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Today's Tidbit... The State of Bluefield College's Football Field
You likely have never heard of Russell "Bus" Larue, but he was one of those guys who was a great high school athlete. He attended Wheeling High in West Virginia, graduating in 1927 as a four or five-tool player. A two-time football captain, he was an all-state quarterback in his junior and senior years and played with the basketball team in the state championship game in his junior year.
After graduating, he went to West Virginia, where he lettered three seasons in football and four in baseball.
The best Mountaineers team he played on was the 1928 team, which went 8-2 during his sophomore season. He had success all three varsity seasons, but looking back some 95 years, the most interesting thing about Larue's playing career was his 103-yard punt return in 1927 while playing freshmen football in a game at Bluefield College's Wade Stadium. Other people have had longer punt returns, but there is a good chance no one had a longer punt return in Wade Stadium, which Mitchell Stadium replaced as part of a WPA effort in 1935.
None of that seems exceptional until you know a bit more about Bluefield College, which differs from Bluefield State. Bluefield College is a small Baptist school whose 82-acre campus sits in West Virginia, about 150 feet from the West Virginia-Virginia border. Mitchell Stadium, which remains in use, sits entirely in West Virginia, but the old Wade Stadium sat atop the state border. The dividing line crossed somewhere near midfield, meaning long scoring drives and plays could start in West Virginia and end in Virginia or vice versa.
So, unless someone can identify another football field that crossed state lines and can document a run or return of more than 103 yards, I'm going to assume that Russell "Bus" Larue holds the title for the longest scoring play that began in one state and ended in another.
That, my friends, is the tidbittiest Tidbit I've ever tidbitted.
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