Lafayette Memories: Lafayette Daily Advertiser of October 14th, 1926 - Dedication of SLI Stadium
1926: LAFAYETTE HISTORY.
BEFORE McNASPY STADIUM.
Pictured in this post is a shot of a football game being played in McNaspy Stadium sometime in the 1940s. But there was a stadium before McNaspy and the following is an article detailing the opening dedication of this new stadium and the first football game played there. - From the Lafayette Daily Advertiser of October 14th, 1926:
READY FOR DEDICATION OF S. L. I. STADIUM - BIG CROWD TO ATTEND GAME, PROGRAM AT NEW SOUTHWESTERN FIELD
New Stadium At College To Be Formally Opened Friday Afternoon With Ceremonies Preceding Football Contest Between Bulldogs And Sam Houston Normal - Mayors Of Southwest La. Cities Planning To Be Here - Rotary Boys Band Will Play And Student Body Of College Will Sing.
Southwestern Louisiana Institute and Southwest Louisiana in general are ready to formally open and dedicate the new Stadium at Southwestern, the gift of the people of this section of the state, tomorrow afternoon in the first game on the new field. The Bulldogs will be opposed by the Sam Houston College team of Huntsville, Texas.
The Lafayette Rotary Boys Band will furnish the music for the opening and also for the brief exercises preliminary to the game. The flag will be raised as the band plays and then will be lowered to half-mast in memory of our late governor who was a student football fan.
The student body of Southwestern will do their part in singing the Alma Mater Song, the first song to be sung by the student body on the new field.
Mayor Robert L. Mouton of this city will then present the football for the game to Captain Theriot of the Bulldogs and the game will be on. In company with Mayor Mouton will be the mayors of all the cities of southwest Louisiana, all of them being guests of the Southwestern Athletic Association for the day.
In addition to the mayors and their many fans from all sections are coming, especially the alumni. Tomorrow's game is not alumni Home Coming Day but nevertheless a great many of them feel that it marks such an advance in Southwestern's (unreadable word) that they must be on hand.
Acting Mayor Louis Chopin has issued a proclamation calling on the business people to close their places of business for the occasion so that not only may they go to the game but that their employees may also attend the contest. The program at the Southwest Lousiana District Fair will be started early so that all may have the opportunity to take in the fair and then go to the football game.
The stadium is in complete readiness for the opening game. The grandstand, seating over 1,200 persons is ready and the bleachers caring for another 1,500 are in place so ample seating is assured for all. Sufficient parking space has been provided so that one may park his car and then walk to the grandstand on concrete walks.
The referee will start the game promptly at 3:30 p.m., the preliminary exercises taking place before.
The Sam Houston team arrived here this afternoon and worked out on the new field while the Bulldogs had their final practice on the old field. The visiting team comes here with a most impressive pre-season record and with the rubber game on for tomorrow they are sure to uncork their best plays and attempt to carry back to Texas the victory.
Just as determined will be the Bulldogs who want to get back into a winning stride after losing two straight to Louisiana State and Millsaps. Coach Mobley and his assistants have been driving the team in an effort to put the strongest line-up on the field that the team has showed this year. The scrimmage yesterday found the varsity doing its best work of the season and bespeaks a decided improvement in tomorrow's play of the team.
So everything is ready for the opening whistle to start the first game in Southwestern's new Stadium, and Lafayette and southwest Louisiana are back of the Bulldogs with the old battle cry of "Go get 'em Bulldogs."
Work on the new Stadium has been rushed in preparation for the opening, and all details completed so that there will be no delay in the plans. The field, grandstand and other features of the stadium project present a very attractive appearance and have already attracted much attention. Athletes and officials here for the A. A. U. meet praised the new track and field in very high terms. - Lafayette Daily Advertiser 10/14/1926.
So, how did the game turn out? The Bulldogs won!
From the Lafayette Daily Advertiser of October 14th, 1926:
BULLDOGS WIN, 15 - 0, FROM SAM HOUSTON IN STADIUM OPENING
Big Crowd Sees Southwestern Victor Over Texas Eleven In First Grid Contest On New Field - Brief Ceremonies Program Is Held In Connection With Dedication Of Stadium, With Music By Rotary Band, Flag Ceremony, And Singing By Students.
By HARRY J. STAHL.
When darkness finally settled over the new Southwestern Institute Stadium last evening, the stadium had been dedicated, a football game won by the Bulldogs putting them back in a winning streak and further more taking the rubber game from the Sam Houston Teachers by a score of 15 - 0.
The Bulldog line showed such an improvement that it was not recognized for some time and then the way the boys went after the lads from Texas in the first few minutes of play showed that they meant business. Sam Houston received the kick-off and fumbled on the third play, Southwestern recovering. Southwestern fumbled, the visitors recovering and they again fumbled this time Southwestern recovering near the enemy's goal line. The Bulldogs tried hard to push over a score but were held on the three yard line. The Texans kicked out and the Bulldogs started another drive only to be halted on the 20 yard line again. Mayfield's punt was blocked and the fortunate thing for the visitors was that it went only for a safety instead of a touchdown. This made the score Southwestern 2, Sam Houston 0.
The balance of the first quarter found the Bulldogs in the shadow of the enemy goal posts but never quite able to get the last little white line.
Near the end of the half a poor punt by the visitors from back of their goal line was good for only 18 yards, the ball going to Southwestern on the 18 yard line. Theriot tossed a pass to Sonnier for 13 yards, Cormier hit the center for 3 more and then Captain Theriot went off right tackle for the score. Attempt to drop kick goal failed. Southwestern now leading 8 to 0.
Sam Houston received the kickoff and on the first play Theriot intercepted a pass on the 30 yard line and returned it to the 10. Foley added 4 more around left end and then Theriot passed to Aucoin for the score. Theriot drop kicked goal. Southwestern 15, Sam Houston 0. That marked the end of the scoring.
The second half was a hard fought affair with the Bulldogs trying to hold their lead and the visitors threatening with everything from fake crisscrosses to triple passes. They worked on triple pass and lost 4 yards. That settled that play. They tried the crisscross about three times and lost on it twice although it worked once when Linn went around his left end for 22 yards for the only first down the visitors made in the second half.
Southwestern was outclassed in only one department of play and that was punting. Linn and Mayfield punted much better than Dupuis or Tabor. However, as related above, it was a poor Sam Houston punt that resulted in Southwestern's first touchdown.
Captain Theriot was the outstanding star of the entire game. He was ably supported by his own backfield with little Andre Dupuis playing a nice game. However, it was Southwestern's line that made the winning of the game possible. Aucoin and Holloway playing their first full game at end stopped every end run except one. Tabor and Adams at tackle stopped the off tackle plays and opened holes for Theriot and A. Dupuis on their off tackle plunges. While Nichols, G. Dupuis and Hockey in the center of the line stopped everything coming their way and were influential in the gains made by Cormier.
And then Coach Mobley sent in a string of subs and all played their parts well.
Sandel and Rodgers played the best game in the line for the visitors while Linn bore the brunt of the attack. Mayfield the supposed threat of the team, did very little except carry the ball.
Preceding the game the Lafayette Rotary Boys Band marched on the field. The boys made a wonderful appearance as they paraded up the gridiron, stopping before the new flagpole, the gift of Gannette, Seelye, and Fleming, Engineers of Harrisburg, Penn. The band members were dressed in their new white uniforms and were received with great applause by the crowd. The members if the two teams then formed a circle around the flagpole. The band played the Star Spangled Banner as the flag was raised. It was immediately lowered to half-mast in memory of our late governor.
The student body then sang their Alma Mater Song and the game was on. A large crowd was on hand for the game but not as many were present as had been expected.
Lafayette Daily Advertiser 10/14/1926.
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