When a researcher came upon this faded pennant in the papers of alumnus Richard U. Cogswell (class of 1925) last week, he noted that the 100th anniversary of a UVM football victory was at hand. On October 21, 1922, the UVM football team unexpectedly outscored the Dartmouth College team on its home field in Hanover, NH. It was just the fourth time that Dartmouth lost at home and the first time that UVM had beaten Dartmouth in ten years. While the Vermont Cynic, the UVM student paper, claimed that “More printer’s ink can never do credit to the story of the wonderful fight and the dogged persistence” of the UVM team,” the victory was celebrated at length in the press, the Dartmouth alumni magazine and the UVM yearbook.
The Vermont Cynic led with a front-page story and filled three pages with play-by-play accounts in its October 28 issue. According to the Cynic, the UVM team played “its most superb brand of football” to defeat Dartmouth. The Cynic’s sports editor offered a dramatic account of the victory.
The last few minutes of play in the game Saturday provided a thrill which will never be forgotten by any one who witnessed the game. With Dartmouth sending in a fresh backfield after every play, when the Green were within one foot of a touchdown, the strong and sturdy pupils of Coach Keady stiffened on the defense and fought what seemed like an inevitable defeat, even in spite of the fast fleeting seconds, and when the whistle blew, they had once more proved to the world that a David could look a Goliath in the eye and beat him.
In its December 1922 issue, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine recognized UVM as a worthy opponent. Vermont’s “powerful and well drilled football machine” compared favorably to Dartmouth opponents like Penn State, Colgate and West Virginia. Dartmouth credited UVM’s “unexpected defensive strength” that “succeeded several times in holding the Green team in check when a touchdown seemed imminent.”
The 1924 edition of Ariel, the student yearbook, devoted nine and a half pages to the “Green and Gold scoring machine” that was the 1922 UVM football team. The football section, illustrated with player and game photos, highlighted the hair-raising finish of the Dartmouth-UVM game.
The pennant that Richard Cogswell saved is part of the University Archives collection of alumni papers (Record Group 81). The collection includes scrapbooks, diaries, letters, and memorabilia donated by former students that provide insights into student life over the decades.