A Look Back in Cougar Football History
Oct. 13, 2006
This article was originally featured in the WSU-Idaho game day program from Sept. 9, 2006, and was reprinted with permission from KXLY Group. Story written by Richard B. Fry.
Washington State and Idaho are at war!
Over their football records, that is.
Yep, after 111 years they still can't get it right.
What do you expect? It took them, what, 60-70 years to agree on when the series started. Idaho originally claimed there was a game in Pullman, in 1893, and that they won it, 10-0. Washington State said the first meeting was in1894, at Moscow, and they'd won--by the same score.
Yeah, they finally settled that one; agreed on 1894, with a 10-0 Washington State win. So what's the problem now?
You won't believe it. Washington State wants to give Idaho a win and they won't take it!
It goes like this. In the World War I year of 1918, Idaho's pressbook shows the school did not field a team. On the other hand, WSU's book shows a 1-1 record under 'Coach' Emory Alvord. That's right, the same Emory Alvord who later came to fame as an Agricultural Missionary in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). But he was a graduate student working on a master's degree at WSC in 1918.
WSU's Sports Information Office records for the 1918 football season show a 20-6 win over Gonzaga in Spokane on Nov. 28, and a 6-7 loss to Idaho, in Moscow, on Dec. 7. (Another day which will live in infamy?)
The Pullman Herald for Dec. 13, 1918 (which, incidentally, headlined on its front page: 'Lonestar Dietz Termed Slacker'), carried a story on pg. 3 of a football game, 'Moscow Wins From W.S.C.'
Had to be a fairly big deal, too. 'Nearly 600 Washington State rooters journeyed to Moscow for the game, two extra coaches being attached to the regular train, while many other fans went to the Idaho town by automobile,' the Herald account reads.
Well, we won't prolong the misery with a play-by-play account, but it should be reported that Idaho's winning score came in the second quarter, when the 'Farmers' (remember, they weren't the Cougars until 1919) Farm'd it!
Ivor Richardson had scored for WSC in the first quarter, but they missed the point after.
'With the ball on the WSC 20-yard line, following an Idaho punt, Jenne stepped back to boot the ball out of danger,' the Herald account said. 'Yenney, the WSC fullback, had been kicked in the head a few minutes before and was in a dazed condition. As Jenne punted, Yenney stepped backward, squarely in front of the ball, which hit him and bounced back to the 10-yard line, where it was scooped up by Perrine, Idaho's sterling tackle, who raced the distance to the goal posts.'
Idaho kicked the point and it was over, 7-6. The second half was scoreless, but it's worth noting that Coach Alvord played the entire second half of the game for Washington State. 'With Alvord in the lineup during the second half, WSC played the Idahoans off their feet,' the Herald writer commented. (Maybe he should have put himself in earlier.) For the game, WSC had 15 first downs to two for Idaho.
So where does that leave us? Well, still confused!
Washington State's Football records do not show any lettermen by the name of McIvor Richardson or 'Yenney,' or 'Reede,' who replaced Richardson in the second half for WSC. And Eldon Jenne, who later became Washington State's first Olympic Games competitor (in the Pole Vault at the 1920 games in Antwerp, Belgium), won just one letter in football, and that was in 1921!
On the other hand, Leon (Pat) Perrine, who scored the touchdown for Idaho in that 1918 game, appears in the Idaho record books as having lettered in football five years, '1917-21!'
Aw, c'mon, Idaho, accept that win in 1918 and let us get this thing settled.