100 memories … 1,000 games


Photo by B.A.Rupert

On Homecoming, Oct. 8, the Missouri S&T Miner football team will take the field for a game for the 1,000th time. (The game begins at 1 p.m. at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.) During this era of Miner football — which dates back to the first game in 1893 — fans have witnessed many memorable moments.

Beginning on Sept. 26, the history of Miner football over the first 1,000 games will be broken down into 10 categories of 10 games each from all eras. Some could easily have fallen in multiple categories — for instance, the 1950 Homecoming game win over Missouri State — but each game has its own legacy as part of the first 1,000 games played by the Miners.
The complete lists of the 100 games will be available at sports.mst.edu on a daily basis from Sept. 26-30 and from Oct. 3-7 leading up to the Oct. 8 Homecoming game.

The following is a sampling of the 100 games that will be featured, one from each of the highlighted categories:

Opening days
Oct. 3, 1914: Miners 9, Missouri 0 The 1914 opener was one of the signature moments in the history of the Miner football program, as MSM went into Columbia and handed the Tigers a 9-0 loss. The victory was the first in a historic season for the Miners, who would win all of their games and not allow a point during the regular season.

Home openers
Sept. 19, 1970: Miners 20, Washington University 14 The Miners’ “Centennial Game” — in celebration of the campus’s 100th year — saw Washington University pay its first-ever visit to Rolla. The Miners sent Wash.U. home with a loss as Pat Godwin threw for 217 yards to lead the Miners to the victory.

Top defensive performances
Nov. 16, 1901: Miners 12, Drury 0 In the midst of the Miners’ 1901 season, the defensive unit recorded five shutouts. This win over Drury was the fifth of those blankings in that year and kept them undefeated on the season; the shutout mark was exceeded only by the 1914 team’s eight shutouts.

National rankings
Nov. 11, 1995: Miners 25, Missouri Western 21 The Miners entered their 1995 finale against 20th-ranked Missouri Western still seeking its first win of the season, while the Griffons came in with hopes of making the NCAA Division II playoffs. Western led 14-0 at the half and still led 21-19 in the fourth quarter when it appeared ready to put the game away, but a turnover at the goal line gave the Miners the ball back. On a fourth down play on their own seven-yard line, Joe Knapp connected with Elliot Jackson for a stunning 93-yard touchdown pass that gave the Miners a 25-21 upset win.

On the road
Nov. 20, 1903: Oklahoma 12, Miners 6 This game holds significance as a game that the Miners lost to the Sooners — but in the minds of many in attendance that day, could very easily have come away with a win. That is, if OU had not walked off the field with only seconds remaining in the game and the Miners on the doorstep of the Sooners’ goal line.

Oct. 27, 1957: Miners 27, Emporia State 14 This wasn’t even the scheduled Homecoming opponent for the Miners in 1957 — Southeast Missouri State was to fill that role — but flu epidemics at Southeast and Fort Hays State (Emporia’s scheduled opponent that week) brought the two schools together for the contest. The Miners used a 328-yard day on the ground to beat the Hornets.

Last-minute wins
Sept. 24, 1994: Miners 15, Emporia State 14 In this game, the Miners were held out of the end zone by Emporia State — until the very last play of the game. Trailing 14-9, the Miners marched down the field and found themselves at the ESU one-yard line with time for just one more play. Quarterback Jason Politte scored on a quarterback sneak to give the Miners the win in Emporia — the only time in the game that the Miners led.

Nov. 8, 2008: Miners 63, Southwest Baptist 23 Brad Guidry, who had missed nearly a year of action due an injury, had a final home game to remember in 2008 as he threw an S&T record seven touchdown passes in a win over Southwest Baptist. Guidry was 32-of-43 in the game for a career-high 449 yards; five of his scoring passes came in the second half as S&T outscored the Bearcats 42-13 after the intermission.

Conference clinchers
Nov. 15, 1980: Miners 20, Truman State 14 The Miners completed their second undefeated season by holding off Truman State’s late rally effort in Kirksville. The Miners jumped out to a 20-0 lead, but the Bulldogs cut the lead to six before Kelly Rudolph recovered a fumble on Truman’s last possession to secure the win.

Season finales
Nov. 23, 1950: Miners 7, Illinois State 6 The Miners were invited to play in the Corn Bowl following the 1950 season in Normal, Ill., and captured the game on an icy field. MSM got its only score of the game on a five-yard run by Ed Kwadas and Bill Wohlert’s extra point turned out to be the difference in the one-point win.

By John Kean