Championship Chronicles Part 4: 1937 East Texas State Lions.


Darell Tully was the first one man Lion Standout.

After tying for first place in the 1935 season, the Lions finished with 8 wins in 1936, but did not win a conference title, denying them 4 straight conference titles. However, 1937 proved to be the year in which the Lions would reign supreme again the Lone Star conference with a defense that continued to be dominant. However, the previous season introduced Darrell Tully, a bruising and fast Halfback who became a one man scoring machine, pumping much needed life into the Lion offense.

The ’37 Season started with a trip to the East Texas Piney Woods and a dominating win over Stephen F. Austin 33-0. Tully emerged as a one man force on offense. The next week,  Tully and the entire Lion offense were shut down by a potent St. Edwards Team that were national title contenders down in Austin. The team rebounded back by hosting Northwestern Louisiana State and downing the Demons 27-0 in Commerce. Northeast Missouri State (Now Truman State University) hosted the Lions in Kirksville, Missouri with the Lions scoring 41 points, the most scored by the Lions since joining the Lone Star Conference in a 41-12 rout. Another shut out came when the Lions traveled to San Antonio to take on Trinity and won 13-0.

A very big disappointment came the next week as the Lions went back to the Big Country to take on Hardin Simmons and dropped a 15-13 loss to the Cowboys. The next week as the Lions had done so many times before, took out their frustrations after loss on a Deep East Texas team by dropping Sam Houston State 26-0 and then hosted Southwest Texas State 39-13. The last two games had the Lions shutting out arch rival North Texas in Denton to claim the Lone Star Conference Championship outright. Finally, the Lions hosted Southern Mississippi and defeated the Golden Eagles in Commerce 14-6.

The season record of 8-2 was fifth straight winning season and the Lions notched a 4-0 record in conference play. Darrell Tully became the second All-American in Lion History as Running Back Johnny Garrison had taken the first ever All-American spot the year before. 8 Lions made the Conference First Team. They were Tully, HB Bill Defee, HB Bruce Groce, Guard Gene Hodge, Fullback Sam Montgomery, Center Kenneth Morphew, and Defensive End Cecil Pirkey.

Roar Back Here.....

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