The Dayton Triangles football team (1920-1929) played in the first game for what is now known as the National Football League (NFL). The Triangles beat the Columbus Panhandles 14-0 on Oct. 3, 1920 in Dayton s Triangle Park. 

Flashback: The day Dayton became part of NFL history

How many people knew it at the time isn’t certain, but a major event in American sports history occurred in Dayton 97 years ago today

What’s special about Oct. 3, 1920? 

That is when the Dayton Triangles beat the Columbus Panhandles 14-0 at Triangle Park in the first game between two teams from the American Professional Football Association, a league now known as the NFL. 

READ MORE: The story behind the first NFL football game

According to, Lou Partlow of West Carrollton scored the first touchdown in league history on a 7-yard run. Miamisburg’s Hobby Kinderdine converted the first PAT kick. Frank Bacon of South Bend, Ind., returned a punt for the game’s other touchdown. 

RELATED: 7 area connections to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Triangles went on to finish 5-2-2, good for sixth in the first APFA standings. 

A team that not surprisingly consisted of many graduates of area high schools, the Triangles were part of the APFA/NFL for its first 10 seasons. 

They also existed before the league formed and won the “Ohio League” championship in 1918. 

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