The following excerpts are taken from the first issue of a newsletter pertaining to Franklin County Schools called the “Franklin County Codex”. Dr. Ivan Gilbert provided the Historical Society with the first issue, published on January 11, 1922, from the old Main Street High School. Among other things, this newsletter tells of an exiciting first football season for Bexley High School:

Owing to the exceedingly light weight of the Bexley High School boys, a football team was at the beginning of the season deemed entirely out of the question by the Bexley authorities. It was only because of a peculiar turn in affairs that the Bexley athletic director was, while an idle spectator to the Gahanna/New Albany game on October 8, prevailed upon to organize a team to play those schools. October 15, the boys journeyed to New Albany, and with but an hour of instruction in the tactics of the game made their debut upon the gridiron. “New Albany kicked off to Legg who returned the ball to his opponent’s thirty-five yard line, a pass from Legg to Shufflebarger was incomplete and on the second down Shufflebarger, a bit nervous, dropped back, it was his first game of football. Straight to him the ball came, Legg was beyond the line of scrimmage. Straight to his arms with the pigskin and placing it firmly beneath his arm raced through New Albany’s secondary defense to the goal line, thus scoring his school’s first touchdown in less than a minute of play.”

Unfortunately, that would be the last scoring Bexley would do that day. New Albany scored as well and the game ended tied, 6 to 6.

Following a loss to Gahanna, Bexley had another shot at New Albany – this time at home:

October 28, the New Albany boys came to Bexley for our first game at home. The visitors were threatening to score when Legg of Bexley intercepted a pass on his own eight yard line and, by much sidestepping and shaking off of a few tacklers, ran for a touchdown. He then kicked goal. Later, within the same quarter, Legg, by a run of 57 yards through the entire New Albany team, scored another touchdown for his school and again he kicked goal.

As the first half drew to a close, Bexley’s center made a bad pass and New Albany recovered in midfield. It was New Albany’s ball. As the ball was snapped by the Albany center, the whistle blew ending the half; but a backfield man raced for Bexley’s goal line while all save one of the Bexley boys stood by watching the burst of speed. Wilson (of New Albany) added the goal. During the second half, Bexley played a wholly defensive game until, during the last two minutes of play, an unsuccessful attempt was made to carry the ball of for a third touchdown. The game ended 14-7. Bexley had won its first victory.”1

Written by Nancy Beck
Originally published in Historical Herald, December 2005

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1“Bexley High’s Football Gratifying”, Franklin County Codex, Jan. 11, 1921. p7.

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