Hear more about the Owls football team with our Tuesday Treasure video from April 7th. The real story follows:
Late November 1931, just a few days after Thanksgiving, the Westport Owls were set to play a football game against the Saugatuck Wanderer Juniors. These two Westport teams had a heated rivalry brewing.
The players sparred verbally and physically on the field, but roughly half-way through the game the score was lopsided in favor of the Owls, 20 – 0. At that point, the game reached a fever-pitch.
The game had started in the early afternoon, but the winter sunlight was waning. In the semi-darkness the next play would decide the fate of the game. The Westport fullback fumbled the ball on a line plunge. Players heaped onto the ball and the referee rushed to locate the ball’s position. After several tense moments, the players were removed but the ball had disappeared!
With no other ball available to play, the game ended on that sour note. Westport Owls manager, John E. Ryan, reported the disappearance of the ball to the police believing sabotage by the opposing team. The ball was never recovered.