1893 Princeton vs Penna

November 11, 1893 – Sporting Life

Princeton Beats Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania-Princeton game was played at Manheim, Philadelphia; during incessant rain and in ankle-deep mud. Despite the inclement weath­er about 12,000 people witnessed the contest.

Pennsylvania's team was in the ag­gregate eight pounds heavier than Princeton. Her players were also more matured, averaging about one year and eight months older than the Princetonians. Princeton won purely by super­ior generalship.


Princeton won the toss and for the first time this year started off the game with the flying wedge that nearly all the other colleges have adopted from Har­vard. The ball was put in play at ten minutes past two o'clock PM.  

Philip King took the ball. As the wedge dashed against Pennsylvania's line Arthur Wheeler made a hole between Harry Mackey and Wiley Woddruff big enough for an elephant to run through. King took advantage of the opening and sprinted 25 yards before being downed by Arthur Knipe.

Princeton's next play was poor. King got it to William Ward in good style, but the half-back fumbled it and Pennsylvania secured it. Knipe immediately went through Princeton's right tackle for 10 yards and Winchester Osgood took five more around William McCauley's end.

1893 Penn vs Princeton Football Program


Pennsylvania then brought her mass play into action. It consisted simply of the old Princeton "V," every man in the team taking part in it and endeavoring to force the ball along by sheer weight and strength.

Princeton’s rush line was like a stone wall against this style of play. Three times Pennsylvania essayed to gain the necessary 5 yards, and each time her rushers were forced back. Knipe was forced to kick, and King caught the ball at Princeton's 20 yard line.

Blake returned the ball when it was passed to him, and he kicked the ball out of bounds for a gain of 35 yards, putting the ball in the middle of the field, where it started. Knipe got it for Pennsylvania and was downed in his tracks by Doggie Trenchard. Pennsylvania again tried her mass formation, and Osgood and Charles Gelbert made five yards each, Osgood through the cen­ter and Gelbert around the left end.

Knipe tried to take the ball next, but fumbled, and Gus Holly fell on it for Princeton. Blake again kicked, sending the ball to Pennsylvania's twenty-live yard line. Knipe gained three yards and then another. Then a brilliant tackle by Arthur Wheeler downed Knipe on Pennsylvania's twenty yard line.

Knipe tried to kick and Princeton blocked the ball. It bounded back, Trenchard got it, and Morse, Lea and Ward carried it over.

1893 Princeton Football Team


King failed to kick a goal, and Princeton hearts sank, for it needed but a sin­gle score by Pennsylvania to tie and probably beat the Tigers. Had King kicked the goal, Princeton would have been comparatively safe, as her op­ponents would have to score twice to beat her. It was King's failure to kick a goal last year that beat Princeton.

Woodruff was disqualified on the play before that on which the touchdown was made, and Wagenhurst took his place.

The ball was taken to the center of the field and Vail, of Pennsylvania, made a gain of 10 yards on the flying wedge. Upton, Pennsylvania's right end, then got off side and Princeton got the ball. Princeton in turn fumbled, and it was again Pennsylvania's ball.  Osgood, Knipe and Gelbert in turn tried Princeton's center, but without success. Knipe then kicked and sent the ball spinning to Princeton's 20-yard line.

The ball was passed to Blake to return the kick. He got in a splendid punt that sent the ball over Knipe's head. It didn't stop rolling until it was on Penn­sylvania's 50-yard line, where Knipe was tackled by Holly and Trenchard. Pennsylvania again unsuccessfully tried Princeton's center, and lost the ball to the Tigers on four downs.

Both sides, though playing desperate­ly, played very slowly, neither being willing to take risks with the wet ball on fast playing. Ward took the ball through between Mackey and Woodruff for 10 yards, to Pennsylvania's 40-yard line, but the ball was given to Pennsylvania on an off­side play. Pennsylvania failed, as usual, to break Princeton's center, and Knipe was forced to kick. He sent, the ball to Princeton's 20-yard line, where Ward fumbled and Simmons got the ball. The situation was serious for the Tigers, but her rushers were equal to the occasion.

1893 University of Pennsylvania Football Team (University of Pennsylvania Archives)


They not only held Pennsylvania's line, but Wheeler, Taylor and Holly, by getting through, actually forced the Qua­kers back. Everyone supposed Knipe would try for a goal from the field. A successful kick would have given Pennsylvania five points, and probably the game. Knipe dropped back, but it was a "bluff," and Osgood tried Princeton's left end. He did not gain, and it was Princeton's ball on her 25-yard line.

Blake, by a good kick, sent the ball to the 40-yard line, and the danger for the time was past.  Osgood made a good catch of an awkward bound, and ran the ball back 10 yards.


Knipe returned the ball and King got it. Princeton who was playing a defen­sive game and saving herself probably for the second half, kicked on the first down. Knipe returned it to the Tigers' 25 yard line and Blake immediately kicks back to the middle of the field. Gelbert is tackled hard by Holly as he tries to run the leather back and is hurt, but resumes play. Knipe makes the best kick of the day, the ball going out of bounds at Princeton's one yard line. A Pennsylvania rusher was off side, however, and the ball was taken back to the middle of the field.

Gelbert is hurt again and gives it up. Knipe goes to half back and Brooke plays full back. Princeton gets the ball and Blake makes a good kick. Both sides are now playing a kicking game in the hope that the ball may be fumbled by the opposing backs and a touchdown scored. Pennsyl­vania gets the ball on four downs and makes a pretty run of 25 yards to Princeton's 30-yard line. Pennsylvania tries that impregnable rush line vainly and loses the ball on four downs. Ward goes through the cen­ter for 10 yards, carrying the leather to Princeton's 40-yard line. He makes five more on the next play, and then Morse takes four. Ward makes two more, and the ball is given to the Quakers on an off-side play.

Brooke kicks to the Tigers' 25-yard line. King tries to run, but is downed. Upton makes a good tackle, which downs Ward on Princeton's 20-yard line. Time is called.

Henry W. Thornton, 1893 UPenn Guard 


Both teams showed their good train­ing by coming out fresh and strong for the second half. It was Pennsylvania's ball, and she started off as usual with the wedge.  Osgood made 15 yards. Princeton groan­ed when Taylor was hurt, but he pluckily took his place in the line after a minute's rest. Knipe followed Osgood’s run with an­other good one of 15 yards to Princeton's 25-yard line. The ball was taken back, however, on Pennsylvania's off­side play to the 40-yard line, where Princeton secured it. Blake kicks, but Mackey blocks the ball. Trenchard fell upon it, and it was Princeton’s ball, still on her 40-yard line.

Princeton now did the best playing of the day, and showed what she really could do. King made a run of 15 yards to the middle of the field. By short, sharp runs the ball was advanced through the Quakers' center, Princeton opening the line of her opponents as she pleased. On sight plays the ball was carried to Pennsylvania's 20-yard line, Ward, Holly and Blake doing bril­liant work.

Nearer and nearer the ball was forced to Pennsylvania's goal line until it need­ed a gain of but 9 yards to enable Princeton to score again. Princeton, however, lost the opportunity by a bad fumble, and Pennsylvania got the ball. Knipe sends the ball away to the 40- yard line. Blake returns it and Princeton’s ends have a good chance to get the ball when it touches a Quaker, thus put­ting them on side.

Knipe kicks to Princeton's 50-yard line and Princeton gets it. Blake makes 5 yards and then kicks the ball out of bounds at Pennsylvania's 25-yard line. The backs have another kicking streak, and Brooke sends the ball to Princeton's 40-yard line, where King is downed by Upton.  Ward makes 5 yards and Morse five more. Then Morse takes 8, but after that Pennsylvania gets the ball on the 45-yard line.

Philip King, 1890-93 Princeton Quarterback


Knipe kicks and King fumbles a diffi­cult catch. The ball is given to him on interference, and Blake kicks the ball to center field.  Osgood and Knipe fail to advance, and Princeton gets the ball on four downs. Ward fails, but King, on a clever double pass runs 15 yards to Pennsylvania's 40-yard line. Pennsylvania again gets five yards on off-side play. She is playing desper­ately, but her pile driving rushes do not avail against Princeton's line. Then Osgood goes around Trenchard's end for a run of fifteen yards. He had a clear field, but King coming from behind makes a pretty tackle, which downs the Pennsylvania half back on Princeton's fifty yard line.  Osgood again goes around the end for ten yards, Captain Trenchard making a bad miss.

The referee announces that there is but seven minutes more, and Pennsyl­vania redoubles her efforts to score, while Princeton improves if anything in her defensive play. Time is called with the ball in the middle of the field, and Princeton left the field victorious.

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