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Alleman, Davenport Assumption football rivalry reignited after 34 years

“It’s red blood, and it’s green blood.”

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- The Alleman Pioneers and Davenport Assumption Knights walked onto the same football field Friday, Aug. 24 for the first time in over three decades.

"It's exciting," Alleman Catholic High School fan Joseph Gusse said. "I don't know why they ever stopped. Something that I always looked forward to.

The rivalry came to an end after the 1984 season. Conferences filled up with teams, and Iowa changed the rules to stop teams from playing in other states.

"It was sad when they broke up," said Jim Schlichting, whose grandsons now play for Davenport Assumption. "Things went downhill from there."

But at Augustana College, fans were ready for the teams to reunite.

"This is a real good history here," said Erin Sierra, who was cheering for Alleman. "And I'm glad they opened up the cross river rivalry again."

Sitting in the stands, some remembered the last game the two schools ever played against each other.

"We got beat," Schlichting laughed. "It was the Catholic schools for the Catholic rights."

For those in high school now, they're ready to pick-up a tradition from before their time.

"It's just cool to play Alleman, because it's the Catholic rivalry," said Anna Vonderhaar, a senior at Assumption. "There's just always been a rivalry for years and years, just because they're the other Catholic school across the river. It's just that intense blood with them."

Some have had their alliance shift.

"I've always been an Alleman fan, and I'm still an Alleman fan, except when it comes to Assumption and Alleman rivalry," Dwayne Grenier said. "Three of my grandson played football for Assumption."

Others remain completely loyal.

"It's in the blood, and you're proud that your team wins when they do," Gusse said.

The Pioneers beat the Knights Friday, 34-19.