posted October 10, 2007

Flying Dutchmen Seek Milestone Football Victory

Hope College will be bidding for the football program's milestone 400th collegiate victory Saturday (Oct. 13) when the Flying Dutchmen travel to Kalamazoo College for the traditional "Wooden Shoes Rivalry" game.

Photos of what "might have been" Hope football teams date back to 1895. Controversy on a national level over the nature of the game kept organized football play at Hope no more than a dream until 1902. Early in the 20th century Hope played non-collegiate opponents. The first recorded game against a collegiate opponent occurred in 1908 when the Flying Dutchmen lost to Benton Harbor College 19-15.

The 2007 season marks the 98th season.  Hope's alltime record against collegiate opponents heading into Saturday's game is 399-311-38.

Here's a summary of some other milestone games:

* The first victory over a collegiate opponent was against Ferris Institute
4-0 in 1908.  Back then a field goal was worth 4 points.  Back then most
of Hope's opponents were area high school teams.  A year later (1909)
Hope defeated Kalamazoo Normal (now known as Western Michigan
University.)

* The 50th win was a 13-0 shutout of Olivet in 1936. Ekdal J. Buys, Sr., a
defensive tackle, scored both Hope touchdowns in the game.  Taking the
ball away from the quarterback not once, but twice, and then going 45
and 52 yards for touchdowns. Hope's Buys Athletic Complex, honors Mr. Buys.

* The 100th win was a 26-7 decision over Adrian in 1951.  The night road
game was played in a snowstorm.  Hope led 20-0 at halftime.  With the
weather deterioating, the coaches agreed to shorten the second half
quarters from 15 to 12 minutes.  Hope's bus arrived back in Holland at
4:30 a.m.

* The 200th win was a season-opening 31-6 victory over Anderson in 1974. Coach Ray Smith used 66 players in the game played at Riverview Park.  After a scoreless first period, Hope scored 17 points in the second quarter.  Quarterback Bob Carlson threw two touchdown passes, both to Gary Constant.  Tailback Kurt Bennett launched his collegiate career by rushing for 78 yards on 15 carries.  The Hope defense intercepted five Anderson passes. 

* The 300th win was a 34-21 upset victory over defending MIAA champion Alma in 1989. Sophomore quarterback Stefan Swartzmiller completed 13-of-18 passes for 131 yards. Hope led just 10-7 at intermission. The teams combined for 38 points in the second half.  Peter Stuursma, now coach of the successful East Grand Rapids High School football program, scored his first collegiate touchdown on a one-yard run.  Chris Duryee rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries, including a 73-yard touchdown jaunt.