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1933: The last time Army played Mercer in football

Saturday will mark just the second meeting ever between the Army Black Knights and the Mercer Bears in college football.

Army West Point football in 1933
1933 Army West Point football. Led by Lt. Gar Davidson, the Black Knights finished the season 9-1.
The Howitzer/United States Military Academy

The last time Army West Point played Mercer University in football was 1933.

That’s right — 87 years ago.

It was the Black Knights’ season opener, and on a Saturday afternoon on the Hudson, Army came away with a 19-6 victory. That year, Army went on to finish the season with a 9-1 record in Lieutenant Gar Davidson’s first year as head coach.

The team was full of talent, including four players who were recognized on the 1933 All-America team: end Peter Kopcsak, guard Harvey Jablonsky, halfback Jack Buckler and quarterback Paul Johnson (no, not that Paul Johnson, triple-option students).

According the post-game report in The New York Times, the win was captured thanks to touchdowns scored by Johnson, Buckler and fullback Joe Stancock.

New York Times post game of Army versus Mercer in 1933
Army win over Mercer in The New York Times on October 1, 1933.
The New York Times

Mercer would finish the 1933 season with a 4-3-2 record, its best win a 13-0 triumph over Clemson.

Army finished the season ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

That same year, they won over Navy, 12-7. It was their fifth straight win over the Mids.

Army’s lone defeat that season came about a week later. The Black Knights lost 13-12 to Notre Dame at the old Yankee Stadium. Army held Notre Dame scoreless for three quarters, but then Irish bounced back to score 13 in the final period, winning in front of about 80,000 fans.

While Army’s 1933 game against the Bears will tell us very little about what kind of game we’ll see Saturday, it’s always cool and important to take a look at the past.

The Black Knights are off to a 5-1 start this season — their best beginning since 1996 — and will look to add another win to their total as head coach Jeff Monken is 11-2 against FCS opponents as Army’s head coach.