There are two certainties and one very strong probability concerning the renewal of the Aberdeen-Montesano football rivalry.
Admission to Friday night’s game at Montesano’s Rottle Field will exceed 50 cents — the ticket price for the last Bobcat-Bulldog confrontation in 1930. Even if the game ends in controversy, it almost certainly will not be replayed in its entirety, as was the case in the 1920.
It is also unlikely that the series record for margin of victory will be threatened. Aberdeen won the 1917 contest, 107-0 — three years after prevailing 106-0 in the series opener. Aberdeen Hall of Famer Irwin Pinckney scored 12 touchdowns in the latter contest, one that evidently did not include wholesale substitutions.
According to prep historian Ralph Lovelace, a former Harborite who now lives in Tumwater, this will be the 15th meeting of the Bulldogs and Bobcats in football — but the first since 1930. The Harbor schools were members of the same league from 1920-29.
The series record, however, is in dispute. Depending on your point of view, Aberdeen leads 12-2 or 12-1-1.
Montesano seemingly scored a 19-13 victory in a game played in October of 1920. But Aberdeen coaches challenged the validity of one touchdown, according to Lovelace, over what they considered an illegal substitution and regarded the contest as a 13-all tie. That’s the way it was reported in the Aberdeen World, but the Daily Washingtonian of Hoquiam and the Montesano Vidette recorded it as a Monte win.
Instead of having the outcome determined by a district or state committee, as would be the case these days, the two schools incredibly agreed on a do-over. They replayed the game in its entirely on Thanksgiving Day at Electric Park. That date was open because Hoquiam had terminated its season over what Lovelace described as a “player revolt.”
Aberdeen won the rematch, 21-7. It was the last time the Bobcats faced a school other than Hoquiam on Thanksgiving Day. Lovelace reported, incidentally, that the Aberdeen school yearbook ignored the results of the October meeting and listed only the Thanksgiving victory.
Montesano’s lone undisputed victory in the series came in 1923, a home-field 13-12 triumph.
The 1930 contest — the series finale until this year —was relatively uneventful. Thanks to a Montesano goal-line stand, the Bobcats led only 7-0 at the half, but dominated the second half for a 26-0 victory. Bob Carey scored three touchdowns — one on a 20-yard run — for the Bobcats.