Dover Vs. Phila 1931 – The Big Game

1931 Dover Crimsons Starters

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Game coverage from the Times-Reporter:

By Hal Jenkins

The Crimsons struck with full power yesterday to score the most decisive victory in history over New Philadelphia.

Backs who knifed through holes opened by a great line and skirted ends behind an army of interference swept Dover to a 27-6 triumph.

Close to 5,000 saw the magnificent exhibition of sheer power; watched what was to have been a close conflict turn into a rout of the Quakers.

For 17 years Dover fans had waited for yesterday. And few you will find who’ll not say that this Crimsons team of 1931 — the first coached by Herman Rearick — is one of the greatest aggregations in local football history.

[[[Read the full game story by clicking the small pictures below!]]]

1931 Dover-Phila Game Story 11931 Dover-Phila Game Story 2


When: Thanksgiving Day — Thursday, Nov. 26, 1931

Where: Fairgrounds, Dover, Ohio

Result: Dover 27, New Philadelphia 6. Dover finishes the season a record 10-1; Phila falls to 4-6 (after starting 3-0).

Notable: The game marked the most points Dover had ever scored against their rival (previous high was 18) in 25 total contests, and the biggest margin of victory for the Crimsons at 21 points.

Also Notable: Dover rolled up 402 yards — a record 220 of them gained on the ground by Foutz (a school rushing mark that would stand for 64 years) to a mere 71 total yards by the Quakers.

Notable as well: The bleachers were filled almost an hour before the 2:30 start time.  For a game played so late in the year, the weather was clear and cold, the field muddy. Dover’s uniform was white shirts, white pants, white headgear — black numbers.

Make note of this, too: As noted earlier in 1931 game coverage, this was the first Dover-Phila contest to feature a play-by-play via public address system. But the screaming of the faithful — as well as the cannon some young Crimsons fans brought with them — rendered the effort mostly useless. By game time the crowd had been whipped into a frenzy by a week’s worth of anticipation — light standards in downtown Dover bedecked in crimson and gray; a steak-and-potato dinner served at noon for the team, courtesy of the Lion’s Club; the high school band spelling out “Dover” during pre-game and tossing confetti from the formation. Fifteen police patrolled the field, but the only note of an unruly fan being tossed came when one “funster” tossed a fish from the Dover side.

[[[Read more notes and game color by clicking on the pictures below!!!]]]

1931 Dover-Phila Notes 11931 Dover-Phila Notes 2


Keys to the game – Dover dominated every phase of the game, and only allowed a touchdown in the closing quarter.

The Crimsons notched 23 first downs to the Quakers’ 6.

As noted above, Dover netted almost 600% more yards from scrimmage than their hapless rival.

New Phila found momentum early on from its passing attack — playing off a strategy that began to work in the fourth quarter of the 1930 game before the Quakers ran out of time. But even this strategy faltered. In all, the Quakers were just 6 of 12 passing for 82 yards with one of those attempts intercepted by the Crimsons.

Meanwhile, Dover simply ran the ball down New Phila’s throats. Foutz’s record 220 yards were accompanied by 2 touchdowns. Zuchegno gained 78; Fred Kelker 55; Don Godfrey 32; Frank Kelker 11; and Mason 6.

On defense, Dover blocked a field goal to end Phila’s best chance of scoring, on the opening drive. In the second half, the Crimsons caught Phila behind the line of scrimmage in their own end zone and scored a safety.

In all, it was the usual spirited, manic play characteristic of the rivalry game. Kicks missed. Penalties called back touchdowns. Fumbles occurred within striking distance of the goal. Rushers were stopped short of extra-point yardage. The final score might have been even more for Dover, or Phila could have put themselves closer.

But the dominance of the Crimsons proved it: on this day, Dover would not be denied.

[[[Read play-by-play accounts of the game by clicking on the pictures below.]]]

1931 Dover-Phila Play-by-Play 11931 Dover-Phila Play-by-Play 2

In-game sequence – Even in a game that Dover thoroughly dominated on the scoreboard, the tension was high as fumbles, penalties and dramatic plays swung the momentum. In this fourth-quarter sequence, with the score Dover 13, New Phila 0, the Crimsons began by forcing Phila to punt. Taking over at its own 30, Dover sent Foutz straight through center for 2; then Zuchegno for 3, then Foutz for 4. Foutz then sent a 30-yard punt to the Quakers 29. Dover regained possession on a clipping penalty, and Foutz promptly raced around end for 9 yards. The drive continued:

“After gaining 4 more yards, Foutz crashed through center for 17 yards carrying the ball across the goal line, but was called back when the referee ruled that Dover was holding on the play. Retaliating, Foutz gained 10. Kuhn recovered Foutz’s fumble on the New Phila 24. Byrd lost 5 yards on the 2 plays. Zurcher punted (for Phila) 10 yards out of bounds on his own 28.

Godfrey gained 2 around left end. Foutz gained 2. Foutz again repeated his rush thru center and ran 28 yards for a touchdown.”

Top performers – Touchdowns went to Foutz (2), Zuchegno and Fred Kelker. The defense scored a safety in the fourth quarter, and only allowed the Quakers to score on the next to last possession of the game.

Don Foutz’s (final) line –

2 touchdowns rushing (12 points)

1 extra point kicked (1 PAT missed, 1 FG missed)

13 points total

220 yards rushing

6 punts for 180 yards (30 yds. avg.)

Quotable –

“Foutz, playing his last game, captained the backfield and Trevor Rees, the great center, was line captain. These two were the inspiration of the team. For their last game they turned in brilliant individual performances. And their mates were never far behind.”

NEXT WEEK: What happened to the 1931 Crimsons after their magical 10-1 season was ended? Stay tuned as Colt profiles the team’s stars and what they did next.


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 Dover Crimsons HB Don Foutz

Crimsons halfback Don Foutz capped a great high school football career in dramatic fashion by piling up a school-record 220 yards in the 1931 rivalry game against New Philadelphia. The yardage total would stand at the top for Dover gridders until 1995.

Categories: Foutz, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Dover Vs. Phila 1931 – The Big Game

  1. Pingback: Good Bowling Night for Don Foutz | Whispering Across the Campfire

  2. Pingback: 1931 Dover Crimsons Replica Jersey — A Christmas Story | Whispering Across the Campfire

  3. Pingback: Whispering Across the Campfire | 2010 Year in Review « Whispering Across the Campfire

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