1923 Niagara vs. Colgate football game

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Niagara vs. Colgate
Players refuse to tackle
1234 Total
Niagara 0000 0
Colgate 287713 55
DateOctober 6, 1923
StadiumWhitnall Field
LocationHamilton, New York

The 1923 Niagara vs. Colgate football game was a college football game between the Niagara Purple Eagles and the Colgate Maroon played on October 6, 1923. The game was played at Whitnall Field in Hamilton Village, New York. The game is known for the Niagara team refusing to tackle their opponents during play and intentionally allowing them to score multiple times.[4]

Coach Dwyer of Niagara wanted to play four quarters of eight minutes in length rather than the standard 15-minute quarters, an agreement reached between the schools at an earlier date. Opposing coach Dick Harlow wanted nothing to do with the rule change and insisted on the standard 15 minutes.[5] In protest, the players of Niagara refused to tackle their opponents.[4] Coach Dwyer of Niagara told his team "I will dismiss from the squad any man who makes a tackle. I refuse to ruin you as a football team by playing 60 minutes against a team like that, even if they score 1,000 points."[6] Colgate scored three touchdowns in the first two minutes before Harlow agreed to the 8 minute quarters and resumed the game. [3]

Colgate's star halfback, Ed Tryon, scored a team record seven touchdowns in the game. His 42 total points also remain a Colgate record for a single game. [3]


  1. ^ DeLassus, David. "Niagara (NY) Team Records 1923". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  2. ^ DeLassus, David. "Coaching records: Richard C. "Dick" Harlow (1923)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Niagara Overwhelmed By Colgate Eleven". Colgate Maroon.
  4. ^ a b "PLAYERS REFUSE TO TACKLE; After Dispute With Colgate, Niagara Loses Farcical Game, 55 to 0". New York Times. October 7, 1923. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  5. ^ "NU loses to Colgate Team" (PDF). Niagara Falls-Gazette. October 8, 1923. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Football's Big Burlesque". Buffalo Courier-Express.