The Dickinson Red Devils launched a campaign to win Helmet Bowl II with a helmet they wear for big rivalry games during the football season.
And they won.
And they won big.
For the second year in a row, Helmet Bowl Championship honors go to a Division III school from the East. Last year, Gallaudet staged a nearly-unbelievable come-from-behind victory to win Helmet Bowl I. This year, Dickinson lead from the start and won every match up with ease, bar one (looking at you Lafayette Leopards!). In the final match up against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, they jumped out to a strong start, then built on it throughout the week to finally win 76% to 24%.
“While you never know until the last vote is counted, from the beginning we knew the Helmet Bowl competition was ours to win,” said Red Devil football Mom and Helmet Bowl cheerleader Robyn Porter. “The football team, Dickinson, and the parent group came together like a well oiled machine and stuck with a winning strategy to be victorious.”
Robyn, whose son Jack plays receiver for the Red Devils, said the National Championship represents a new, victorious future for Dickinson football.
“Winning this Championship goes to show Dickinson’s Red Devil Football team is a force to be reckoned with–both on and off the field. Not only do we have the best looking helmet in the nation, our team has a very bright future.”
Red Devils Defeat Golden Hurricane
“We are very excited for the team and for Dickinson College,” she said.
Tulsa finishes Helmet Bowl II after charging through the American Athletic Conference, then passing by the Mississippi State Delta Devils and the Liberty Flames. Then, the drama: they squeaked by the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets, barely defeated the Florida A&M Rattlers, then found a handful of votes more than the Southeastern Oklahoma Savage Storm. Congratulations to the Golden Hurricanes and its black hurricane flag helmet on a strong runner-up contest!
“First of all we would like to thank Hurricane Nation for all of the votes,” said Tulsa GA Equipment Manager Anthony Fortier.
“Congratulations to Dickinson. Their supporters were out in full force,” he said. Then, a prediction.
“We plan on winning the whole thing next year.”
Dickinson Assistant Athletic Director Christian Payne said he and the football coaches huddled in the early stages of the football season and decided the color-rush helmet with the pitchfork had a chance at making a deep run in Helmet Bowl.
“The Dickinson Pitchfork Color Rush Helmet is a constant reminder for us to always be sharp and amplify a competitive mentality that defines everything we do,” he wrote to us. “Our Helmet Bowl Championship victory reflects the competitive mentality of Dickinson Football and our entire athletic department. Our goal is to win in all we do, and this competition was an incredible avenue for Red Devil Nation to rally together and support our student-athletes.”
It’s simple. When you have a winning program, regardless of the division, or the conference, or the opponent, or the contest, you win.
Still, another DIII school wins the National Championship.
Makes no difference to the Red Devils.
“Being a Division 3 school in this competition doesn't matter,” Payne said. “It's just a number. Dickinson has many generations of dedicated people who love our football program, and support all of our teams. Specifically, our Dickinson Football Parent Club network stepped up and led a charge for us in spreading awareness, by using social media and word-of-mouth marketing to get Dickinson's helmet and competitive message sent across the nation.”
Robyn Porter and company decided early on that Dickinson had a winner and they were going to prove it to the world.
Even non-Red Devils joined the Campaign
“We have been voting every day and getting the players, staff, parents, fans, and others to vote,” Robyn said. “One of the football parents said she had her office voting and I have 23 of my coworkers voting every day.”
The idea of winning a National Championship fits right into the spirit at Dickinson, she said.
“We have a lot of newness at Dickinson – new coach, new parents, and new energy – this brings it all together and solidifies what Dickinson football wants to be in the future,” Robyn said. “I love stuff like this. I’m excited! We won. And I’m excited for next year!
“We will win next year too – I hope.”
Before striking out for a repeat (Helmet Bowl III is several months away), the thanks need to be handed out.
“Congratulations to Coach (Brad) Fordyce, the entire football coaching staff, and all student-athletes on this recognition,” Christian said. “A tremendous thank you goes to all of Red Devil Nation – all of you are a proud part of Dickinson's Helmet Bowl National Championship.”
And, now, from Robyn.
“I am a huge proponent of thanking people and this wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the team, and the staff, and the parent group – so I will be sending out a message to everyone who has been voting, the parents, their friends, their coworkers and everyone: Thank you!
The team plans to celebrate their success at the football banquet next month.