Rose Bowl Game

No armistice for Navy football in 1918

No armistice for Navy football in 1918

World War I left America with newfound might. As if to prove it, on Nov. 16, 1918 — five days after hostilities ceased — Navy’s football team went out and thrashed its opponent, 127-0.

Pity Ursinus College, from Collegeville, Pa., the victim of that rout at Farragut Field in Annapolis. Navy, coached by “Gloomy” Gil Dobie, led 75-0 at halftime before playing its reserves, who continued the onslaught by scoring 52 points. All told, the Midshipmen tallied 16 touchdowns. Their 127 points, still a school record, was one short of the then-national college mark set six days earlier by Georgia Tech in a 128-0 victory over North Carolina State.

“Every lad in the Navy backfield played a...