VOLUME 2 ISSUE 10   October 2005
The First Homecoming: October 9, 1920
Article related photo.
The 1920 football season began on Sept. 1 when head coach Hugo Bezdek began practices with the varsity team. Beaver Field has been newly remodeled and the facilities were sparkling. The game against Dartmouth had been scheduled for the third game of the 1920 season—it was to be one of the featured activities of the first official Alumni Homecoming Day.

It was also a rematch of the 1919 game when Dartmouth beat the Nittany Lions 19-13, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect season of seven wins and one loss. The 1919 season was Bezdek’s second at Penn State and one of Penn State’s most acclaimed years. The 1919 football team was considered by some to be “one of the foremost, if not the foremost gridiron aggregation in the United States.”

Going into the game, the Nittany Lions were 2-0. This match would be a decisive one. Penn State’s students were following the team closely. A Daily Collegian article, published just before the game, wrote of the impending rematch, “The greatest football game in the eastern part of this country will take place tomorrow after at New Beaver Field when the Big Green team from Dartmouth tackles Bezdek’s Nittany Lions for the supremacy.”

Article related photo.
Another article about the upcoming battle reported, “One of the largest crowds that has ever witnessed a game on New Beaver Field is expected to attend. Twice as many applications have been received from Alumni than ever before and a large Dartmouth delegation is expected….The New Englanders consider Saturday’s contest a crisis for the Green team and are determined to support their men to the limit.”

New Beaver Filed was packed, filled with 12,000 fans. It was a defensive struggle. By the last few minutes of play, the score was 7-7 and the crowd was frantic. Then it happened. Penn State’s W. Glenn Killinger ‘22 intercepted a “forward pass” and dashed 52 yards to within two yards of the goal. Then Joe Lightner ‘22 carried the ball across for the winning touchdown. The Blue and White warriors scored their third victory of the season, defeating the Dartmouth eleven by a score of 14-7.

An undefeated season with notable victories, gave the 1920 team a permanent place in the annals of Penn State’s athletic history.

This poem was published on Oct. 12, 1920 in The Daily Collegian following the first official Homecoming game:

Did the Chills Run Up and Down
Your Back at the Game?
I know They Did Mine
I Got So Excited
I Couldn’t Sit Still
And Once When ‘Killy’
Intercepted a Forward Pass
I Pushed the Fellow Next to Me
Right Off the Seat
But He Was So Excited Too
That He Never Noticed It
So It Was All Right
Even If
It Was the End Seat
The Alumni Were Happy Too
It Was Good To See
Some Grave, Portly, Old ‘89’er
Forget His Dignity
And Yell and Stamp
With the Rest Of the Boys
When Our Backs Went Through The Line
For Ten or Twenty Yards
And the Way
The Loyal Penn State Men
(Which Includes Everybody)
Cheered Outside The Track House
After The Game
Was Enough To Make
A Fellow Swell With Pride
The Spirit Was There
As It Was Never There Before
Which Is Saying Quite Somewhat
The Alumni Had
The Time Of Their Lives
And They All Said
That They Would Be Back
Next Year
To Get Another Injection
Of Penn State Spirit


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