The NFL comes to the Valley

Special to the NEWS

In December of 1926, the Valley made plans for three big holiday football games. While high school football took the limelight during the regular season, semipro football was just as popular.

The best of the semi-pros collided in Weslaco on Christmas Day for the Valley title. The Mercedes city team, predicted as the favorites, tangled with the Donna 11. In their first encounter, Mercedes defeated Donna, 12-0.

The Championship game was a tough, evenly matched game that saw the winning team score its only touchdown on a fumble.

The tally came on a most unusual play in the end zone as Mercedes was intercepted, then Donna, while trying to get out of the end zone, fumbled to Mercedes for the only score of the game. Mercedes won, 7-0.

The second holiday classic pitted the best of Valley boys, including many college stars that were home for the holidays, against the undisputed champions of Central Texas. The December 30 game was played in Harlingen.

The visitors from San Marcos had an impressive record prior to coming to the Valley. They had embarrassed the Smithville Katy Railroad team, 34-0; defeated the Greyjackets of San Antonio, 28-0; the Kenedy Bulldogs, 21-0; and played Lampasas to a scoreless tie.

The Central Texas semi-pro team was composed of former college players that included such notables as: Rufus King, Red Wray, both Southwestern selections, Dazzy Vance, one of the best athletes turned out by Texas and Babe Watts of A&M, also a Southwestern selection.

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