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'Much music, near riots and singing' - looking back at the Mizzou game that started homecoming

'Much music, near riots and singing' - looking back at the Mizzou game that started homecoming

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Editors note: The Nov. 25, 1911, football game between Kansas and Missouri in Columbia is considered by many as the first homecoming game ever played. Coach Chester Brewer invited alumni to "come home" for the game, which included parades, bands and more. A tradition was born. This is how the Post-Dispatch covered those festivities and the game.

The preliminaries are over. The game is on. Columbia became home for the mad as the Tigers and Jayhawkers began their twenty-first annual football battle today.

A general parade, much music, near riots and singing, the greatest football crowd ever housed in a Missouri park is watching the conflict at Rollins Field.

Only the cream of the talent; only the rabid rooters are here. When the Missouri-Kansas battles were fought in Kansas City many of the mighty throng were non-partisan. Today everyone is partisan, even sanguine.

Ideal weather conditions prevailed. It was snappy enough to warrant fast play, yet warm enough to make the spectators comfortable.

Shortly after 12 o'clock the straw, 86 bales of it, was removed from Rollins Field, leaving the gridiron unprotected from Sol's warm rays.

There was a slight thaw, making, the going a trifle slow, but contrary to expectations,  this pleased Coach Brewer.

"If it is slippery under foot, Heil will not run back our punts" was the cheering intelligence sent out by the royal Bengal Pooh-bah just before the game began.

The crowd was handled splendidly. Assistant Coach Field of the Tiger squad was in charge of the gates. The spectators field through and took their seats. Boxes had been placed on either side of the field, just in front of the stands. These were all sold a week.

The Kansas rooters, headed by the Kansas State Band, arrived just before noon. They paraded the streets, snatching a light lunch and invaded the park. Earlier, the Missouri Cadet Band, numbering 46, paraded around the town and led the Missouri rooters to Rollins Field. . The Kansas team was a bit late in arriving but did not interfere with the original program starting the game.

After the crowd had settled in their seats the cheering- began. Missouri courtesy gave the visitors the preference. Kansas broke loose with the weird "Rock Chalk, Jay-hawk!" Missouri came back with "Missouri!" with the band playing. A few popular airs were interspersed, Missouri's band winning- favor with a ragtime selection.

More cheering, then a hush fell on the big crowd. The teams came on, the officials busied themselves, and everybody rested. 

As the play began, the field was well nigh muddy. The thaw made the going slow and tedious.

The game: Tiger captain's drop kick ties the score

WHEN, today, Quarterback Blees, with four minutes to play, called on Captain Shuck of Missouri, for, a. field goal, nine thousand football fans held their breath. When, with aggravating deliberation, Captain Shuck poised the pigskin, then toed it squarely between the uprights, forcing to a 3-3 tie the twenty-first annual football conflict between Missouri and Kansas, the Tiger rooters cheered and called it a victory.

A field goal earlier in the game by Delaney, gave Kansas her pints.

Shuck tonight is a hero. His kick didn't win; nor did Kansas; but the final score is regarded In Columbia as a Missouri victory.

The Jayhawkers were heavy favorites, having an advantage in weight of six pounds to the man, while Missouri went into the battle feeling the sting of five successive reverses, but Missouri fought to the last ditch, and by staving off defeat claims for itself triumph.

Today's crowd was a noisy tad very partisan. Everyone who attended swore allegiance to one of the sides.

The battle was bitterly fought. Five Missouri  men went under, while only Kansas warrior wilted under the relentless attack of the Tigers.

Early in the game the Kansas backfield showed that it would be troublesome.

Coach Sherwin had drilled his team in a repertoire of deceptive, tricky plays. A doubleshift wrought particular havoc in the Missouri defense.

Time and again the crafty little Heil called for shift, then sent big Amnions charging through the weak side of Missouri's line.

Heil, by the way, made good the many lavish boosts given him. Although a mere mite, weighing less than 130 pounds, he frequently spilled such giants as Wilder and Knobel, and sprinted through the Missouri players for substantial gains.

In addition he kicked splendidly and accurately. His running back of punts was brilliant at all times.

Missouri showed a good defense in the pinch. Twice the Jayhawkers rushed the ball to the Tigers' 5-yard line, only to relinquish the pigskin on downs.

The Missouri forwards always braced within the danger zone and stood like a stone wall to the Kansas attack. More adverse criticism could be heaped upon Blees for his poor generalship at times. Throughout the first three quarters Blees refused to use the forward pass.

Then in the last period, when driven to desperation by Delaney's field goal, he repeatedly called for the pass.

Twice he lost possession of the ball because of incompleted passes, but once he shot a perfect pass to Hall, who had a clear field for a touchdown, but slipped and fell when within striking distance of the goal.

Box score from the game
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