As a Jordan High player looks on, Bob McKinnon runs the ball across the goal line winning the state football championship for Carbon High in 1938.
(Editors Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared as the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth approaches in 2011.)
With the beginning of the high school football season, it is easy to think back upon all the years that Carbon High has had seasons where they didn't do so well. But there have been some years when they have conquered the state football world and one of those years, the first state football championship the school ever won, was in the late fall of 1938.
On Dec. 1 of that year the Sun Advocate reported the game that had been played at the University of Utah the previous Saturday, Nov. 26. Carbon beat Jordan High of Sandy, 6-0 to win the state title.
Carbon went undefeated that year in section play. Unlike today, where five different classications of schools exist, then there was only one. The large schools in the state were all in the Salt Lake Valley, with East and West being the largest (and also owning the most football titles since 1898), and Jordan and Granite High being nearly as big. The smallest schools in the state were from the rural areas, but they all played each other for the single championship if they had a football program at all.
The game was one of those offensive fans would have disliked. It was about defense, but Carbon did rack up a lot of offensive yardage in the game. They just couldn't get it over the goal line against at what was considered at the time a vaunted Jordan defense. That was until, with two minutes remaining in the game, George Farlaino, a back, passed the ball 11 yards to quarterback Bob McKinnon in an alternative play and he ran across the goal line for the score.
The victory gave Carbon its first state football title. Up until that time the closest the school had come to winning the championship was in 1924 when the team (then known as the Miners, instead of the Dinosaurs, later to be shortened to Dinos) played L.D.S. High School of Salt Lake to a scoreless tie in the finals. Then in 1935 the team had been beaten by the Box Elder Bees, 14-0 in the state championship game.
The county went crazy over the victory with celebrations breaking out in many places.
It would be 13 years before the Dinos would win another state football title.