1940 Gladiators – A Winning Tradition #15

It has been 70 years since the 1940 Italy Gladiators were undefeated and unscored on. This article appeared in the Waxahachie newspaper. The following is the fifteenth article of the season.

Italy High Victor Over Gustine Club

The Italy High School Gladiators maintained their record of being unbeaten and unscored upon when they walloped the Gustine Tigers on Indian Field Friday night by a score of 37 to 0 in a game to decide the bi-district champions of district 21 B and 22 B. With the 37 points the Italy boys scored in their eleventh and final game added to the three hundred and thirty seven that they had made in their previous schedule, it ran their total score to three hundred and seventy four while their opponents did not cross the goal line one time.
The Gustine Tigers had a nice record in District 22 B having scored two hundred twenty points to their rivals twenty six.

The Gladiators flashed a powered running and passing attack that the Tigers were unable to solve or stop. Scores came in the first, second and final quarters. First downs were 9 to 4 in favor of Italy.

The first score of the game came early in the initial stanza when Williams went over center from the one yard line after Batte had faked a reverse to Howell and had galloped thirty yards on a weak side play. After an exchange of punts, in the second quarter with Italy taking over on Gustine thirty two yard line, Howell ran off his own left tackle for twenty four yards and a first down on the Tiger eight yard stripe. Riddle carried over on the next play to give the Ellis County boys a 12 point lead.

Neither team was able to score in the third quarter but in the last quarter Howell’s fifty four yard sprint and his conversion of the extra point ran the score to nineteen. Williams intercepted a Tiger pass a few minutes later and then threw a long pass from the Gustine twenty seven into the arms of Howell for another six points. Gustine took the kickoff and made two first downs but the ball went over to the Gladiators on fourth down on their own forty yard line. Batte on a weak side fake reverse carried to the Bengal twenty eight and Williams threw another pass over the goal and into the arms of Riddle. The last touchdown came when Williams intercepted a pass and raced from his own forty five for another score. Riddle, Williams and Howell were outstanding players in the Italy backfield with the Gladiator line playing nice ball. For the visiting club from Comanche county Del Masso and E. Barnett held the lime light staring on the defense.