Perfection and imperfection

Posted on May 3rd, 2011 in Cool stuff,Everything,Ramblings by Patrick

A little more than a year ago, I wrote this post about teams going either scoreless or un-scored-upon for an entire season. I noted that, in Wyoming, it hadn’t happened in either case since 1946.

But, since the time I wrote that post, I have completed research back to 1920 and can now say that there were indeed teams who weren’t scored upon all season — and there were teams who didn’t score for entire seasons.

I can also say the list of the un-scored-upon is much shorter than the list of the scoreless. In fact, my list of un-scored-upon teams only numbers two since 1920: Byron in 1939 and Heart Mountain in 1943.

Both come with asterisks.

Byron’s 1939 season is listed here on a technicality: I can’t find final scores for two of the Eagles’ games that year. In the five game results I know, Byron was 5-0 and outscored its opponents 123-0. But I have yet to find final scores for a game scheduled on Sept. 30 with Meeteetse and for a game scheduled on Oct. 5 with Deaver-Frannie. I don’t even know for sure if those games were played. Here is the Eagles’ schedule and results for the season as I have them posted on the Byron team page:

1939 (5-0) Coach: Malcolm LeSueur
S14/1939 Burlington 0 Byron 12 NWDN
S21/1939 Deaver-Frannie 0 Byron 20 LC/NWDN
S23/1939 Byron 32 Meeteetse 0 CE/NWDN
S26/1939 Byron 19 Ten Sleep 0 CTH/NWDN
S30/1939 Meeteetse Byron
O3/1939 Byron 40 Burlington 0 CTH/LC
O5/1939 Byron Deaver-Frannie
O27/1939 Basin Byron not played BRR

The other team to go an entire season without allowing a point is the Heart Mountain squad from 1943. This was the first year that the Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp played football against other schools, and with the anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States at the time, it was difficult to find teams willing to come to the camp and play (the football team was not allowed to leave the camp to play games). Nevertheless, in the team’s three games in 1943, the Eagles went 3-0 and didn’t allow a point, outscoring their three foes 38-0. In fact, the Eagles also shut out their first three opponents in 1944 before falling 19-13 to Natrona in the only loss in program history in a game that ended both the 1944 season and the camp’s interscholastic team. Here is the Eagles’ 1943 season as seen on their team page:

1943 (3-0) Coach: Ray Thompson
O1/1943 Worland 0 Heart Mountain 7 CTH/NWDN
O9/1943 Red Lodge (MT) 0 Heart Mountain 25 CTH/HMS
O23/1943 Lovell 0 Heart Mountain 6 CTH/HMS

The scoreless teams? Well, there were numerous teams that went entire seasons without scoring a point between 1920 and 1945. The list also includes the only program to go two consecutive seasons without a score: Gebo in 1934 and 1935. Of teams that played more than one game in their seasons, scoreless teams include:

University Prep 1920 (0-4, outscored 121-0, first season after more than 10 years without a program)
Riverton 1922 (0-3, outscored 175-0, first season in program history)
Sundance 1924 (0-2 with one missing game, outscored 61-0, first season in program history)
Lingle 1926 (0-6, outscored 181-0)
Newcastle 1928 (0-2, outscored 142-0)
Valley 1928 (0-2, outscored 22-0)
Superior 1928 (0-2-2 with one missing game, outscored 19-0)
Manderson 1928 (0-4, outscored 176-0)
Lander 1928 (0-5-1, outscored 52-0)
Gillette 1929 (0-3-1, outscored 95-0)
Basin 1931 (0-6, outscored 135-0)
Gebo 1934 (0-6-1, outscored 135-0)
Gebo 1935 (0-4-1, outscored 81-0)
Buffalo 1935 (0-7, outscored 192-0)
Guernsey 1938 (0-5-1, outscored 75-0)
Sunrise 1940 (0-2, outscored 13-0, but probably played more games than this)

Upton’s 1938 team may also make the scoreless list. That season, the Bobcats went 0-6; they were outscored 152-0 in five games and also lost to Custer, S.D., but the score for that game has not been located yet.

Special note (results prior to 1920): Although scoreless or un-scored-upon seasons were much more common prior to 1920 due to shorter seasons and limited opponent pools, one team should be mentioned from this era: the 1917 Sheridan Broncs. That seasons, the Broncs put up perhaps the most dominating stretch of games ever put together by a Wyoming team. That season, Sheridan went 7-0 and outscored foes by a total of 300-0 — an average of almost 43-0 per game. It is the only verified complete (more than five games) season in state history in which a team has gone unbeaten, untied and un-scored-upon.

Sheridan’s 1917 results: Defeated Buffalo 96-0; defeated Billings, Mont., 7-0; defeated Buffalo 77-0; defeated Billings Poly, Mont., 22-0; defeated Miles City, Mont., 13-0; defeated Billings Poly, Mont., 7-0; defeated Worden, Mont., 78-0.

Season results from 1900 to 1919 will be posted soon.

–patrick

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