The "Steelers" were a handpicked group of All-Stars
from the 3-4 teams within the Washington State prison at Walla Walla.
The Steelers would come together to play semi pro teams and any other
takers of the challenge behind the walls.
The Stone Bowl was an annual event held each New
Year's Day between the best team in the prison and an all-star team made
up from the rest of the teams.
From Time Magazine (Jan 12, 1948):
In Walla Walla, Wash., two teams of convicts
played behind Washington State Penitentiary walls in the first Stone
Bowl game. The star: a 155lb halfback known as "Floor Show"
Fletcher (pen name: No 21154), a sophomore who scored both touchdowns
for the prison All-Stars. Said referee Tom Deering, who was
brought in from the outside: "It was the cleanest game I've worked all
"Floor Show" Fletcher had the floor to himself in
the 1949 Stone Bowl when he scored all 3 touchdowns for the all stars.
Fletcher scored both TD's in the 1948 All-Star win as well.
"Railroad" Aldridge scored the only TD for the Braves on a 3rd quarter
The 1950 Steelers season was cut to only one game
with the Seattle Ramblers after fog prevented opponents from flying in
and military transfers halted other scheduled games.
In the 1950 Stone Bowl, the undefeated "Hornets"
(9-0) were heavy favorites to defeat the All-Stars even after star
quarterback Chuck Corey used a practice near the dairy farm the day
before to break over the right end, scoot into the clear and then kept
on running. He hadn't been seen since. Marcus "Fargo"
Hilstad would take over for "Sneak" Corey in the Stone Bowl.
Three members were suspended for the game due to bad behavior.
Jack Egan and Frank Buhl would anchor the
All-Stars. The All-Stars were previously undefeated in the Stone
Homer Hayes zigzagged 77-yards for the Steelers
only score against the Ramblers 1950 matchup which was the first time
the team was allowed to play an outside team.
The All-Stars upset the "Eagles" in the 4th Annual
Stone Bowl resulting in a heavy "blue haze hanging over the penitentiary
as the prison's "student" body had placed bets of Christmas smokes with
"convict cigarette bookies" who took a beating along with the heavily
1951: The Steelers had an 18-0 lead on Camp Hanford
before the Atomeers rallied to a 35-18 victory.
Closing out 1951, the Wolverines won the Stone Bowl
in a fierce snowstorm 6-0.
Jokester 'Pens' Note for Prison Bowl Game
The Deseret News - Nov 28, 1951
Officials at Illinois Wesleyan University
Thursday said it was news to them that the school had submitted a bid
for its football team to play in the Stone Bowl game--against the
champion Washington State prison team.
Officials of the game in Walla Walla, Wash.,
said they had received an offer from Wesleyan to play in the New Year's
Day game. The game is staged annually between the state prison
team and an all-star team from other penitentiary elevens.
"It's the first I've heard," said Jack
Horenberger, athletic director at Wesleyan.
"Probably some student sent in the bid as a
gag." said Football Coach Libero Bertagnolli.
The Steelers played annual games "outside" with the
Eastern Washington JV's in the annual Wheat Bowl from '64 to '66.
The most exciting moment came when the Steelers' star halfback kept
running after the final gun, but the warden wasn't alarmed. The
halfback was on a 90-yard touchdown play as time ran out.