In the early days of high school football, you would occasionally see someone lining up sporting a 5 o’clock shadow and the appearance of last seeing the inside of a classroom sometime a few years in their past.
It was enough of a problem that the Washington High School Association decided to come up with some rules to make sure the players were actually students of the school they were representing. One such rule had to do with age.
In 1934, Rogers won its first five games in league and only a 12-6 setback to Gonzaga High in the annual Shrine Game spoiled an undefeated league season. Gonzaga also was having a good year, with its only loss being to Rogers in an earlier game. They also had a 0-0 tie with Lewis and Clark.
Early in November, it was pointed out by the state association that three players were over the newly established age rule. They were legitimate students at the schools they attended, but the association ruled that games in which they had participated would be forfeited. Rogers, Gonzaga High and North Central were the schools affected.
It made a mess of league standings. Rogers went from 5-1-0 to 2-3-0. G-Prep’s ineligible player only took to the field in one game, that being with North Central. Since both schools played with an offending player, the game was ruled a noncounter in league, leaving the Bullpups with a 4-0-1 record and the league crown. Lewis and Clark was the only team not penalized, and went from winless to 2-3-1. The Rogers-North Central game was also ruled a noncounter.
Rogers, with one loss on its season before the state ruling, salvaged some pride with two wins over nonleague opponents to end the year. One of those was a 14-7 victory on the road against a strong Helena squad that was considered Montana’s best team.
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