Mendocino-Fort Bragg Football Game of 1930

The Mendocino High School football team of 1930 posing on the field at the high school. Front row L – R: Tyrell Cox, Leslie Amundsen, Runar Stolpe, Burney Sjolund, Harold Hee, Ken Maxwell, Conrad Christianson. Back row: Trigger Martin, Leo Richardson, Ray Sjolund, Jesse Paoli. Standing L – R: Evald Burbeck, Hiriam Day Feary, Angus Russell. (Gift of Rene Borgna Tanner, The Rene Borgna Tanner and Ann Borgna Pesula Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

November 1, 1930 – Businesses in town closed their doors for two hours in support of the Mendocino High School football team. The Mendocino Cardinals met the Fort Bragg Timberwolves for what promised to be the hardest fought game of the season for both teams. The game began at 2pm on the Mendocino High School gridiron.

Just the year before, Fort Bragg had trounced Mendocino 54-0. Despite that, the Beacon reported that the Mendocino team and their rooters would not be satisfied to simply hold down the score. They wanted to win!

The following week, the Beacon relayed their disappointment, “The Mendocino Cardinals were defeated by the Fort Bragg Timberwolves by a score of 26-0. The game was hard played from beginning to end. Fort Bragg took advantage of all the breaks to score four touchdowns. The local team showed a greater organization, playing more like a unit than they have played this season. Once the Mendocinoites had the ball on Fort Bragg’s one yard line but the team failed to give the final push to get it over. In the third quarter the Cardinals outplayed their opponents keeping the ball in the latter’s territory practically the whole quarter.”

“Who of you who attended the big football game here last Saturday did not thrill to the old Mendocino spirit of “never say die?” Even the fog failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the young rooters who loyally supported their team even in defeat. And that team, did they stop fighting when the score was against them? No. Remember last year’s score, 54-0. The players may lack experience and certain skill, but on the credit sheet write in large red letters — The Fighting Cardinals lived up to their name – and the school was behind them.”

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