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When Elmer Jones, the warden of Bidemore State Penitentiary, receives a goading letter from Charles Clark, the warden of Lynwood Penitentiary, about an upcoming prison football match, he orders Butch, his coach, to find better "recruits" for the team. Butch telephones Mike Maloney, the president of the prison "alumni association," and solicits the gangster's help in finding players. At the same time, novelty salesmen Curly Harris and Spider Robbins sneak into Maloney's nightclub office and, mistaking Elmer for Maloney, unleash their sales pitch on the harried warden. After Elmer leaves in a dazed huff, Curly and Spider meet Maloney and his cohort Whitey and try to pass themselves off as expert football players. By substituting their toy guns with real weapons, Whitey tricks the salesmen into holding up the nightclub and getting themselves arrested. Spider and Curly are sent to Elmer's prison and ingratiate themselves with Elmer's daughter Barbara and his spinster sister Violet. After the duo, who have been assigned to work in the blacksmith's shop, unwittingly aid a convict in an escape attempt, Elmer threatens to toss them into solitary confinement but instead is fooled into making them trustees by Violet. Under Elmer's nose, Spider romances Violet, while Curly flirts with Barbara, who makes a nine o'clock date with him in the prison courtyard. Unknown to Curly, a group of prisoners are planning an escape that night, and when Curly inadvertently mutters the time and place of his date to another convict, the convict assumes that Curly is "passing the word" about the breakout. To Curly's horror, his date is thwarted by gunfire from the guards, who have been tipped off about the escape, and as punishment, he is sent to toil on the rock pile by Elmer. When Elmer learns that his star quarterback has been pardoned by the governor, however, he is persuaded by Spider that Curly is his only hope to win the upcoming game with Lynwood. During the chaotic match, which is dominated by Curly and Spider's unusual style of play, the duo discovers Whitey on the Lynwood bench. Bent on revenge, Curly and Spider steal the referee's bottle of chloroform and, by dousing their towels with the chemical, knock out all of the players on the field and force Whitey into the game. While Whitey is under the chloroform's influence, Curly and Spider make him sign a confession and then score the game-winning touchdown. Vindicated by Whitey's confession, Curly kisses Barbara, while Spider embraces Violet.