On this date in 1951, Roosevelt scored seven unanswered touchdowns to rout Punahou 45-7 and retain the once-prestigious Paintbrush Trophy.
It was Roosevelt’s most lopsided victory in the 20-year rivalry between the schools. The Rough Riders fumbled the ball eight times but only lost one. Roosevelt’s defense made up for it by picking off seven Punahou passes. Henry George scored two TDs for Roosevelt and Roy Ryder, Richard Lum, Alfred Franco, Ralph Shultz and Lester Santos all scored for Roosevelt.
The trophy was first awarded in 1948 after the rivalry between the schools got out of hand.
Legend has it that the trouble started in the 1930s when young Lex Brodie painted Punahou’s Pauahi Dome green and gold, which were Roosevelt’s colors until 1939. Brodie would have gotten away with it, but one of his helper’s dogs accompanied the party and never left, greeting the Principal first thing in the morning. The boys were reprimanded.
Punahou students responded by covering the Roosevelt campus in yellow and blue and the team took care of business with a 32-6 victory.
The rivalry continued to escalate with Roosevelt’s Carter Auditorium filled with yellow and blue balloons and Roosevelt’s flag on Punahou’s flagpole for a week because it took a professional pole climber to take it down. When Punahou’s war memorial plaque turned up red and gold, it was time to do something.
The schools got together and made the paintbrush trophy to curtail the violence and it worked except for Punahou’s pool being dyed red and a giant P-U-N carved into Roosevelt’s lawn. All-in-all, it worked and the vandalism died down.