The Day Mouse’s Team Scored 105
Wednesday - August 18, 2010
Thirty years ago this football season, the mouse roared. Mouse Davis, that is.
At a recent team meeting of UH offensive personnel, one of the Warrior players asked the 77-year-old UH assistant coach what was the most points his team had ever scored in a game. The reply was brief, but astounding: “105,” Mouse said.
Late in the 1980 football season, Mouse’s Portland State Vikings shellacked lowly Delaware State by the incredible score of 105-0. It was the second-highest recorded shutout in college football history, surpassed only by the legendary 222-0 drubbing by Georgia Tech over a scrub team from Cumberland College in 1916. (Modern records for most points scored are 106 points by Fort Valley State of Georgia over Knoxville in 1968 and 100 points by Houston over Tulsa in 1969.)
From 1975 to 1980, Portland State was making headlines throughout the college football world, and many football traditionalists thought Mouse’s ideas were far out. Just a few years after Mouse started his now-famous Run ‘n’ Shoot offense with June Jones at quarterback, his Viking teams led the nation in scoring three seasons in a row.
At a recent PSU reunion, The Oregonian newspaper reported this comment from Jones: “I don’t think any one person has impacted the game as much as Mouse has and hasn’t gotten credit for it. If you watched this last Super Bowl and you watched exactly what Indianapolis runs, they’re running basically what we did 30 years ago, and everybody thought we were communists.”
In that 1980 season, with future NFL-star Neil Lomax leading the way, Portland State averaged nearly 50 points a game. Earlier in the year they set an NCAA 1-AA record of 93 points in a victory against D-2 Cal Poly-Pomona.
Meanwhile, Delaware State arrived at Portland’s Civic Stadium on Nov. 8, 1980, with a record of futility. They had won only two games and had been shut out four times, including one loss of 52-0. It may seem hard to believe, but Mouse’s Run ‘n’ Shoot would more than double that.
When Jones became Mouse’s disciple and eventually the head coach at Hawaii, Warrior fans remember how quickly the high-powered offense can score. Well, in this game, the Run ‘n’Shoot was blazing and firing. In the first four or five minutes, Portland State scored four touchdowns - the fourth touchdown pass from Lomax to All-American Kenny Johnson helped Lomax break Doug Williams’ NCAA career record for TD passes (since broken by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan and then Graham Harrell of Texas Tech). By the end of the quarter, Lomax had seven touch-down passes and in a span of less than four minutes of actual time spent on the field, Portland State led 49-0.
It got worse. Delaware State helped the cause by fumbling 16 times, losing six. By halftime, Mouse had slowed his offense down a bit, but still led 63-0.
Just as Coach Jones used to do in blowouts at Hawaii, Mouse only utilized his star quarterback briefly in the third quarter. But in his three early offensive series in the period, the high-powered Vikings scored each time. They added a defensive TD and a touchdown by the second unit and led 98-0 after three quarters.
The century mark was within sight. What happened next is either legendary or maybe embellished, or perhaps a little sad. But reports say that Viking fans in the stands were in a frenzy about getting to 100. One story called them “bloodthirsty.” Mouse slowed his offense down to a crawl, but it’s still the Run ‘n’ Shoot, remember, so there was time for one more pass toward the end zone. One report said that the ambulance drivers employed for the game and stationed behind the end zone were bouncing up and down in celebration when the century mark was surpassed. When Portland State’s backup quarterback completed the fateful touchdown pass, the Vikings scored their 15th TD of the game and kicked their 15th straight extra point to make the final 105-0.
The Mouse had roared with a score that may never happen again. Thirty years later, he continues to help light up the Hawaii scoreboard as the Warriors receivers coach. The legend grows.
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