The Story of Six Boys and a Cloud of Dirt


Six-man expert
This article was posted at the Chico (CA) Enterprise Record. One of their old writers today published a column on a game from September 19, 1947, in Alexandria, Nebraska. First 3 paragraphs below:

There was nothing much different about this Friday night high school football game September 19, 1947, in Alexandria, Nebraska. The June bugs were swirling around the bulbs at the top of the telephone poles, fans from both schools lined the respective sidelines, and the warm Indian summer temperatures prevailed.

The stands, which consisted of four rows of portable wooden bleachers, were only partially filled with fans on either side of the field. The more interested, able-bodied patrons opted to “follow the ball” along the sidelines. The scent of popcorn from the portable glass enclosed concession cart permeated the still fading summer air. Candy bars, milk duds, pop, peanut bags, and licorice ropes were being sold from a card table by volunteer students and a class sponsor. On Friday nights throughout Nebraska this scene was repeated.

This was six-man football created by Stephen Epler to satisfy sports need of low enrollment schools and a personal need to complete a thesis requirement for the University of Nebraska. Alexandria met this description with less than 50 students in the four high school grades (9-12). The game was first played in our conference in 1934. It consisted of three linemen and three backs. The playing field was 80 yards long and 45 yards wide and required the offensive team to advance the ball 15 yards for a first down. The player receiving the ball “hiked” by the center must make a clear pass to the running back before the ball crossed the scrimmage line. All players were eligible to catch passes and advance the ball.

Rest of the article at:

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