October 21, 1948 -- Dr. Daniel Starr of Canisius College wrote a book on the Golden Age of Buffalo sports … the post-war boom period of the late 1940's. It's difficult to argue with the central point of the book after reviewing the events of this day.
The Kensington Knights played the Bennett Tigers in a Harvard Cup football game. While the score has been mostly forgotten (26-8, Kensington), the crowd figure lives on. Somehow, 50,998 fans packed then-Civic Stadium on the corner of Jefferson and Best to witness the contest.
Remember, Buffalo did have pro football back then in the form of the Bills of the All-American Football Conference. And college football, in the form of the Little Three schools, was a national attraction as well.
So to attract 50,000 for a high school game, in a stadium that didn't come close to having that many seats, was very impressive. It still is. In fact, it's still the state record for attendance at a high school game.
Kensington went on to win the Harvard Cup, beating Riverside, 27-0, in the championship game. Coach Wilbur Bergstrom thus recorded the second of four straight Harvard Cup titles.
--- Budd Bailey