Nebraska 16
Illinois 10

Nov. 24, 1904 • Lincoln, NE

Nebraska University Defeats Illinois

Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 24—Nebraska 16, Illinois 10. This is the barren numerical result of the Cornhusker-Illinois contest, the last of the season. But to tell the startling and spectacular features of the seventy minutes playing today on the Nebraska field would fill a volume. Bender at his best. Rothgeb unexcelled and surround them a dozen other foot ball stars of lesser magnitude, the playing was sensational from start to finish.

When the final whistle blew Bender picked up the pigskin and complacently trotted off the field, while the 8,000 spectators cheered, for Bender proved that he was the champion foot ball man east or west. Once he dashed eighty-five yards for a touchdown. Another time he made fifty yards and times without number he dashed away like the wind, while thousands held their breath in fascinated admiration.

The first ten minutes of the game were passed in scrimmaging, with the honors slightly in favor of Illinois. Benedict was hurt and had to take "out time." Illinois suffered the loss of Billinger and Sheppard took his place.

Line-smashed end runs and red hot scrimmaging took the ball to Nebraska's nine-yard line. The Cornhuskers stiffened like a stone wall and got the pigskin on downs. A punt and more scrimmaging gave Moynihan a chance to try for a place kick from the thirty-yard line. He failed; punts were exchanged and finally the ball was punted to Nebraska's two-yard line. Benedict attempt to return the kick: Moyhihan blocked the ball, fell on it and scored a touchdown. Moynihan failed at goal.

They Watch Bender

A kickoff out of bounds and a return by Nebraska left the ball in the center of the field. The Illinois men rushed the line for heavy gains and in the shadow of the goal Nebraska held. Borg snapped the ball to Bender. Illinois plunged forward.

"Bender, watch Bender!" shrieked two or three of the Illinois men.

Their agonized cries were useless. The whole grandstand was watching Bender, so were the bleachers. Johnson tore away two men who dashed at Bender's flying heels. Mills and Borg shunted aside a column of Illinoisans.

Bender had passed the center of the field, fleet as a dream and swift as the rushing wind, his chin in the air, defiance in every contracting muscle. Rothgeb heralded as the speedy gridiron star of the west, tore after the Cornhusker. Benedict, pawing like a warhorse, dashed aside all challenging interference. Bender sailed past the Illinois thirty-yard line and Rothgeb failed to gain. Bender laid the ball behind the goal line just as the defeated Rothgeb came up. For ten minutes the crowd yelled and raved. Nothing like it had ever been seen on Nebraska's field.

Nebraska got an easy goal and the half ended with the ball in Nebraska territory.

Nebraska made a touchdown after ten minutes of play in the second half. Eager, being shoved over, falling at goal. Benedict led off with a fifty-five yard punt and Illinois scrimmaged the ball back to Nebraska's thirty-yard line, where the Cornhuskers got it on downs. An end run failed to bring any gains, Nebraska punting. Johnson downed Pope in his tracks and the Illinoisan lay as if dead. He was carried off the field and Himman took his place.

Illinois Men Weep

Illinois took the ball for a scrimmage touchdown, and Moynihan failed at goal after a fair catch. The disappointed wept with chagrin, for the score was 11 to 10 in favor of Nebraska.

Benedict was suffering from injuries and Denslow took his place. Denslow made rapid gains and Bender tried a place-kick and failed. Illinois returned the ball and carried it into Nebraska territory. Dodging the whole Illinois eleven, Bender made a sensational fifty-yard end run. Eager was shoved over for a touchdown, but Cy Mason failed for goal. Score—Nebraska 16, Illinois 10.

Frantic plunging and daring end runs were features of the remainder of the game. Illinois made twenty yards on a fake punt. The half ended with the ball near the center of the field.

Haselwood, Fairweather, Moynihan and Rothgeb were the stars for the visitors. Bender, Benedict, Johnson, Eager and Borg drew plaudits from the grandstand. The game was the closest ever played on Nebraska field.

The Illinois men left for St. Louis tonight. The Nebraskans enjoyed a luxurious Thanksgiving feed and tonight the rooters are wild.


More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 13-3 all-time against Illinois.

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

This day in history

Nebraska has played 24 games on Nov. 24. See them all »

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