The University of North Carolina Tar Heels and North Carolina State Wolfpack football teams face off this weekend, the final regular season game for both squads. The two schools first played each other in 1894, UNC emerging victorious with a score of 44 to 0. Hugh Morton was not yet born, but he likely would have photographed the game if he had been around to focus a lens and click a shutter.
The photograph above, made during the 1954 contest won buy UNC 20 to 6, is one my favorite Morton football photographs. A print from that negative is part of the Hugh Morton retrospective exhibition, which will be displayed in Raleigh during 2016.
Based upon the earliest negatives located to date, Morton began photographing the annual contest in 1941 when he was a junior at UNC. Someone stole Morton’s camera soon after arriving on campus as a freshman in 1939, and he did not replace it until sometime in early 1940. There are no negatives in the collection that have been identified from the fall 1940 contest played in Raleigh. In 1941 when home field returned to Kenan Stadium at Chapel Hill, Morton was the staff photographer for the student newspaper and the yearbook. On November 2 The Daily Tar Heel published the following photograph on the front page.
The Yackety Yack published that photograph plus the following from that game, which N.C State won 13 to 7—its first victory in the rivalry since 1927.
Below you can see the full negatives without cropping.
Morton enlisted in the United States Army in the autumn of 1942, making the 1941 game the only UNC versus NC State game that we know (thus far) that he photographed as a student. To find other Morton photographs from UNC—NC State football games, including Andy Griffith’s famous “What it Was Was Football” routine, visit the online collection of Morton photographs.