First Carleton Football Team

May 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Football clubs were popular in the early years of the college, but it was not until 1891 that a team was organized under official sanction.The first formally organized football team played but two games in 1891, against Seabury Seminary in Faribault (the college boys easily beat the seminary students). Games were played only sporadically until 1897, but by 1905 Carleton had become a powerhouse in the state. 

  • Between 1905 and 1917, Carleton teams had a record of 66 wins, 17 losses, and 2 ties. In the years 1910-1917 they outscored their opponents 1520 to 79.
  • From 1913-1916, under the leadership of coach C.J. Hunt, Carleton won the Minnesota College Athletic Conference championship and had an undefeated record.
  • In 1914 and 1915 they were not scored against once, and during the 1914 season they averaged better than 60 points a game.

The climax came in 1916 when they beat Amos Alonzo Stagg and his University of Chicago team. Stagg said of the game, "the team that beat Chicago, no matter what future teams may have, will always be remembered as the first to demonstrate to the football world that Carleton produces teams of the first class, worthy to be placed on par with any team in the country."

The Maize and Blue's last undefeated football season was in 1954, an accomplishment which brought the tribute of an article in Sports Illustrated.

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