1887: Lehigh’s First-Ever Win
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the origins of the play have also been disputed with a distinct Lehigh/Lafayette flavor.
The “V Trick”, or “Lehigh V”, as it’s known in South Bethlehem, was a revolutionary play in college football at the time.
It involved, on a kick resulting in a change of possession, to have the eleven men form a “V” with interlocked arms to direct the mass of the entire team against a hapless weak link on the opposition’s line, with the halfback running behind the rush line.
This was especially effective after a kick, since the ten men would be able to run forward and get a head of steam going, applying their mass momentum to make larger gains. To some, it was the basis of all the mass momentum plays that followed, such as the infamous “Flying Wedge” implemented by Harvard.
Though it would ultimately be banned, plays like the “V Trick” were an important historic milestone in the evolution of college football.
And the origins of the play come down to who you believe: Richard Harding Davis, the former Lehigh football player, or Parke H. Davis, the former Princeton and Lafayette football coach.
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