Chambers wants to set the record straight about North Central beating West Vigo
Contributed photo: The 1981 North Central High School football team finished with a 7-3 record, including a second consecutive win over West Vigo and a win over Sullivan. Kevin Chambers, a starting offensive and defensive lineman, is shown in the back, eight from the left.
My access to North Central football season-by-season results has always been limited to johnharrell.net, whose records only date back to 1994.
Because of that his records are restricted by that date, meaning teams could have met many times before 1994, but I have no record of it.
That is before I discovered almanacsports.com.
This website has the all-time yearly results of every team that is currently playing football in Indiana, including the Thunderbirds. But for some reason, they don’t have the history of Union (Dugger) or Dugger Union.
So this now gives me the chance to right a wrong. A couple of years ago a gentleman named Kevin Chambers sent me a e-mail to say that my records of the West Vigo vs. North Central football series were in error. Not wrong Kevin, just incomplete.
I kept Kevin’s e-mail all this time hoping to find the truth, and thanks to almanacsports.com, I have.
He stated my records only went back to 1990. Actually that was the last time the two teams played before the series resumed in 2014.
Chambers said he was a starter on the offensive and defensive line from 1978-81.
“My brother played from 1974 to 1977 and we played West Vigo in all of those years,” said Chambers.
He added that playing the Vikings was one thing, but beating them was another.
“Winning was a completely different matter,” he said “We did not win until 1980.
“Before the game, coach Dick Jones spoke of how we had never beaten the Vikings. We had a very physical team that year and rolled up over 400 yards of offense to defeat them 25-0 in Farmersburg.”
He added they were led by senior Brad Siner, who led the Wabash Valley in scoring despite a 5-5 record.
The T-Birds then beat the Vikings 18-14 a year later, the second win in a row after opening the series with West Vigo in 1971 with nine straight losses.
“In 1981, my senior year, we went to West Vigo and had them down 12-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter,” said Chambers. “They proceeded to score twice, taking the advantage, 14-12.
“I can still see their scoreboard showing 3:11 left and thinking not CAN we score, but that we ONLY had 3:11 to do it. We had 73 yards to go.”
He added that they had three plays of over 20 yards — a center screen to Scott Decker, a pass to wide receiver Jeff Gambill from quarterback Jay McDaniel and then a weakside sweep by his twin brother, running back Ray McDaniel.
“That run left us on the 3-yard line with just seconds remaining,” said Kevin. “We ran a overloaded line formation and Jay made it into the end zone on a quarterback sneak with 18 seconds remaining. He also sealed the game by recovering the ensuing kickoff.”
He added that he did think that North Central beat them again up to the time the two no longer played.
Kevin is right, according to almanacsports.com.
West Vigo won the first nine, lost those two and then won the next nine games before the series stopped after a 58-0 win by the Vikings in 1990.
I actually remember covering one of those games in the late 1980s when I first arrived in Sullivan County. The only bad thing for me was that coach Jones had been forced out after a couple of bad seasons.
“These victories are still so vivid in my mind after all these years, partially because the season of 1979 had us losing all 10 games,” said Chambers. “Our losing streak continued into the year we first beat West Vigo in 1980.
“Our streak ended at 13 games, though we had won a couple by the time we beat WV. Our senior year of the 1981 season found us end up at 7-3, which at the time was the best record of a NCHS football team in the 15 years since NC started playing football.”
Chambers said he was team captain in 1981, “Ah, yes, the glory years,” he said.
“As captain of that 1981 squad, I just felt it is my duty to let you know that North Central has beaten West Vigo and I am proud, as are my teammates, to have been part of doing it the only times.”
Thanks Kevin. Sorry it took so long to set the record straight.
To update, there were no games played between 1991 and 2014.
West Vigo won in 2015, when the series resumed, and in 2016. The T-birds won 22-18 a year ago, bringing the all-time series to 20-3 in favor of the Vikings.
The funny thing is this series goes back 47 years. Friday at West Vigo will be the 24th meeting all time. Ironically, there was a 24-year gap between games.
West Vigo vs. North Central
West Vigo leads series 20-3
1971 — West Vigo 34, North Central 0
1972 — West Vigo 12, North Central 20
1973 — West Vigo 34, North Central 8
1974 — West Vigo 26, North Central 8
1975 — West Vigo 21, North Central 8
1976 — West Vigo 27, North Central 6
1977 — West Vigo 29, North Central 12
1978 — West Vigo 46, North Central 28
1979 — West Vigo 28, North Central 6
1980 — North Central 25, West Vigo 0
1981 — North Central 18, West Vigo 14
1982 — West Vigo 28, North Central 0
1983 — West Vigo 37, North Central 6
1984 — West Vigo 39, North Central 8
1985 — West Vigo 19, North Central 6
1986 — West Vigo 18, North Central 12
1987 — West Vigo 24, North Central 0
1988 — West Vigo 34, North Central 0
1989 — West Vigo 33, North Central 6
1990 — West Vigo 58, North Central 0
1991-2014 —No games
2015 — West Vigo 27, North Central 12
2016 — West Vigo 34, North Central 24
2017 — North Central 22, West Vigo 18