1885 College Football Summary

Yale on three 35-yard goals from the field by George Watkinson defeated Pennsylvania 53-5.

It one of the most exciting games in the young history of college football, Yale was leading 5-0 late in the game when the thrill of victory seemed out-of-reach from Princeton but it wasn't!

The Yale kicker, George Watkinson sent a kick down the field, where it bounced off the chest of a Princeton player; the off the ground and into the waiting arms of Henry "Tilly" Lamar who sped towards the opposition's goal line.

After beating a pair of Yale defenders, Lamar's plight continued with one man to beat as both players leaped, he went through the would-be defender's grasp and into the end zone and into history.

The play went for 80 yards.

But wait; that only tied the score at 5-5 the all important conversion had to be attempted.

Princeton's Richard Hodge was successful with the winning kick; as Princeton returned home victoriously.

The setback would be the last one Yale would suffer until the last game of the 1889 season (a 50-game stretch: 49-0-1); again falling to Princeton, 10-0.

In early college football, there were no divisions; every team played as a whole.

As a result, in its sixth game of the season, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) exploded for the season's most productive outburst when it defeated Tufts, 110-0.

MIT this year was one of four schools in the Northern Collegiate Football Association, which included teams that were not members of the Intercollegiate Football Association.

The four-team league began competition in mid-October.

Harvard was forbidden to play by its faculty.

1885 Leaders (min. of 5 games) Show:

  • Offensive Scoring Leader (Most Scored)
    Princeton (9-0-0), 645 Points
  • Defensive Scoring Leader (Least Allowed)
    Yale (9-1-0) 16 Points
  • National Champions (Retroactive)
    Princeton (9-0-0)
  • Intercollegiate Football Association Standings
Team IFA Record Full Season
Princeton 3-0-0 9-0-0
Yale 2-1-0 9-1-0
Wesleyan 1-2-0 3-4-0
Pennsylvania 0-3-0 8-7-0
  • Northern Intercollegiate Football Association
Team IFA Record Full Season
Williams 6-1-0 6-1-0
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5-2-0 6-5-0
Tufts 2-4-0 4-5-0
Amherst 0-6-0 1-8-1

Writer R.M. Hodge/The Outing Magazine named Yale National Champion.

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