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The "Stone Bowl" was created and played for the first time on Jan 1, 1948 between the prison league champion and an all-star team of the other league inmates.







  Washington State Penn "Steelers" (1947 - 1966)

Years of Operation: 1947-1962


Overall Record


First Game:


First Win:


Final Game:

League Affiliation:  
Washington State Prison League



Team Headquarters:

Washington State Prison

Walla Walla, Washington



General Manager:


Coaches: Wally Olson (1949) Bill Zeigler


Home Field(s): Walla Walla State Prison Bates Field


Titles Won





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 season."


"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 plunge.


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 Bowl.


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 favored Eagles.


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.

1946 Schedule/Results (0-0):  
Jan 1, 1947 Stone Bowl - Champs 12 All-Stars 6
1947 Schedule/Results (0-0):  
Jan 1, 1948 Stone Bowl -  Comets 0 All-Stars 12
1948 Schedule/Results (0-0):  
Jan 1, 1949 Stone Bowl -  Braves 6  All-Stars 20
1949 Schedule/Results (0-0):  
Jan 1, 1950 Stone Bowl - Hornets vs All-Stars

1950 Schedule/Results (0-0):

 - Seattle Ramblers 7-19
Jan 1, 1951 Stone Bowl - Eagles 7 All- Stars 20
1951 Schedule/Results (0-2):  
Oct 20 - Camp Hanford Atomeers 18-35
 - Seattle Ramblers 0-66
Dec 31 Stone Bowl - Wolverines 6 All-Stars 0
1954 Schedule/Results (0-2):  
Oct 9 - Camp Hanford Atomeers 20-32
 - Seattle Ramblers 0-41
1956 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
- Seattle Ramblers 12-68
1957 Schedule/Results (1-1):  
Oct 10 - Seattle Cavaliers 28-2
- Seattle Ramblers 0-40
1959 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
Sep 20 - Spokane Rams 26-6
Nov 15 - Spokane Rams 12-14
1960 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
- Seattle Ramblers 6-63
1962 Schedule/Results (1-0):  
- Seattle Ramblers 31-6
1964 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
Nov 11 @ Eastern Washington Univ JVs * 25-33
  * Wheat Bowl  
1965 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
Nov 11 @ Eastern Washington Univ JV's * `13-39
  * Wheat Bowl  
1966 Schedule/Results (0-1):  
Nov 11 @ Eastern Washington Univ JV's *


  * Wheat Bowl  





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