Battle for the Silver Football

Fremont Tigers @ Columbus Discoverers

Friday, September 14, 2018 7:00 PM

Much like the trophy they play for, Columbus and Fremont football players come out of this long time Cornhusker State rivalry battered and bruised. The ‘Battle for the Silver Football’ began play in 1920 and continued annually until 2008 when the Discoverers played a Class B schedule.

Nebraska School Activities Association scheduling also halted this salty rivalry in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017. But, Columbus is taking on a Class A slate in 2018, and is ready to take its swings at the Tigers once again.

Columbus claimed victory in the series’ first three contests, outscoring the Tigers 119-0 in the opener and 146-0 over the three games collectively. Fremont won back-to-back contests in1923 and 1924 by outscoring the Discoverers 20-6 and 13-6 respectively. Columbus then won three of the next four battles to take a 6-3 series lead.

In 1929, Fremont won its second tussle in a row and claimed the series’ first “F” and “C” cup, which was donated by both school’s lettermen’s clubs. The silver football trophy is unrecognizable today after it became traditional for the winner to take the trophy home following a hard fought triumph, and place a dent in it.

Fremont holds a 46-45-1 advantage in this brutal fisticuff and has owned the trophy since 2015 after taking a 27-0 decision the last time warfare was waged between these two gridiron enemies.

The Tigers are set on going into enemy territory to get a win this fall, keeping the mashed up football in Tiger Nation’s trophy case. Columbus has its eyes set on evening the series and bringing the hardware home again.

A swarm of 2,500-3,000 football fans are expected to flood Columbus’ Pawnee Park on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. So arrive early and grab your seat if you want to witness the restart of the Battle for the Silver Football, a true Nebraska grudge match.

Riverly Series Hashtags

  • #BeatColumbus
  • #BeatFremont

Who will win?

Learn More About the Teams

@ Columbus High School
Fremont Tigers Columbus, NE
Loveland Tigers
Columbus Discoverers Columbus, NE


Fremont Tigers

Fremont, NE

Fremont High School, home of the Tigers, is located 43 miles northwest of Omaha on Highway 275 in Dodge County, Nebraska. With a 2018-19 enrollment of nearly 1,400 football loving students, the Tigers compete on the gridiron in Class A, Nebraska’s largest classification.

After taking over in 2011, Seth McClain is 18-46 overall and 2-1 in his Battles for the Silver Football. The Tigers won 15 of 17 decisions over their rival beginning in 1947, and took five straight games from 1966-1970. Fremont garnered six wins in eight seasons starting in 1981 in what has become one of Nebraska’s merciless rivalries.

From 1947-1988, the Tigers took 30 of 42 contests, which includes a forfeit loss in 1977, and outscored the Discoverers 18-10 per contest during that time frame. Scores were unknown from 1947-49, but Fremont did post six shutouts during the run and held Columbus to single digit scoring, or less, in 23 of the 39 contests that we do have scores for.

McClain’s Tigers steadily improved their win-loss numbers since he was hired away from Schuyler in 2011. Following a dip in wins in 2016, the eighth-year coach took the Tigers to the playoffs a year ago.

The last time these ‘swing first and ask questions later’ foes played each other; the Tigers gladly took the Silver Football from their rival with a 27-0 blanking. Now the Tigers are eager to defend their prized possession on the road, not only in an effort to secure their second straight win over their hated rivals to the west, but to earn a postseason berth for the second straight year.


Columbus Discoverers

Columbus, NE

Columbus High School, home of the Discoverers, is located 50 miles west of Fremont on Highway 30 in Platte County, Nebraska. Founded in 1860 per Wikipedia, Columbus is one of 32 schools that will compete on the gridiron in Class A, Nebraska’s largest classification. About 1,100 screaming students are set to cheer on their Discoverer football team wherever it goes this fall.

Discoverer coach Craig Williams, who arrived in Columbus in 2001 as an assistant, took over the head coaching duties of long time Discoverer coach Dick Luebbe in 2006. The 13th year headman has compiled a 50-65 mark in 12 seasons with the Discoverers and has claimed four of the six contests his teams have competed in against their hated foe.

Columbus opened this series in 1920 by hanging 119 points on the Tigers, while holding their rival scoreless, and took five of the first seven Battles for the Silver Football by outscoring Fremont 24-5 per contest. The Discoverers posted three straight shutouts to begin this black and blue Cornhusker State rivalry, won 12 of 17 struggles against Fremont beginning in 1930 and took eight of 10 rivalry games from 1991-2000.

Williams has guided the Discoverers to six playoff berths in the 12 years he’s been on the job, including two straight appearances in the Class B playoffs going into this fall, which has resulted in back to back 7-3 campaigns in 2016 and 2017.

With Williams leading the way, the Discoverers expect their new found momentum to steer them in a positive direction as they compete in Class A for the first time since 2015. Columbus will attempt to even the Battle for the Silver Football series at 46 wins each to go with a 0-0 tie in 1931.

A third straight postseason bid could be on the line as the Discoverers step onto the football field with Fremont. But the first order of business for Columbus come September is getting that silver football back.