Bigger stakes for VUU-VSU football rivalry

Fred Jeter | 11/3/2017, 2:06 a.m.
Area bragging rights and much, much more will be at stake Saturday, Nov. 4, when Virginia Union and Virginia State ...

Friendly dispute: VUU and VSU historians differ on the origin of the schools’ rivalry. According to VUU, the first game matchup between the two teams was in 1900, with VSU winning 11-5 in Petersburg.

However, VSU’s media guide lists their first game in 1902, with the Trojans beating the Panthers 12-5, also in Petersburg.

There is some evidence of games in 1898 and 1899, but results are missing.

From the CIAA to the NFL: Nine Trojans have been drafted by NFL teams, starting with defensive back Lynn Hart in 1965 by Buffalo. The most recent VSU draftee was defensive end Kelvin Kinney by the Washington NFL team in 1996.

Virginia Union University has had 17 NFL draftees, starting with fullback Hezekiah Braxton (San Diego) in 1961. The most recent Panther selected by the NFL was safety Peter Hunter (Dallas) in 2002.

Standing room only: Rogers Stadium, which opened in 1950, seats 7,909 people, but there is plenty of standing room around the perimeter of the stands.

The largest turnout for a VUU-VSU game was in 1979, when a spillover crowd of 32,000 saw the visiting Panthers prevail 3-0 on a Wilbert Whaff field goal. Among those in attendance was basketball star Moses Malone, wearing a full-length fur coat.