This Day in Football: Harris, Cappelletti fuel offensive explosions
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 02, 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 snippets from his book about great games and events in pro football history.
The dates of October 3 and 4 have been highlighted by a series of explosive offensive efforts.
October 3, 1976
It might be the height of the Dead Ball Era. But the 2-0-1 Rams mix it up in an long-bomb offensive epic at the Orange Bowl against the 2-1 Dolphins.
Los Angeles quarterback James Harris completes 17 of 29 passes for a remarkable 436 yards. That's an amazing 15.0 yards per attempt and a shocking 25.6 yards per completion. Receiver Ron Jessie picks up 220 yards on just 7 catches (31.4 YPC).
But the Dolphins have plenty of firepower themselves, with 219 yards on the ground, while Bob Griese hits Nat Moore for a 47-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28-28 in the fourth quarter.
Harris has one more bomb in his arsenal, and connects with Harold Jackson for 50 yards just before the two-minute warning. It sets up a 19-yard game-winning field goal by Tom Dempsey, who had kicked the longest field goal in NFL history six years earlier with the Saints. The Rams win, 31-28.
October 4, 1964
AFL all-star Gino Cappelletti of the 3-0 Boston Patriots sets a pro football record as he successfully kicks 6 field goals on 6 attempts in Denver. The Patriots cruise to a 39-10 victory over the winless (0-3) Broncos.
Cappelletti's success on six kicks in the same game breaks the 5-for-5 record shared by NFL players Roger LeClerc (Bears) and Lou Groza (Browns). The record has since been surpassed by several players.
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