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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Bill Pierce’s almanac: North Central football ruled

North Central had a remarkable run of success on the football field from 1926 through 1929. They went undefeated in league during that span, with two perfect seasons.

In 1926, coached by Clarence Zimmerman, NC’s only loss on the year was a narrow 15-13 decision to Walla Walla, finishing with a 7-1 record.

The 1927 squad, again under the leadership of Zimmerman, went 8-0-0. Some of the games were close, winning by only a touchdown in four contests, including a 6-0 victory over Lewis and Clark to end the season.

In 1928, Glenn “Brick” Johnson took the helm for his one and only year as coach. It was a good one, as the Indians were one of the top teams in the state, again going 8-0. They were never seriously challenged in any game. They opened with a 33-0 victory over Wilbur, and ended the season against LC, winning 52-0. Twice, the team scored 73 points. On the road in Whitefish, Montana they won, 73-0. The second time was against league opponent Hillyard. Recognizing the Panthers were undermanned and suffering from injuries, Coach Johnson used his reserves for much of the game. Hillyard did manage to score a touchdown in the 73-6 loss. Those turned out to be the only points scored on NC that season, as the Indians outscored their opponents, 324-6.

Mentor Dahlen and Stanley Colburn were instrumental in NC’s dominance, piling up huge rushing yards game after game. Both were All-City choices in 1927 and 1928. Dahlen later went on to play for Washington State in the 1931 Rose Bowl.

In 1929, Byron “Red” Reese coached the Indians. A 20-game win streak came to an end in NC’s opening game, a 0-0 tie with the Gonzaga University freshmen team. Two games later the team suffered its first loss since 1927, losing to Lewiston Normal, 13-7.  Normal (now Lewis-Clark State College) was a college team that the Indians had defeated the year before, 27-0. Still, NC went undefeated in league for the fourth year in a row and finished the season at 6-2-1.

Graduation took its toll and ended the run, but for four years North Central ruled the high school gridiron in Spokane.

Bill Pierce
Bill Pierce is a sports blogger who writes the weekly nwprepsnow prep sports almanac.

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