According to the ‘interwebs’, the football rivalry with the most games played is aptly entitled “The Rivalry” Lafayette vs. Lehigh. They have played 158 times so far, the first in 1884, and of course the last time, last season.

The Ivy League has several long-running rivalries, as one might imagine. Yale v Princeton goes back to 1873 and has been contested 144 times. Yale v. Harvard, 1875, and 138 meetings thus far.

The most meetings in a Power 5 conference? Minnesota vs. Wisconsin goes back to 1890, and they have played 132 times for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, Georgia – Auburn has been contested 127 times.

Oregon- Oregon State, 126 meetings.

Army -Navy- 123 games.

And of course, Cat- Griz. 121 meetings, going back to 1897.

Nothing compares to rivalry games.

Montana Tech released their football schedule for Fall recently, and my absolute favorite rivalry in sports is week 1.

Montana Tech hosting Carroll College.

Orediggers celebration in the endzone- photo courtesy of JonWick/5518Design
Orediggers celebration in the endzone- photo courtesy of JonWick/5518Design

Saturday, September 2nd, will be the 131st meeting between the Orediggers and the Saints. (According to my research) The first goes back to October 2, 1920, when Mt. St. Charles (now Carroll College) came to Butte to battle the School of Mines for the very first time. Game #1 was contested at Columbia Garden, and the School of Mines got the win 27-6.

They met once again on October 30, 1920, this time in Helena, and the School of Mines got the win again 14-0. The one stat from the game I love is, there was one total forward pass and it went for a touchdown.

They played on and off until 1937, then from ’37-41 they played every year. Due to World War II, they did not play from 1942-1946. From 1947 on, they have faced off at least once every year.

On October 23, 1965, Alumni Coliseum was ready for it’s first game (4 weeks into the season). The First opponent? Carroll College. The Saints shut out the Orediggers 14-0 in that first game at Alumni. (And if memory serves correctly when the Saints opened up Nelson Stadium, the Orediggers gave the Saints their first loss in their new digs.)

Oredigger helmets. photo courtesy of Jon Wick 5518Designs

The Saints are in control of the overall series with 87 wins, compared to Montana Tech’s 41 wins. They have tied twice. The first tie was in 1961 when the Orediggers (who had lost 26 straight games to this point) tied the Saints 0-0 in Butte. The second tie happened on Homecoming for the Diggs in 1969 a 14-all stalemate on October 25.

Anyone involved has a favorite Tech-Carroll memory, the Monday night game under the lights at Alumni, The Milodragovich game for the Saints, Nolan Saracini running like a man possesed at Nelson, or the Double-Overtime game to finish the 2000 season, these two programs have scripted some incredible football moments.

There isn’t a Saint or an Oredigger alive who can’t instantly tell me their record against the other program.

Montana Tech won the last meeting between the two, 26-10 in Butte a year ago.

That Digger D, Keyshawn James-Newby- photo courtesy of Jon Wick/5518Designs
That Digger D, Keyshawn James-Newby- photo courtesy of Jon Wick/5518Designs

Over the past 5 seasons (no 2020 game due to Covid) they have played 6 times, splitting right down the middle with 3 wins each. Over the past 10 seasons, they have had 14 meetings. And again, they have split with 7 wins each.

I can honestly say, September 2nd can’t get here quickly enough.

The Full 2023 Montana Tech Football schedule can be viewed HERE.

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