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December 23, 2013

 

                          


Muir Wins 2013 Turkey Tussle 32-21

15 WINS IN-A-ROW

 

Muir rings the bell after defeating Pasadena 32-21 during the annual Turkey Tussle
 Friday night, November 8, 2013 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)
 

In one of the most memorable Turkey Tussle games in the rivalry’s history, Dejon Williams’ 7-yard touchdown run with 1:12 remaining in the game gave the Mustangs some breathing room to hold off the Pasadena Bulldogs and win their 15th consecutive Turkey Tussle with a thrilling 32-21 victory at the Rose Bowl on Friday night.

Muir (9-1, 7-0) had entered the game already having wrapped up the Pacific League title while Pasadena (1-9, 1-6) was playing for little more than pride.
 


The History of the
Turkey Tussle

There are a few stories and myths about the Turkey Tussle. Here's one more...

The cross town rivalry between two high schools in Pasadena began (officially) in 1947. World War II had ended and the campus of John Muir Junior College had been returned to the city of Pasadena after having been converted to an Army military base during that war.

The campus of Muir was once again a place of learning, but was now a high school (then only grades 11 and 12).

Muir was the "other school" and Pasadena High School (PHS) was the "Pasadena school." On every level, financially, academically and athletically, comparisons of the two schools were continually made. The Turkey Tussle was about athletics - football, to be exact.

As the story goes, Muir and Pasadena, as do most schools that have a cross town rival, played their homecoming football games against one another. It's the last game of the season and it's played just before Thanksgiving - thus the name "Turkey Tussle." The father of a PHS student, as usual, brags as to how much PHS is going to beat Muir in the football game. A Muir dad takes offense and fires back that Muir will be victorious. After much discussion a friendly wager is made between the two excited men. Not for money, but for pride. Something that would be sorely missed if lost. The PHS dad was a retired Santa Fe railroad man and as a retirement gift from the railroad he was awarded the bell from his locomotive train. He then bet that PHS would defeat Muir and was willing to put his most sacred possession, his bell up as the prize.


The "Bell" is a symbol
for Pride on the field

PHS did win that game and the bell was heard rigging loud and clear after the game. The following year, he once again put the bell up as a symbol for the victor - but Muir won the game and "The Bell" was silenced. Muir demanded that the bell be sent to their campus until they played again next year.
And so it began...

For almost 60 years the "Bell" has been the symbol of the Turkey Tussle and it has been passed back and forth between PHS and Muir.

During the game, the bell sits quietly in the south end zone of the Rose Bowl waiting for the victorious team to claim it and ring it to the cheering crowds; and to the dismay of the losing school. The bell is then taken to the victors campus for all to see during the year.

Of course the irony is that the bell has graced the campus of Muir more than at PHS. In fact, for the past 24 years, PHS has only seen the bell once. Muir has won the game 22 times (with one tie) and has won the past 11 years in-a-row. The complete record is to the right.

Many students and teachers stand a little taller when the bell is rung. Muir players and coaches have given their all to win the prestigious symbol.

Some players have gone onto college and  professional football and still remember vividly playing for the "bell." But, of all the players and coaches that fought on the grid iron, the one name that might stand out more than all the rest is Charles White.

In June of 2005, Muir had failed in it's duties to properly protect the bell - it was stolen. For the first time the symbol was missing during that game.

Charles White will always be remembered for that game. But he did not play on the Mustangs squad. He didn't play for the Pasadena Bulldogs either. He wasn't a student at either school, nor a staff member. In fact he had never stepped foot onto either campus. But, still, his name will be forever linked to the history of the "Bell" because he found it sitting in a gully in the forest. Whomever had taken it had dumped it there. Mr. White was a real hero that wonderful day in February.

Upon its return, the bell was professionally cleaned and polished and promptly placed into a secure locked area (not to be revealed).

A documentary about the Turkey Tussle was produced and featured on Fox Sports West cable channel during the month of November, 2007. Although it didn't encompass the entire history of the Turkey Tussle, it did shine a light on the two schools and the cross town battle that has been going on for over 60 years. Ding, ding, ding...

John Muir Jr. College vs.
Pasadena Community College
Year Winner Score Muir Record
1947 PCC 23 -14 0 - 1
1948 Muir 20 - 19 1 - 1
1949 Muir 20 - 14 2 - 1
1950 PCC 33 -19 2 - 2
1951 PCC 49 - 20 2 - 3
1952 PCC 67 - 7 2 - 4
1953 PCC 26 - 6 2 - 5
John Muir High vs.
Pasadena High
Year Winner Score Muir Record
1954 Muir 19 -12 1 - 0 - 0
1955 Muir 12 - 0 2 - 0 - 0
1956 Muir 54 -14 3 - 0 - 0
1957 Muir 20 - 0 4 - 0 - 0
1958 Muir 14 - 7 5 - 0 - 0
1959 Muir 34 - 7 6 - 0 - 0
1960 Muir 39 - 7 7 - 0 - 0
1961 Muir 25 - 13 8 - 0 - 0
1962 PHS 21 - 4 8 - 1 - 0
1963 Muir 14 - 13 9 - 1 - 0
1964 PHS 27 - 20 9 - 2 - 0
1965 PHS 13 - 7 9 - 3 - 0
1966 Muir 6 - 0 10 - 3 - 0
1967 PHS 14 - 7 10 - 4 - 0
1968 PHS 20 - 0 10 - 5 - 0
1969 PHS 40 -7 10 - 6 - 0
1970 PHS 27 - 0 10 - 7 - 0
1971 PHS 21 - 0 10 - 8 - 0
1972 PHS 27 - 13 10 - 9 - 0
1973 PHS 20 - 7 10 - 10 - 0
1974 PHS 14 - 0 10 - 11 - 0
1975 PHS 35 - 14 10 - 12 - 0
1976 Muir 13 - 10 11 - 12 - 0
1977 Muir 28 - 22 12 - 12 - 0
1978 PHS 7 - 3 12 - 13 - 0
1979 PHS 22 - 7 12 - 14 - 0
1980 Muir 21 - 7 13 - 14 - 0
1981 PHS 10 - 0 13 - 15 - 0
1982 PHS 21 - 10 13 - 16 - 0
1983 TIE 7 - 7 13 - 16 - 1
1984 Muir 14 - 8 14 - 16 - 1
1985 Muir 27 - 7 15 - 16 - 1
1986 Muir 30 - 8 16 - 16 - 1
1987 Muir 14 - 9 17 - 16 -1
1988 Muir 13 - 0 18 - 16 - 1
1989 Muir 27 - 0 19 - 16 - 1
1990 Muir 42 - 0 20 - 16 - 1
1991 Muir 36 - 14 21 - 16 - 1
1992 Muir 27 - 0 22 - 16 - 1
1993 Muir 27 - 12 23 - 16 - 1
1994 Muir 34 - 20 24 - 16 - 1
1995 PHS 14 - 7 24 - 17 - 1
1996 Muir 35 - 28 25 - 17 -1
1997 Muir 14 - 6 26 - 17 -1
1998 TIE 20 - 20 26 - 17 - 2
1999 Muir 33 - 8 27 - 17 - 2
2000 Muir 30 - 6 28 - 17 - 2
2001 Muir 49 - 21 29 - 17 - 2
2002 Muir 35 - 6 30 - 17 - 2
2003 Muir 57 - 26 31 - 17 - 2
2004 Muir 48 -25 32 - 17 -2
2005 Muir 37 - 15 33 - 17 - 2
2006 Muir 21 - 6 34 - 17- 2
2007 Muir 13 - 9 35 - 17 - 2
2008 Muir 13 - 0 36 - 17 -2
2009 Muir 34 -12 37 - 17 -2
2010 Muir 63 - 3 38 -17 - 2
2011 Muir 14 - 6 39 -17 - 2
2012 Muir 37 - 7 40 -17 - 2
2013 Muir 32 - 21 41- 17 -2

 

     
 
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