After the Otterbein University football team's loss to Capital University on Saturday, here is a look at the century-long rivalry between the two teams. 

Ever since the first football game in 1894, Otterbein and Capital have had an intense rivalry both on and off the field. This came in the form of canoe races down Alum Creek, pranks and damage to school property.

In 1948, a group of Otterbein students were suspended for painting signs on Capital’s buildings. Later that year, a serious car accident occurred between students who were throwing paint at each other from inside their cars.

A peace treaty between the schools was signed after these incidents, but both student newspapers wrote editorials condemning the actions of the other school's students. 


On Feb. 15, 1950, the pranks and vandalism turned deadly. Four fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Phi attempted to canoe down Alum Creek before the rivalry game when their canoe hit an overhanging tree limb and capsized. 

Three of the brothers were able to swim to shore, but Robert Buck did not know how to swim and drowned. His body was found later that day.

The rivalry has continued with a "win-or-die” energy, passing down through generations to the game we have today.


“Being a part of the football team has made me respect the history of the rivalry more, because now I am apart of it," said sophomore Tanner Brooks. "Winning for Otterbein would be huge and mean a lot to the whole campus.”

In the last 10 years, Otterbein has won seven out of ten games against Capital. Last year, the Cardinals beat the Crusaders 49-42. 

Prior to the game, the Cardinals had high spirits going in, determined to win.

“The focus of the whole team is up because of the importance of the game," said Brooks. "We have to win. The Otterbein vs. Capital game is like our Super Bowl. Winning is important to the whole school.

The Cardinals lost to the Crusaders 23-19 in the final seconds of the game. The Crusaders took the lead with a 31 yard pass in the last minute.

The Cardinals will host Marietta College this Saturday for Senior Day. Kickoff will be at 1:30 p.m.