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From the Hawkeye Herald, Nov. 26, 1924 Cornell topples Coe in great season
November 02, 2017


Editor's note: While scouring the archives in the 1960s for a story of note for Hometown Teams, we came across a photo of Leigh Wallace being honored at the 1969 Cornell Homecoming game for his coaching of an undefeated Cornell football team in 1924. That photo was printed in the Oct. 23, 1969, Hawkeye-Record and Lisbon Herald.

Below is an account of Cornell's rout of rivals Coe College from that season, where the Rams were able to break a seven-year trend of losses to the Kohawks during their undefeated season, printed in the Nov. 26, 1924 Hawkeye Herald.

The story that ran in 1924 shows the forward pass was a relatively new tactic.

Closeness of score little indicate's

Cornell's victory

Coe Clearly Outplayed and Seven-Year Jinx Smashed by 'Coach Wallace's Proteges'

When darkness settled over Ash Park Saturday evening, the purple and white waved triumphantly over a battle field that, after seven years of valiant defeats at the hands of the Coe grid fighters, scooped up a glorious 16-13 victory into the arms of the Cornell college eleven - an eleven which "Polly" Wallace has lifted into

second place in the Midwest conference with a percentage of 1000, against staggering odds, and an eleven which, for two-thirds of that day's game, ran, smashed, waded through and splintered the old Coe jinx of seven years' standing.

It was a memorable day at Cornell, as can well be conceived, for it brought to a final climax a glorious season in football and for the second time this fall, at Homecoming time and the Coe game, brought many visitors, followers, champions and supporters of Cornell back to the home campus and put up to the football fans from a wide circle hereabouts one of the greatest feasts of the kind they ever witnessed.

Both sides of the field were lined with stands and the largest gathering of automobiles parked throughout the athletic park. Hundreds also came down from Cedar Rapids and elsewhere over the interurban railway.

The game itself was a complete vindication of the more than ordinary confidence inspired by the year's team, which, all but new, gradually and consistently rounded into stellar form, and in the training of Cornell's new football mentor, "Polly" Wallace, assistant last year, who succeeded to the head position when "Sherm" Finger left at the beginning of the year for Minnesota University. Not a Cornell player was taken from the lineup on account of his physical condition and not once was the team penalized for roughing. They played 'straight football with a brilliance that kept the crowd at a high pitch tension of interest throughout the long game.

Their offense was especially effective and the defense held the fast aerial attack developed by Coe in bounds.

Coe was not so fortunate or well prepared, as to injuries. Whether due to their style of playing, in using the forward pass, or otherwise, two of their players were severely injured. But the scarlet and black were out in force, and while the team put up a desperate game, the student body was well represented both numerically and with the spirit of support.

While this year's contest was the first victory for Cornell over Coe in football in seven years, during which time the two teams met with the breaks of the game so often seemingly favoring Coe that it came to be considered a dyed-in-the-wool case of "jinx," the total record of the annual series of games still shows a leadership for Cornell, this count being 16 games won by Cornell and 14 games won by Coe. For many years in the beginning of football meets between the two institutions, Cornell featured as all but out-classing their neighboring contemporary.

Seven or eight years ago the tide turned and favored Coe, sometimes in decided victories and at others when Cornell staged rallies that almost, but until last Saturday, never quite routed the "jinx." The Cornell recovery this year is attended not only by the intensity of a come-back that has been so longed-for, but also by pronounced interest attending the new administration of Acting Director of Athletics, L. A. Wallace, whose personal popularity in all classes of local citizens prompted marked cooperation and good will. Mr. Wallace's coaching has proved directly effective in football technique, while his personality of quiet force commands the absolute confidence of his squad of players. His work at Cornell this fall has also been noted and commended by football writers and "sharks" throughout the state.

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