Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame
1955-56 Varsity Football Team
The Missouri Valley Viking’s football team rolled through a tough nine game schedule and ended the 1955-56 season 8-1. The Vikings opened the season against the Springfield State Bears showing mid-season form and coming out victorious, 14-0. Next on the schedule was Kirksville State whom Valley downed 25-7. James Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., was next in line to be run over by the powerful Vikes. After scoring at will in the first quarter, the Viking starting line-up let the reserves finish the battle which ended in a 33-21 victory. Missouri Valley football then traveled to Lockport, Ill., to play Lewis College, which was rated as one of the nation’s most powerful small college football programs. Lewis College did put up a powerful fight, but it was Missouri Valley who emerged victorious with their fourth triumph of the year winning 19-14. The Vikings polished off Austin Peay State of Clarksville, Tenn., 20-0 for the 1955 Missouri Valley homecoming football game. MVC next traveled to Alva, Okla., to play the Rangers of Northwest Oklahoma State. The Rangers threw a scare into the Big Orange during the first half, but your Missouri Valley Vikings rallied and won 21-12. Next came the big Missouri College Athletic Union (M.C.A.U.) title game against William “Billy” Jewell. After a scoreless first half, Valley ripped up the middle for two touchdowns in the second half and a 13-0 victory. As the low score indicated, the tension was high for both sides, but MVC’s defense was too much for Jewell’s powerful offense. Valley’s starting team had a week’s rest, while the freshman Vikes went to Tarkio to play Tarkio College’s varsity squad which ended in a humbling defeat for Tarkio, 18-13.
The Vikings took the field against the St. Benedict Ravens of Atchison, Kan., for the last home game of the season, and walked off with a 25-7 win and eighth straight victory. McMurry of Abilene, Texas was the last game on the regular season schedule for the Vikings and they were hopeful for an undefeated season, but knew the Indians were though. McMurry defeated Missouri Valley in a hard fought 14-6 game.
The Missouri Valley College Vikings were chosen to play in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo., on Thanksgiving Day against the defending bowl champions, the Hastings College Broncs. Valley ended the competition victorious in a one-sided 31-7 game. Valley then received a bowl bid to play Juniata College of Huntingdon, Pa., in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. When the game ended it was a 6-6 tie, but Valley had broken Juniata College’s 23 game winning streak.
The 1955-56 team was the only team in the history of Missouri Valley College football to play in two bowl games in the same season.