Iowa 6
Nebraska 5

Nov. 24, 1898 • Council Bluffs, Iowa

Won By The Iowans

The football game between Nebraska and Iowa was decided in the second half by a change of tactics on the part of the Nebraska team. If the furious and irresistible line bucking of Erwin had been continued when the ball was within eight yards of the goal Nebraska would surely have won. The attempt to circle the ends was a mistake and a failure which cost Nebraska the game.

First half -- Iowa 0, Nebraska 5

Final score -- Iowa 6, Nebraska 5

Nebraska just missed winning the game from Iowa yesterday by a single point.

But there is an old adage that has something to say about a miss being as good as a mile, and it holds good in this instance. It was a glorious victory for the old gold gladiators, but a nasty defeat for the crimson and white. While it was a fast game and abounded in brilliant plays and dramatic evolutions, the struggle was marred by much bunglesome work and sullied by a lot of unnecessary roughness that frequently savored of crookedness.

But now as the great battle has been fought and won and lost beyond recall, that feature will be left severely alone, hoping that the intimation will serve as a warning in the future. Some things can be carried too far -- as the oval pigskin was for Nebraska yesterday -- and plain unvarnished language is often required to right a flagrant wrong.

Much credit is due the management of the game, as four or five thousand enthusiastic citizens of the Twin Cities will doubtless concur today.

Field in Fine Shape.

The gridiron field was in superb shape, presenting the most admirable surface for the rugged work that has ever been witnessed for a game in this neck of the timber. It had been harrowed and rolled and scraped until it was of the proverbial mirror’s smoothness, and not a trace of the beautiful was observable within all its boundaries. But roundabout, from the bold bluffs towering in wintry bleakness on the east, to the town immediately hemming in the battle field, all was covered with a mantle of white. The brown space where honors were so soon to be won and lost made a striking contrast with these virgin surroundings.

The Jolly Spectators.

And the crowd. It was a great one, composed as it was of nearly 5,000 of Omaha and Council Bluffs’ bravest men, fairest women and noisiest children, with a tremendous sprinkling of representatives from the many busy cities and towns throughout the two states. Enthusiasm—it was there by the carload, and color—the famous and much abused kaleidoscope wasn’t in it; and noise—well, that doesn’t describe it, it was a cataclysm of earsplitting vibration; a thunderous uproar from the moment the canvased foe, until the referee’s whistle ended the strife and Nebraska’s gay colors were trailed and bedraggled in the dust.

There were megaphones, fulminating tubes, horse fiddles, tin horns, shrieking hurdy-gurdies and leather lungs all vieing with each other in a frenzied effort to produce pandemonium. The girls clapped their gloved hands, flaunted their handkerchiefs and banners and stamped their little frozen tootsies in rivalry with the husky cheers of their gallants and the diabolical concatenation of horrible sound that alone emanates from Young America when on a rampage.

Grand Stands Packed.

The two big grand stands were packed with excited and shivering people long before the scheduled hour for the commencement of hostilities had rolled around, and along with chalk-lined field men, women and “kids” crowded and jostled each other dozen deep. Gally bedecked turnouts, tally-hos, drags, traps, cutters and carriages, with prancing steady, caparisoned in the respective colors of the opposing armies, made a bright background to the wildly excited and slowing congealing throng and lent a finish to the thrilling scene that was at once picturesque and effective.

There were many other vehicular conveyances there, too, including the capacious carryall, the consumptive and decrepit hack, the obsolete omnibus, one-horse shay and farm wagon, all loaded to the gunwales with their vociferous human freightage.

Swell Turnouts.

In the stylish turnouts there were piles of wolf and buffalo robes, in the convalescent coupes and the buggies and the agricultural arks blankets of crimson, green, blue and cochineal and comforts of wondrous hues and designs.

One of the most gorgeously decorated turnouts was the tally-ho which bore the members of the Nebraska chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity from Lincoln. They started early, and as they rattled down Farnam’s classic thoroughfare they made more noise than the whole fire department could on a hurry call to preserve life and property from the insatiable maw of the fire fiend.

Every blessed mother’s son of them wore the scarlet and the cream, and huge white chrysanthemums, centered with red carnations, adorned each palpitating bosom. But it was during the carnage that the Alpha Tau did its most robust rooting. Folmer, Nebraska’s left end, is a member of this fraternity, and his star work set his admiring conferees wile. In the party were Mosses, Humphrey, Brown, Hewitt, Culver, Morrison, Muman, Arnold, Lafler, with their guests, Gordon and Martin. An exceptional coterie of manly, handsome young Nebraskans.

The Start Delayed.

The game was carded for 3 o’clock sharp, but it was 3:45 before the globulated pigskin was first jostled into ethereal space by the fantastic pedal extremity of Captain Hobbs. The cause of all this provocative delay was unequivocally the senseless tactics adopted by Dr. Knipe, the Iowa coach, who came on the field loaded to the guards with Apollinaris or some other cheerful beverage and inaugurated a campaign of filibustering as despicable as it was uncalled for. He demanded everything; would conceded nothing, and threatened to take his men from the field if Manager Bishoff and Coach Yost did not acquiesce in his unwarrantable demands.

Finally, realizing that the freezing enthusiasts were becoming exasperated, the Nebraska officials surrendered to him, foot and dragoon, and the battle was on.

There was no red light burning in the college watch tower down at Lincoln last night. Instead Stygian darkness reigned. But every cloud has its silver lining, and the brave and doughty Antelopes should not repine, there are other days when football can be played; other days when laurels may be won, and other nights when the crimson flame may be ignited.

How Success Came.

Success perched upon the old gold banner through a lucky turn of fortune. The Nebraska players showed themselves masters of the game, excelling in every way and playing such football at times as has seldom been seen in this bailiwick. At certain stages their work was well nigh marvelous, and they should have won handily.

Every point in the play they scored was made by straightforward, open tactics, and no “fluke” or chance contributed to the achievement of their single touchdown. Their great speed of play, power of concentration of attack, superior kick and generally splendid physical condition should have carried the day for them by a big margin.

Hawkeye Pluck.

But the Hawkeye players fought with that stolid pluck, that unconquerable grit and bluffing, bruising, rough-and-tumble abandon that has ever been instilled in the Pennsylvania team, from which Coach Knipe came.

***Rallied and Won.***

In the second half, when the score stood 5 to 0 against them, they rallied grandly out of sheer desperation and won the game, finishing even stronger than their defeated foe.

The injury sustained by Kingsbury—a badly sprained ankle—which necessitated his retirement from the game, was a blow for Nebraska and contributed greatly in her final disaster. Kingsbury was carried from the field and removed to the Grand hotel in Council Bluffs in a police ambulance. A physician waited upon him and pronounced his hurt a bad sprain of the tendons about the ankle joint.

Nebraska Grit Apparent.

There was much of traditional Nebraska grit shown by Captain Melford’s men in the final moments of the last half, but Iowa’s confidence increased as the end drew near, until her apparent success intoxicated her followers and the almost maniacal demonstration at the close of the great fight broke all bounds.

The Game in Detail.

Benedict’s End Run of Forty-Seven Yards the Star Play.

The game was slow in commencing owing to the tardiness of the Iowa team, and after they arrived there was considerable wrangling over the officials. Nebraska won the toss of the coin and chose the south goal with the wind at their back and giving Iowa the ball, and at 3:44 the game was started by Captain Hobbs kicking forty-five yards to Erwin, who returned for ten yards before being downed.

Nebraska did not seem able to gain at first, as after Benedict had gone for three Williams tried the right end for one and again with no gain and the ball was Iowa’s on downs. Williams carried the ball from the guards’ back formation for one yard and the same play again gave no gain, and Iowa was forced to kick. A quarterback kick carried the ball to the Nebraska’s fifteen-yard line with Nebraska in possession of the ball. Williams was sent for one yard and Benedict for six, and on the next play it was Iowa’s ball on a fumble.

S.C. Williams gained five on an around-the-end play and Morton four on Pennsylvania formation. Shrader, Morton and Hobbs failing to gain, the ball went to Nebraska on downs. Benedict carried for five, Williams and Kingsbury for two each, Erwin for three and Benedict for seven. Nebraska was pushing right along now and gained whenever they chose. Williams, Kingsbury and Pillsbury helped along for fourteen yards, when the ball stood for a while and went to Iowa on downs.

Williams Circles Round.

Williams circled the right end for twenty yards and a double pass was stopped with a loss by Kingsbury. Benedict stopped the next guard’s back play with a two yards’ loss and Iowas was forced to kick. A quarterback kick sent the ball in touch and from the twenty-five yard line Erwin punted for forty-five yards, which was returned by Hobbs for fifteen yards. Williams could not gain and a quarterback kick gave Nebraska the ball fifteen yards farther down. Erwin and Williams made three each, Liebman one, Kingsbury two, Erwin three, and Williams one.

Benedict’s Star Play.

Then occurred the star play of the day, with Benedict for leading man. On a beautifully executed double pass he carried the ball for forty-seven yards around the left and end and then with the ball on the fifteen-yard line Nebraska started a series of rushes which were fast and furious, and which ended in the only touchdown, Pillsbury for five, Folmer for four, Williams for two and Erwin for four yards, which carried the ball to within one yard of the goal. Hansen carried it across, but Milford missed the goal and the score was 5 to 0.

Hobbs kicked for forty-five yards and Erwin returned twenty and again Nebraska started down the field—Kingsbury for six, Benedict four—and again the double pass was tried, but this time Benedict only gained three yards. A quarterback kick was blocked, but a Nebraska man fell on the ball and it kept a-going. Benedict circled the left for three, and Pillsbury and Williams failing to gain, Erwin punted and it was Iowa’s ball on the twenty-five yard line.

The Iowans could not gain, and they, too, had to kick, which Hobbs showed he was capable of doing by driving the ball forty-five yards into Nebraska’s territory. Benedict fumbled and an Iowa man captured the ball. After a few gains time was called with the ball on Nebraska’s twenty-yard line.

Second Half.

To start the second half Benedict’s kick was returned ten yards by Griffith the auburn-hair quarter and field captain of the Iowans. Iowa in the second half used the famous Pennsylvania style of guards’ back play almost entirely. Several gains were made by this when an attempted criss-cross lost six and Hobbs had to kick, giving Nebraska the ball on her thirty-five yard line. Iowa was penalized ten yards for off side play, which was followed by Folmer circling the end for seven. A fumbled on an attempted double pass three, Williams lost one and with nine yards to gain on the third down the ball was passed to Erwin for a punt, and right here is where Nebraska lost the game, as through the error of the quarter or someone the ball never came back, and went to Iowa on the twenty-five yard line.

Iowa’s Touchdown.

By another series of guard back plays Iowa advanced the ball to the fifteen-yard line, when Morton circled the end for a touchdown, from which Hobbs kicked a goal, making the score 6 to 5.

Benedict kicked off for thirty-five yards, which was returned ten when the guards’ back play was again employed. Five, five, three and one yards were the gains when Nebraska got the pigskin on a tumble, but she could not gain, and again Iowa had the ball. On the next play Kingsbury injured his ankle, and was forced to retire. Reasoner taking his place. Left Tackle Williams poked his nose through for five, Morton for eight yards, and Iowa commenced to delay the game and to kill time in the hopes of having the game called on account of darkness.

A quarterback kick sent the ball in touch, and being brought to the twenty-five-yard line, Erwin punted for thirty, putting the men all on side and giving Captain Melford a chance to fall on the ball in the center of the field. At this point an Iowa player injured Captain Melford in the head so that he was dazed during the remainder of the game.

Erwin’s Line Bucking.

No gain was made on a double pass, and Benedict made ten around the left end. Erwin plunged the center for six and again for three. Williams made nine around the right, and for the next five plays Erwin gave the best exhibition of line bucking ever seen in the west, as he carried five times in succession and averaged four yards at a time. The ball was now on the eight-yard-line, and judging from the rate it was going, would surely have been carried across had not Knipe the coach of the Iowa team, came running out on the field and delayed the game until darkness made further efforts of no avail, and the game was won by the score of 6 to 5.


More coverage

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Series history

Nebraska is 29-18 all-time against Iowa.

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1898 season (8-3)

Hastings Oct. 1
Iowa State Oct. 8
Tarkio Oct. 15
William Jewell Oct. 22
Missouri Oct. 24
Kansas Nov. 5
KC Medics Nov. 7
Drake Nov. 12
Colorado Nov. 17
Denver AC Nov. 19
Iowa Nov. 24

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