Gates Gridiron Greats

In honor of all those who face combat on the football fields this fall, here’s a report on Gates

College (Neligh) team of 1895. “On Friday evening last the Gates College football team,

accepting a challenge from the Y.M.C.A. of Omaha, went down for the first game of the

season. Manager Gregory and the coach Brown called fourteen husky men together and went

down to smite the Philistines. The fact that our team had only three days coaching made little

difference in our enthusiasm. We were going to do our best. As the Y.M.C.A. has been in

the hands of the coaches about two months they confidently expected to rub us into the earth

to the time of about 100 to 0. Promptly at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon the teams lined up.

“Gates won the toss. Ellis took the pigskin in his bosom and started on the return trip of

about twenty-five yards. The ball was downed and after three attempts and gains by the halfs

and full back the ball went to Omaha. Then began the rockiest work the Gates boys have

ever been compelled to meet. Slugging in the line became the order and it seemed as though

fouling was impossible. The Y.M.C.A.’s uttered short sentences copied from their Bibles

only in inverted order. They by strong interference went around the right end for a touch

down and goal, 6-0.

Kick off by Ellis and when the scrimmages began the Gates boys had learned a few things

and as a result made some tackles behind Omaha’s line. Superior blocking and interference

won Omaha another touch down. This was repeated until the score was 32-0 in favor of the

Y.M.C.A.’s. The number of fouls made was something awful but some way no one saw

them. The damaged condition of both teams showed that somebody did slugging. Ellis and

Free were hurt during the last half and relieved; Gardner, the opposite fullback, was badly

hurt during the last half and started to leave the gridiron but his paternal ancestor got excited,

rushed out of the crowd and ordered the boy ‘stay by ‘er.’ The old gentleman evidently

thirsted for gore.

“The Y.M.C.A. team was satisfied that they had to work hard for the score and the Gates

boys were satisfied to hold the winner down as well as they did. The Omaha’s have been

training under coaches about two months. The coach had been with the Gates team only

three days. Hence the superior skill of the victors. Our team needs only practice to make it a

first class team.”

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