the players about to take the field, the biggest contest of their playing careers up to that point.

My grandfather, Don Foutz, was well-acquainted with crucial games in his four years of Dover football.

Don Foutz’s game-winners, 1929-31:

1. 1930 vs. Orrville – ran for late TD in 13-12 victory

2. 1930 vs. Phila — ran for TD, threw for 4th-quarter TD in 13-7 victory

3. 1931 vs. Coshocton — ran for late TD, kicked point-after in 13-6 victory

4. 1931 vs. Millersburg — ran for game’s only TD, kicked point-after in 9-0 victory

5. 1931 vs. Uhrichsville — ran for 2 TDs and school-record 209 yards, kicked PAT in 13-0 victory

6. 1931 vs. Massillon — ran for game’s only TD in 6-0 victory

Dover’s 1930 win over rival New Phila came after the Quakers had shut out the Crimsons 7-0 in 1929. Foutz, a sophomore in that contest, booted a 60-yard punt in a losing effort. The finale of his junior season saw him outgain the entire opposing side with 110 yards, score the game-tying touchdown, and still almost see it go for naught. Only his 35-yard heave and receiver Jim Smith’s 12-yard scamper after the catch into the end zone saved the day for the Crimsons.

And now a telegram. At 4:14 the afternoon before Thanksgiving, 1931. From the “Ress” brothers, whose identities are lost to history (or at least not known to me). However well-intentioned, it gave Don Foutz a lot to ponder on the eve of the biggest — and final — game of his high school days.

The telegram reads:

AS AN INDIVIDUAL YOU HAVE PLAYED AN IMPORTANT PART IN A SUCCESSFUL SEASON DOVERS HOPES RIDE WITH YOU AGAIN TODAY PLAY THE GAME HARD AND CLEAN DOVER ASKS NOTHING MORE

How would Foutz rise to the occasion? How could he hope to top his heroics of 1930? Only by recording the greatest single-game rushing performance in school history.

Coming Tomorrow – The Big Game.

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.

1931 Thanksgiving Telegram Dover-Phila game

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Categories: Foutz, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Dover vs. Phila 1931 – A Good Luck Telegram

  1. nice blg. where do u get the info from?

    • Hi “Luck” —

      Check out this and previous posts. Almost all of the info for the football series comes from my grandfather’s scrapbook, which includes newspaper accounts, photographs, game programs and anything else he clipped and saved. I’ve also supplemented this info by digging through Denny Rubright’s books on Dover football history (when I’ve been able to locate them). The genealogy stuff is from many more sources, including census, death, birth, marriage, war and other records.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog.

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