This Day in Football: big outings by Babe Parilli & the Catawba Claw

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 17, 2009



Cold, Hard Football Facts researcher Coach T.J. Troup just released his first book, "This Day in Football: A Day-by-Day Record of the Events That Shaped the Game." The book is available at Amazon.com and other retail outlets. The foreword was written by Steve Sabol of NFL Films, who gives Troup access to his company's vast video library each year.  
 
Throughout the 2009 season, mostly on game days, we'll provide some stories that we've adapted from his book about great games and events in pro football history.  
 
The dates of October 10 and 11 were highlighted by great performances from some of the legendary figures in history.
 
October 18, 1953
The 2-1 Rams head to Briggs Stadium in Detroit to face the 3-0 defending league champion Lions.
 
Los Angeles return-specialist Woodley Lewis ties a record as he gains 294 yards on kick returns. His day includes three punt returns for 120 yards, with a 78-yard touchdown, and five kick returns for 174 yards, including a long of 69 yards, to lead the Rams to a 31-19 victory over the reigning champs.
 
October 18, 1963
Fans at Fenway Park in Boston witness the 3-3 Patriots explode offensively against the 2-3 Broncos.
 
Patriots quarterback Babe Parilli sets a team record with 358 yards (on 21 of 31 passing) with two touchdowns in a 40-21 victory over Denver; kicker/receiver Gino Cappelletti scores 21 points; and Larry Garron sets an AFL record for average yards per play with 15 touches for 244 yards (16.26 YPP).
 
The Patriots had trailed 14-10 in the second quarter, after Denver fullback Billy Joe busted up the middle for a 68-yard touchdown run. But Boston stormed back for a 40-21 victory.
 
October 18, 1964
The 2-2-1 Rams crush the 2-3 49ers at the L.A. Coliseum, 42-14, behind record-setting rookie receiver Bucky "The Catawba Claw" Pope and an opportunistic defense that sets a franchise record with seven interceptions.
 
The explosive Pope caught four passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. The one-season wonder would end the years with 25 catches for 786 yards and an amazing 10 touchdowns, with a record average of 31.4 yards per reception that still stands today. Six of his 25 catches were touchdown receptions of 48 yards or longer.
 
Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel threw four touchdown passes in the first half to lead Los Angeles to a 28-7 advantage. The defense took over in the second half, with a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown by Bobby Smith and a 71-yard return for a score by Aaron Martin.

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