Kalamazoo College Football Memorable Moments
Hornet football has provided many thrilling moments through the years. Here are a few of the most exiciting moments of Kalamazoo College's rich football tradition.
1894 - Kalamazoo 16, Kalamazoo YMCA 0: In the first game of the 1894 season and the fifth game in the history of the football program, K recorded its first victory.
October 19, 1895 - Kalamazoo 12, Alma College 8: Kalamazoo defeats Alma for its first-ever win against a collegiate opponent. The starting unit consisted of Oscar Lienau at center; Guy Smith at right guard; Frank Starring at left guard; Frank Millar at right tackle; Fred Kinnane at left tackle; Leroy Hornbeck at right end; Ira Bullock at left end; William Stripp at quarterback; Dick Westnedge at right half; Don Kinney at left half; and Marshall Warwick at full back. At that time, the team had no coach.
1917 - Kalamazoo 7, Michigan Agricultural College 3: The Kalamazoo-M.A.C. game furnished as good an example of how a team can hold as any man has ever seen. Six times M.A.C. had the ball within our three-yard line and ten times inside the five-yard line without being able to score a touchdown. Neither side scored until only ten minutes of play remained. Then Hammes (of M.A.C.) kicked a field goal which seemed enough to win the game. Soon afterwards Joe Bracket recovered Kellogg's (of M.A.C.) fumble and ran fifty yards for the winning touchdown." (As reported in "The Ka-Col," 1918). M.A.C. is now Michigan State University.
1926 - Kalamazoo 0, Notre Dame "B" 0: For the opening game of the season, the Hornets were on their old College Field, now part of West Michigan Avenue. Although the legendary Knute Rockne was on the sidelines, Notre Dame sent its "B" team to play the K varsity, still a large assignment for an MIAA school. Meet Joseph Allison Skeen. "Pop" Skeen, who had been an all-state football player in Utah, took a dive for the Hornets that made history. No gambling intended. Kalamazoo and Notre Dame were embroiled in a scoreless tie. In the final minute, the Irish had a first and goal at the Kalamazoo three-yard line. Lew Dipple, a student at K at the time, recalled the game and the moment. "'Pop' stood back about three yards (on defense). Then, with a tremendous effort, he dove completely over the Notre Dame line just after the center moved the ball." Remember, it was the era of the single wing and the Notre Dame Box. "The quarterback was a yard or two back," Dipple paused and winked. "We only had two officials working the games in those days." Then he continued, "He ('Pop') arrived at the ball and downed it before it ever got to the Notre Dame quarterback. I have never seen anything like it." The tie had been preserved. (Page 127 - "Celebrating a Century of the Student-Athlete").
The 1962 Season - Perfection: Among long-time Hornet faithful, esteem for Kalamazoo's extraordinary heritage in tennis is rivaled by only one event -- the undefeated, untied, MIAA championship football season of 1962. They still talk about it. So much so, that many are unaware that K repeated as MIAA champs in 1963. Of course, in 1963, they weren't undefeated and they shared the title with Hope. It wasn't the same. Co-captains of the 1962 team were quarterback Jim Harkema '64 and end Ray Comeau '63." (Pages 76-77 - "Celebrating a Century of the Student-Athlete").
Season Finale of 1963 - Lauermann Runs Wild: In what still stands as the finest rushing effort in Kalamazoo College football history, Ed Lauermann ran for 271 yards in a 71-20 trouncing of Kenyon College in the 1963 season finale. The win capped a 6-2 season for the Hornets, who won their second straight MIAA title. Lauermann finished the campaign with 916 yards on the ground, which also stands as a school record.
November 8, 1969 - Kalamazoo 18, Wayne State 13: The Hornets pull off an upset win against much-larger Wayne State to assure third-year head coach Ed Baker of at least a .500 season. Although K lost 15-0 versus Hiram College in its season-ending game, the 4-4 record is the first non-losing campaign since 1965.
November 4, 1989 - Kalamazoo 23, Hope 21: In Ed Baker's last game as coach of the Hornets, Kalamazoo fell behind early and trailed 21-3 after Hope scored its third touchdown of the game early in the third quarter. However, Kalamazoo rallied with a pair of quick TDs on halfback option passes and then took the lead for good early in the final period on a one-yard quarterback plunge. The Hornets then held on for the stunning victory, which snapped a 24-game winless streak and marked the first victory against the Flying Dutchmen since 1969.
October 22, 2005 - Kalamazoo 38, Alma 37: Kalamazoo came from behind twice to beat league-leading and conference undefeated (3-0) Alma, 38-37. The Hornets trailed 21-7 in the first and then 35-24 in the fourth. The Hornets were paced by two record-setting performers in Tim Kaselitz and Jeff Green. Kaselitz threw for a record 468 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. His 39 completions and 67 attempts were also school records, and he tied a record with the five touchdown passes. Jeff Green set a school record with 223 receiving yards on 13 receptions. His four touchdown catches also tied a school record. Kalamazoo was 3-of-4 on fourth downs and scored the eventual game-winner on a 4th-and-4 from the Alma seven with 3:14 left in the game.
November 12, 2005 - Kalamazoo 41, Tri-State 40: In a game that featured six lead changes, the Hornets held on to win 41-40 over Tri-State and cap an undefeated (4-0) season at home. Tri-State took a 24-20 lead early in the fourth and the teams exchanged leads until Gavin Mooney tied the game at 34-34 with 2:44 left with a 26-yard field goal. Nick Toboy intercepted a pass on the next drive and returned it 41 yards for the go-ahead score (41-34). Tri-State responded with a drive of 62 yards on eight plays capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds left to make it 41-40. The extra point attempt was blocked by Jared Randall. Tri-State proceeded with an onside kick, which deflected hard off a Kalamazoo receiver and went back behind the kicking line of scrimmage and was recovered by Tri-State. The Thunder completed a pass downfield, but the player was tackled as time expired.