Harvard "Head Coaches" Eleven of 1898 Downed West Point 28 to 0

Famous for being the first team to stem the renowned Pennsylvania "Guards Back" attack...and for producing five future head coaches, the Crimson eleven of 1898 downed a powerful West Point aggregation on the historic Plains by a 28 to 0 count. This was one of the most decisive victories ever scored over a cadet eleven during the 13 times the Harvard and Army combinations have clashed, the 29 to 0 win by the Crimson team of 1900 being the only one in which this score was surpassed.

In the 1898 gridiron classic, E. H. Kendall '02, who was absent when the above picture was taken, and Reid led the Crimson attack, both piercing the opposing forward wall for two touchdowns. Dribblee was the other member of the Harvard machine who crossed the last cadet white line. Cochrane and Haughton, whose punting was a feature of the contest, brought the total score to 28 with two and one points-after-touchdown apiece.

This team was often termed the "Head Coaches Eleven" in view of the fact that it started the Yale game that year with four men who were later destined to direct the team at Cambridge, from 1899 to 1916, with the exception of three years. Dibblee took control of the helm the fall after he graduated, when Forbes was called to the Philippines as Governor General, continuing in 1900. Reid and Farley had the coaching responsibilities until 1903. Two years later, Reid was once again called to the Head Coach post. The years from 1909 to 1916 are noted as the era of the famous Haughton regime. Daley too became a head coach, serving at West Point, his former rival, for many years.

This team of 1898 was confronted with the problem of avenging a series of defeats at the hands of Pennsylvania elevens, defeats largely the result of the irresistible Red and Blue "Guards Back" offensive. W. H. Lewis '95, considering Napoeon's strategy at the battle of Austerlitz applicable to defensive tactics on the football field, communicated with Head Coach Forbes his plan for stopping the line-crashing Penn guard. The attacks of the Austrian army and the Quaker eleven were analogous, both directing a powerful blow at the center of the opposing line. To substitute ends and tackles of a gridiron machine on the defense for the little Corporal's cavalry was a natural step, and the center could be reenforced by the backs, just as the French center was strengthened by the reserves. Head Coach Forbes could then wait until they engaged his center, as Napoleon waited at Austerlitz. The human pile-driver was stopped, and Harvard scored a 10 to 0 victory.