Nebraska 39
Creighton 0

Oct. 15, 1904 • Omaha, NE

Defeat on the Gridiron

The Nebraska university's strong foot ball team won a decidedly interesting game at the Vinton Sheet ball park yesterday from the plucky, but overmatched Creighton university eleven. The final score was 39 to 0, and that the Cornhuskers end of it was not larger was due to the improved and gritty defense played by the locals throughout the fierce combat.

It was far from being a weak team that Coach Williams brought down from the college on the hill, and Nebraska's victory, despite its one-sided character, was only won after the hardest kind of fight. But the Creightons were like so many pygmies compared to the bulk and brawn of the visitors, and yet they made a most wonderful and courageous defense.

A few Harry Welchs in Captain Hallahan's line and the doughty Huskers would surely have collided with another Boulder. Again and again, when the Salt Creek megatheriums seemed to be on the march down to another touchdown the Creighton line stiffened and hurled back Lincoln's attack in spite of the speed and dash with which it was made. The tackling of Donahue at divers occasions was worth going miles to see, and all in all, outclassed as they were in all the substantial elements of the game, they were not unworthy opponents for even Mr. Booth's formidable aggregation.

Nebraska's play at times was extremely ragged and ineffectual, while that of the Creightons astonished even their staunchest allies. The back field fell short of expectations at momentous stages, but the charging in the line was precious little inferior to that displayed by the burly Huskers. The back of the visitors helped each other magnificently and in this way much of their ground was gained.

Surprised to Benedict

Benedict, the university quarterback, apparently did not expect Creighton to stiffen so often in the very last ditch, for he more than once threw away opportunities to kick a goal from the field and thus augment the score. His running back of kicks, however, was the feature of the visitor's play. Once he shook off almost the entire Creighton team, being stopped only by the tall end of the Fitzgibbon defense.

Bender, however, was almost wholly responsible for the snappy way in which the plays were run off, although his work in the first half was not nearly up to that which marked his execution in the last half. He is certainly a foot ball wonder. Every substantial gain made by his side was due to his own individual prowess in advancing the ball.

Superior weight and strength, aided by an almost unerring instinct for the ball, gave Nebraska the day. The big, mountainous backs, running low and hard, were sent smashing through the tackles for long gains, and in the first half it looked as if they intended to literally annihilate the little gladiators from Creighton's walls, but they reckoned without their host, and up to the time when injuries began to make heavy threads on the locals defense, they held their own in masterful style, and that, too, with hardly a hope of accomplishing little more than keeping their opponents score down.

When the home team's gritty defense cropped out it looked once or twice, as if the tale to be told would not be so lopsided after all. At times Lincoln could do nothing, and was forced to cling to the line plunging tactics, where weight alone was made to tell.

Some of the Features

The spectacular features were Bender's two sensational long runs, one of seventy-five and the other ninety yards, both for touchdowns. In the first gallop Bender skirted the left end with Benedict interfering, and only Callahan in pursuit. The spectacle was a thrilling one. The three players were running on a slanted line and try as hard as he might Callahan could not penetrate Benedict's interference. Bender finally securing a lead, Benedict dropped out of the race and Callahan being unable to close the gap, the Nebraska halfback shot on and over the line.

This second run was made in the last half when but four minutes remained to momentous juncture. Bender shot around the end, eluding Creighton's frantic pursuers, and continuing on winged heels on down over the full length of the checkered field for Nebraska's seventh touchdown.

Callahan, for the locals, as also the author of several sensational runs, and on defense, kept next to the ball like a hound after its quarry. Once it looked as if he would duplicate the exploit of the might Bender. He did go through five or six squares before he was finally tackled and thrown bodily into the air by one of Lincoln's huge backs.

Notwithstanding Creighton's defeat, the game was a great one from several view points, mainly that of the marvelous defense, of the locals against almost overwhelming odds.

The day was an ideal one for outdoor sport of any kind and nearly, if not quite, 4,000 gaily bedecked women, men and boys were on hand to enthuse over it. A delegation so of 500 Capital city rooters, accompanied by the university's cadet band made the air resonate with their cries, and the friends of Creighton turned out loyally to support their favorites.

Of the Crowds

The grandstand was fairly well filled and the west bleachers a veritable swarm of screeching delirious people. Hundreds, too, were perched upon the southern sunseats, while the east line was hedged in with rows of excited bipeds, bucked up with tally-boys, carriages, automobiles and vehicles of all kinds. The megaphone brigade was on hand to a man and the cowbell and the horse-fiddle made the ambient shiver with bloodcurdling discord.

Although routed without a score, there was no perceptible gloom in Creighton's camp last night. They had met the mightiest of all the west's gridiron eleven with the lightest team the university has put forth in three years and to have kept the champions' score down to the notch they did was solace enough.

Callahan was far and away the star of the game. His heroic efforts, however, were ably supplemented by Lamphlers, Thorne, Cullen, Rooney, Kippes and Donahue. Every man of the team was in deadly earnest and put forth his most strenuous endeavors, in the face of an opposition which was to say the least disheartening and awe-inspiring and, although they lost, the vast crowd recognized them as worthy opponents of even Nebraska's vaunted champions, and were given salve after salve of cheers as they left the field.

Manner in Which Both of the Teams Played

Callahan won the toss for the Creightons, and decided to have Nebraska kick to them, which was done at 3:35 p.m. against a wind that was blowing from the south. Bender booted the ball to the ten-yard line for a starter, and "Jigs" Donahue returned ten of it. Creighton failed to gain at either end in two trials and Callahan kicked for forty-five yards. After Benedict had fumbled, Rooney fell on the ball and Cullen was sent around the right end for ten yards. Nebraska took the ball on downs, and could make but small gains, two, two, three, one and two yards, being the best that they could do until finally Bender circled the end for seven and followed it up on a cross plunge for six more. Eager made two and Nebraska was penalized five for holding. Bender, by hard work, took the pigskin two yards further and another five penalty was given Nebraska. Mason made a straight plunge for five and Eager broke loose for fifteen yard around right end. Nebraska was penalized another five, and failing to make the required distance, Benedict tried for a place kick from the thirty-five-yard line, but failed to miserably. Callahan kicked out from the twenty-five-yard line for ten yards and Bender was then sent around the left end for ten, but failed to repeat the performance when called upon. After four short gains, Eager made a splendid plunge of fifteen yards, carrying several of the Creighton players along with him, making the first touchdown of the game. Benedict failed at goal. Score 5 to 0.

On the kick-off, Bender sent the ball for thirty yards, but there was no return, as Donahue was downed in his tracks. After two ineffectual attempts to gain, Callahan kicked for twenty-five yards, the ball going out of bounds. Eager brought the ball for fifteen, but was called back and penalized ten yards for off-side play. A fake netted ten, and Cullen retired in favor of Loftus. Mason made four, Eager one and Bender four, putting the ball within one yard of the coveted goal, when Mason carried it over. Goal. Score 11 to 0.

With but a minute and half to play no further score was made, although Callahan tried for a goal by a place kick from the thirty-five yard line.

In the second half, the Nebraska started out with the same lineup and Creighton replaced Thorne with McCormack, Creighton kicked to Nebraska's thirty-five yard line and Benedict returned for fifty-five yards to the seventeen yard line, when he fumbled an the ball was Creighton's. After two failures to gain Callahan kicked for twenty-nine yards and Bender returned for fifteen. Eager went for a two and then a three yard gain, when the doughty Bender was sent for five, then for ten, which carried the ball over the line. Benedict failed at the goal, the subs along the side line saying that he was not used to a new ball. Score 16 to 0.

Bender kicked to the fifteen-yard line and Callahan was downed without a chance to return. Failing to gain in two trials Callahan pulled off one of the sensational stunts of the day, when he made a thirty-yard gain on a fake kick. Creighton could not advance the ball against their heavier adversaries and Callahan was again forced to punt. Nebraska made two short gains when Bender thought it was his time to play star and circled the left end for seventy yards and a touchdown. Goal. Score 22 to 0.

Standeven took Roberston's place on the next kick-off. Weller caught the kick-off, passed the ball to Bender, who passed it to Benedict, who proceeded to fumble for a loss of ten yards. Nebraska punted to Callahan who was downed by a pretty tackle of Standeven's. Benedict fumbled again on the next play and Donahue fell on the ball. Again Creighton could not gain and Callahan kicked for thirty yards, but Benedict returned it twenty-five. Mason went out, Craig taking his place. Benedict again fumbled and again the Creightons were the more active and fell on the ball. Failing to gain a yard on the next two downs Callahan stepped back for a punt and again fooled the old timers on the fake kick this time for twenty yards. The ball was fumbled by Loftus, but Creighton's men were again the more active and fell before the Lincolnites. Callahan skirted the right end for five yards and C Mason retired in favor of Lundie. Nebraska kicked for fifty-five yards to the five yards line, but Callahan kicked the pigskin back for thirty-nine, and Bender, catching it on the run, brought it back for twenty-five. The ball was fumbled, but this time Bender fell on it, and on the next play carried it across. Goal. Score 28 to 0.

Creighton kicked off and Bender and Benedict tried to execute a double pass, but Benedict lost his cue and stood in his tracks until he dropped the ball, but Bender fell on it on the twenty-five-yard line. Barta was called out of the guard position to play half for awhile and gained five yards on each of the next three plays. Bender started on one of his famous runs, but he had not reckoned on "Jigs" Donahue, who downed him for a yard loss. Nebraska kicked for thirty yards and recovered the ball and sent Bender for twenty yards on the next play, when Callahan was force to leave the game J. McShane taking his place, but he only stayed for one down, as the coach sent Rogers into the game. Craig soon carried the ball over. Goal. Score 33 to 0.

Barwick took Benedict's place. Creighton kicked for thirty-five yards and Bender returned for ten. With less than half a minute to play, Bender broke loose for the big run of the day, making ninety yards by as neat a piece of dodging as has ever been witnessed in Omaha. Goal. Score 39 to 0.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 3-0 all-time against Creighton.

See all games »

1904 season (7-3)

Grand Island Sept. 24
Grinnell Oct. 1
Colorado Oct. 8
Creighton Oct. 15
Knox Oct. 22
Minnesota Oct. 29
Iowa Nov. 5
Haskell Nov. 12
Bellevue Nov. 19
Illinois Nov. 24

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