MANSFIELD, Pa. — Mansfield University, which hosted the first night football game more than a century ago, won its first illuminated contest since then by knocking off Princeton in front of an electric, record-breaking crowd.
More than 6,200 fans watched Saturday as the Mountaineers defeated the Tigers 24-14 in a Collegiate Sprint Football League game.
Mansfield hosted the first night football game in 1892. The match against Wyoming Seminary drew thousands of spectators as General Electric tried to sell rural America on newfangled electric lighting.
However, the ill-fated game ended in a tie at halftime after referees declared the lighting was too poor to continue. Confused players had started tackling their own teammates and even the referee; ball carriers also had trouble avoiding the makeshift lamppost in the middle of the field.
Mansfield didn’t try stadium lighting again for 121 years, instead playing its games in the afternoon. Athletic director Steve McCloskey joked the university wanted to wait for all the bugs to be worked out of electric lights before taking another chance.
On Saturday, Mansfield junior Jeremy Estermera ran for a game-high 120 yards and two touchdowns to help beat Princeton.
The Tigers took part in the first-ever college football game in 1869.
Mansfield is state-owned university located near Pennsylvania’s northern border, about 100 miles south of Rochester, N.Y.