Nov 19

This Day in #ReitzFootball History (Nov. 19): scoreless tie with Bosse erases share of 1932 city title, Panthers fall in 1977 state title game proudly presents “This Day in #ReitzFootball History,” as we look back through almost 100 years of The Mighty Panthers.

On November 19:

  • Overall: 2-3-1 (6 games)
  • At Reitz Bowl (1949, 1955, 1957): 2-1
  • Away (1932, 1938, 1977): 0-2-1
  • Reitz has never played on a Friday
  • On Tuesday (1957): 1-0
  • On Saturday (1932, 1938, 1949, 1955, 1977): 1-3-1

1932: Reitz 0, Bosse 0 tie

“Splattered with mud from end to end, the football teams from Bosse and Reitz High Schools deadlocked 0 to 0 Saturday afternoon on Enlow Field.

The scoreless tie dashed the Reitz hopes for a share in city gridiron laurels [as the Panthers finished 1-1-1; a win would have given them a tie with Memorial, who finished 2-1 in the city].

Before six a.m. Saturday Herman Kraemer, Bosse’s handy man had Business Manager David Dudley on the phone and the job of attempting to get the field in shape for the game was started.

The snow was removed and buckets of water and slush carted away. Altho Herman did a noble job, plenty of mud and slush remained when the Reitz Panthers and the Bulldogs scampered on the field before a homecoming crowd of 6000.

The mud turned the game into a defensive battle and as the players left the field with numbed hands and dirty faces they seemed satisfied with the verdict.

Each team made one serious scoring threat. The gun, ending the first half, stopped the Panther drive and a fumble called a halt to the Bulldog rampage.”

– Evansville Press, Nov. 20, 1932

1938: Memorial 24, Reitz 13

The Panthers build up a 13-6 first-half lead with touchdowns from John Parrish and Forrest McCaffry, but the Tigers, who would go on to win the 1938 mythical state championship, stormed back to cap their sixth straight unbeaten city campaign.

1949: Memorial 7, Reitz 6 (SIAC Large Division game)

The Tigers upset the Panthers in front of 6,000 at the Bowl, in both teams’ final game of the season. The Panthers took the lead in the second quarter on a Pete Fisher 55-yard punt return, but freshman Bill Cain missed the extra point.

While the Tigers scored in the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead, Reitz was driving with two minutes left in the game, but a Memorial interception sealed the victory.

Despite the Panthers’ first loss to a city team in four years, Reitz still won outright city and SIAC championships when, a few days later on Thanksgiving, Bosse beat Central, 12-0.

1955: Reitz 53, Memorial 6 (SIAC game)

“The faint November sunshine tried prodigiously to ease the chill and discomfort for the adventurous group of 2,500 football zealots Saturday afternoon at Reitz Bowl but there was neither clemency in the talented and powerful sinew of the Reitz Hilltoppers as they roared to a smashing 53-6 triumph over Memorial’s willing but out-classed Tigers.”

– Evansville Courier & Press, Nov. 20, 1955

Don Markee led the Panthers with four touchdowns.

1957*: Reitz 33, Central 6 (SIAC game)

Wayne Roehr led the Panthers with two touchdowns. The game had originally been scheduled for Oct. 25 but was postponed twice due to a flu outbreak.

1977: Portage 33, Reitz 14 (Class 3A State Championship game)

The Panthers advanced to the state championship game for the first time since the IHSAA implemented a playoff in 1973, but came up short against the Indians. The top-ranked Panthers trailed 21-6 by halftime, and Portage scored twice more to take a 33-6 lead before the Panthers scored again in the fourth quarter.

“They just overpowered us,” Reitz assistant Don Henry was quoted in the Nov. 20, 1977 edition of the Evansville Courier & Press. “They are a fine football team, that’s just it. The boys gave it all they had, though.”

* – denotes state championship season

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