Alfred Trumaine, Back, Centerville Chiefs


Coming into the 1907 season, the impact of the forward pass rule introduced the year before was still evolving, and this would continue to be the case for several more seasons. Some coaches, such as Noble Jones College's John Christian, were big proponents of the rule and employed the pass as a weapon despite the risk involved due to the 15-yard-penalty for failure to complete the pass. Ed "Pug" Johnston, whose Centerville team had been 12-0-0 the season before, dubbed the pass a "gimmick" and promised his team would continue to play a "traditional" style.

Along with Centerville, both Sadler and Eastern Virginia had also been unbeaten in 1906, and came into the new season as favorites in the east. And like Sadler, the other schools who would one day make up the Academia Alliance, such as Ellery, Brunswick and George Fox were all expected to be strong teams. Elsewhere in the East, the Liberty College Bells and the Centerville Chiefs (who featured the popular Alfred Trumaine as their star back) were expected to do well. In the South, the Bayou State Cougars and the St. Andrew's Barons, along with Nobel Jones were expected to be strong. The Laclede Trappers members of the Western Alliance (later the Great Lakes Eight), and coached by the soon-to-be-legendary Alphonse Trumbull), and the (then) independent Detroit City College, coached by Fred Young, were considered to be among the stronger teams in the Midwest.

Among the big September contests, the opening week of September 21st saw Ellery top Gilman 15-3 and several other of the more prominent schools defeat small college competition easily. Centerville cruised 28-0 over Penn Catholic on September 28, and Ellery beat Bay State, 14-0. Empire State, which would later be a contender but had lost to a small Schenectady school the week before, downed West Corners (NY) 10-3, and Eastern State topped Central Carolina 17-10.

October 2nd - a Wednesday - saw the first contests for George Fox (30-0 over Hartford Wesleyan), Dickson (21-9 over Penobscot State) and Annapolis Maritime (24-0 over Delaware Teachers College) and those were quickly followed up by three more games within 12 days for each of those schools. Ellery and Dickson were both stunned in the rain on October 5th, Ellery finishing with a 3-3 tie with tiny Trinity Bible College of NJ and Dickson tying Presbyterian College of Trenton 7-7 while Sadler cruised over Hartford Wesleyan 59-0. The biggest game that day was a 24-10 win by Centerville over Liberty College with Trumaine having a big game.

But the biggest news was happening out west where the College of Omaha Raiders started with a pair of tiny, non-competitive opponents (winning 44-3 and 37-0) before a string of impressive wins: 27-7 over Poweshiek (10/12), 21-7 over Minnesota Tech (10/19), 31-3 over Boulder State (10/26), a hard-fought 24-14 win over Iowa A&M (11/2), a 51-0 demolition of Lawrence State (11/9) and 31-0 whitewashing of Mile High State (11/16) before wrapping up an undefeated/untied season with a 33-6 win over local rival Lincoln A&T on 11/23 and a season-ending 22-7 win over Laclede. The Raiders 10-0-0 record and 321-53 point differential made them the Omni Sports Bureau's pick as retroactive National Champions for 1907.

Disputing that would be the adherents of Centerville and Sadler. The Chiefs posted a 10-0-1 record, their lone non-victory being a 26-26 tie with... Sadler. The Sadler Bluecoats, for their part, finished 8-0-2, tying with George Fox 14-14 on November 23rd. A slew of one-loss teams included George Fox (8-1-1), Bayou State (9-1-0), St. Andrews (8-1-0), Ellery (8-1-1), Brunswick (8-1-1), and Eastern Virginia (8-1-1). Other schools who were picked as potential powerhouses such as Leclede (8-2-0) and Liberty College (8-2-0) did finish with good records. Detroit City College, playing largely local, small schools, was 4-2 against top-level competition. Noble Jones was 6-2 as the offense managed only 99 points - in some part thanks to an overabundance of pass attempts resulting in penalties - undeterred, Coach Christian pledged to continue featuring the pass in 1908.

Mott's All-American Team for 1907:


  • Merritt Spaulding, Ellery (JR)
  • William Hastings, Sadler (SR)
  • Alfred Trumaine, Centerville (SR)


  • Norman Trotter, St. Andrews (JR)
  • Edgar Wesley, St. Pancras (SR)
  • Milo Beaulieu, Bayou State (JR)


  • Otto Klemminger, Eastern Virginia (SR)
  • Hobart Sampson, Brunswick (SR)
  • Timothy Strong, College of Omaha (SR)
  • Everett Witcher, Opelika State (JR)
  • James Shively, Bluegrass State (JR)