Fifty-seven years ago, ACU earned a 13-12 victory over Trinity in its first ever game at Shotwell Stadium. Now, 290 games later the Wildcats prepare to take the field at Shotwell one final time, against Northwestern State.
Since 1959, when Shotwell first opened, the Wildcats have posted a .627 winning percentage and six unbeaten seasons at home, the most recent coming in 2013. It has also been home to two national championship teams in 1973 and 1977.
Head coach Ken Collums has been apart of a fair share of the 57 seasons at Shotwell, serving as the head football coach for past five years.
“There have been a lot of great games played there. High school, college, even just for me personally. Everybody has got their own little memories and stories of Shotwell Stadium. ” Collums said. “The good thing is you say goodbye to Shotwell, you walk into a new stadium on campus, it’s a pretty cool deal.”
Like every historic stadium Shotwell has a rich legacy, having been featured in the 2004 Friday Night Lights movie and playing host to several record-setting moments. Moments like when quarterback Jim Lindsey broke the Southland Conference passing record in 1970, and when running back Wilbert Montgomery and kicker Ove Johansson each set national records on Homecoming in 1976.
One of the more recent historical memories came was the 2008 second round playoff game against West Texas A&M, which featured a combined 161 points, and ranks as one of the highest combined point totals in 21st century.
Collums, who was the offensive coordinator for that game said he thought his offense might hit 100 points.
“That was just a crazy day. That never happens,” Collums said. “It was a unique circumstance of having two really good teams with really good athletes. Everyone was winning their one on ones with both teams.”
Despite the struggles experienced by the 1-8 Wildcats this season, Saturday night will offer another opportunity to add to the legacy of Shotwell. Matching up evenly on paper with the 1-7 Demons, ACU will look to send the stadium and its seniors out with a win.
“They’re not coming out here to cash in their chips, they’re coming out here to win,” Collums said. “They’ve won one game just like us, they’ve been in every game they’ve played. Offensively they’re pretty multiple. They use three quarterbacks, which you don’t see that all the time.”
NSU spoiled the Wildcats senior day in 2014 when they defeated ACU 34-10. The Demons also downed the Wildcats 39-22 when the teams met in Louisiana last season. A win Saturday, would be the 178th in Shotwell’s history and move ACU ahead of Incarnate Word in the conference standings.