HOUSTON OILERS 1961 SEASON SUMMARY

DateTeam TeamScoreAtt.
09-Sep-61Oaklandat HoustonWon 55-713,796
24-Sep-61Houston at San DiegoLost 9-1727,750
04-Oct-61Houstonat DallasWon 38-1723,800
08-Oct-61Buffaloat HoustonWon 20-021,623
13-Oct-61Houstonat BostonWon 34-2715,824
22-Oct-61 Dallasat HoustonWon 34-2724,423
29-Oct-61Houstonat BuffaloWon 17-1629,035
05-Nov-61Houston at DenverWon 24-2015,611
12-Nov-61Bostonat HoustonLost 7-2037,845
19-Nov-61New Yorkat HoustonWon 17-1037,845
26-Nov-61Denverat HoustonWon 61-737,845
03-Dec-61San Diegoat HoustonWon 23-2037,845
10-Dec-61Houstonat New YorkWon 21-1415,612
17-Dec-61Houstonat OaklandWon 34-148,437

Attendance home 211,222 Average 30,175

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.SckRating
George Blanda QBA5/K404197249448.8%2133351.73
Jacky Lee QBB5151010966.7%12070.56
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE25689115.96111
Charley Hennigan FL06173712.1245
John White RE32533313.3211
Billy Cannon HB02323510.2181
Willard Dewveall SE4(3)1517211.5200
Claude King HB4610417.3210
Charley Tolar FB111534.8132
Bob McLeod RE3(2)7507.1162
Dave Smith FB33289.3120
Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB031016625.46113
Charley Tolar FB11777584.3163
Dave Smith FB3612664.4144
Claude King HB4231155.0142
George Blanda QBA5/K12211.860
Ken Hall HB4/P451.340

SCORINGTDTD RTD PTD RtPATFG2PTSAFTP
George Blanda QBA5/K0000292400101
Billy Cannon HB0141310000084
Bill Groman LE2110110000066
Charley Hennigan FL05050000030
Charley Tolar FB15320000030
Dave Smith FB14400000024
Charlie Milstead DB-PK00001700017
Jim Norton DB-P2002000012
Claude King HB42200000012
Bob McLeod RE3(2)2020000012
John White RE3101000006


Box Office – King of Kings (Jeffery Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Robert Ryan)
Billboard #1 – Please Mr Postman – The Marvelettes
UK #1 – Tower of Strength – Frankie Vaughn

Groman to miss final

Despite Oilers coach Wally Lemm benching a number of starters in order to protect them from injury in this last regular game of the season, his worst fears were realised when Bill Groman required assistance to leave the field after being on the receiving end of a big hit. News from the treatment room confirmed that he would be doubtful for the final although a cameo appearance if the situation proves dire enough has not been ruled out.

The game itself was entertaining despite the fact that there was little to play for. Oakland stayed with Houston in the early stages but from the moment when Cannon registered the first of his two td’s, they began to wilt. With the score 20-7 to Houston at half time, Lemm benched more starters which inevitably led to a more disjointed performance as the game wore on.

All told the season has been an unqualified success, particularly with performances improving markedly from the 2nd half of the season. The Oilers fully deserve their place in the final next week against the other stand out team in the AFL, the San Diego Chargers.

17 Dec 1961 – At Candlestick Park San Francisco
Att.8,437 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers3177734
Oakland Raiders700714
Real Life Houston 47 New York 16

q1 08:20 – Hou – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 40 kick

q1 01:15 – Oak – Wayne Crow HB1 – 3 run (George Fleminginj kick)

q2 12:25 – Hou – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 19 kick

q2 07:15 – Hou – Billy Cannon HB0 – 4 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q2 00:30 – Hou – Billy Cannon HB0 – 5 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q3 10:00 – Hou – Charley Hennigan FL0 – 7 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 14:00 – Oak – Terry Burch WR3/P – 5 pass (George Fleming kick)

q4 10:00 – Hou – Charley Tolar FB1 – 3 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

Touchdown!

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.SckRating
George Blanda QBA5/PK211315661.90%310104.37
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE223618.0310
Charley Hennigan FL023115.5241
Willard Dewveall SE4(3)22613.0150
Claude King HB412121.0210
Bob McLeod RE3(2)2157.5120
Dave Smith FB311212.0120
Billy Cannon HB02126.071
Charley Tolar FB1133.031

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0151087.2141
Charley Tolar FB117925.4100
Dave Smith FB34266.580
Claude King HB42115.590

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS1220
x – BOSTON PATRIOTS 1040
x – NEW YORK TITANS770
x- BUFFALO BILLS590
x = eliminated from Championship final contention
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1220
x- DALLAS TEXANS590
x- DENVER BRONCOS 3110
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS 2120
x = eliminated from Championship game contention


Box Office – King of Kings (Jeffery Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Robert Ryan)
Billboard #1 – Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
UK #1 – Tower of Strength – Frankie Vaughn

Houston back-ups answer the call & deliver routine victory

Armed with the knowledge that a single victory would be all that was needed to secure a championship final berth, Oilers head coach Wally Lemm was clearly looking to the long game today when he decided to bench a number of key starters to keep them free from injury risk. All the players chosen to fill the boots of these starters answered the call in handing Houston an solid victory over the Titans who had nothing but pride to play for.

The Titans D line was put under extreme pressure from the off, where Charley Tolar took on the mantle as the first choice RB with a series of bludgeoning inside runs. Although the passing game was not as effective, Houston’s first two scores came from passes to McLeod and Groman. Tolar added to his td haul in the third and by doing so set his own personal record of 26 attempts in a game. The Oilers defense handled New York without breaking sweat until the 4th quarter when the Titans finally rallied. Despite a single score separating the two teams, Houston always looked in control and they can now enjoy their final regular season game with no pressure, safe in the knowledge that they will be contesting the final against the Chargers in a fortnights time.

10 Dec 1961 – At The Polo Grounds, New York City.
Att.15,612 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers0147021
New York Titans0001414
Real Life Houston 48 New York 21

q2 03:30 – Hou – Bob McLeod RE3 – 1 pass (George Blanda kick)

q2 00:10 – Hou – Bill Groman LE2 – 1 pass (George Blanda kick)

q3 03:55 – Hou – Charley Tolar FB1 – 7 run (George Blanda kick)

q4 13:10 – New – Bill Brooks FB4 – 3 run (Dick Guesmaninj kick)

q4 04:50 – New – Bill Mathis FB0 – 8 run (Dick Guesmaninj kick)

Titans cheerleader still finds something to smile about

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.SckRating
George Blanda QBA5/PK241213450.0%22060.07
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE245213.0241
Billy Cannon HB02189.0140
Willard Dewveall SE4(3)11717.0170
Charley Hennigan FL02178.590
Bob McLeod RE32178.5161
Charley Tolar FB111313.0130

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Tolar FB1261335.1121
Billy Cannon HB013675.2140
Dave Smith FB38627.8140
Claude King HB44338.3140

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS1120
x – BOSTON PATRIOTS 940
x – NEW YORK TITANS760
x- BUFFALO BILLS590
x = eliminated from Championship final contention
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1210
x- DALLAS TEXANS490
x- DENVER BRONCOS 3110
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS 2110
x = eliminated from Championship game contention



Playboy Playmate of the Month – Lynn Karrol
Box Office – The Comancheros (John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Lee Marvin)
Billboard #1 – Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
UK #1 – (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister – Elvis Presley

Houston halt Chargers

What a difference a week makes. Houston entertained the undefeated AFC West champions in what will most likely be a dress rehearsal for the AFL Championship later this month. The Oilers unsurprisingly found it tough going against San Diego and were forced to rely on the kicking of George Blanda early on to keep them in contention with the passing game effectively snuffed out. When Blanda threw a pick 6 in the 2nd quarter, the game was in danger of running away from Houston and a lesser team may have buckled especially when Billy Cannon finally found a way through for a 61 yard gain only for Blanda to throw a third intercepted pass immediately after.

None too polite” words were said in the dressing room at half time and when the second half commenced the Oilers defense set about their opponents with extra zeal. One lapse though was all it took for Bo Roberson to score his second td of the game when he broke clear for a 40 yard dash to the Oilers end zone. With the score now 6-20 in favour of the visitors Blanda finally managed to galvanise his offense for a response and the first td against the Chargers this season. The game turned when Paul Lowe spilled the ball on the Chargers next possession. Houston’s offense didn’t need to be asked twice and followed up with their 2nd td in under a minute. Despite losing club captain Orville Trask to a season ending injury, the defense was now managing to blunt San Diego’s attacks and forced a quick possession change. Blanda then registered his third FG of the game to give Houston a narrow lead. With the ball on the other foot, San Diego were now having to make riskier plays and when they failed to convert a critical 4th down, Houston gratefully ran out the clock for a first ever win against the Chargers.

Despite a strong team performance, overall special mention has to be made of Billy Cannon, once more at the forefront of Houston’s attacks who today beat Dave Smith’s 1960 single rushing record by 2 yds with his 187 yard haul as well as recording the best total rushing yards in a season with 2 games to spare.

Houston are being kept honest by the Patriots who won again but if they can beat the Titans next week they will all but seal the Eastern Conference and thereby set up another mouth watering fixture against the Chargers in the final.

03 Dec 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.37,845 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
San Diego Chargers776020
Houston Oilers3314323
real life San Diego 13, Houston 33

   

q1 09:10 – SD – Bo Roberson HB2- 2 run (George Blair kick)

q1 04:25 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 30 kick

q2 08:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 11 kick

q2 05:05 – SD – Bob Zeman LSB – 28 interception (George Blair kick)

q3 12:40 – SD – Bo Roberson HB2 – 40 run (kick missed)

q3 07:10 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 3 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q3 06:40 – HO – Charlie Tolar FB1 – 2 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 09:55 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 33 kick

Blanda forced to take evasive action

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK301214240.0%130
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan FL044611.5190
Bill Groman LE012424.0240
Claude King HB412121.0210
Willard Dewveall SE4(3)12020.0200
Billy Cannon FL011616.0160
Charley Tolar FB14153.851

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0301876.2611
Dave Smith FB3 294.550
Charley Tolar FB1482.0120
Claude King HB4155.050

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS1020
BOSTON PATRIOTS840
x – NEW YORK TITANS750
x – BUFFALO BILLS580
x = Eliminated from Championship contention

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1110
x- DALLAS TEXANS390
x- DENVER BRONCOS3100
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS2100
x = Eliminated from Championship contention


Box Office – King of Kings (Jeffery Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Robert Ryan)
Billboard #1 – Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
UK #1 – (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister – Elvis Presley

Houston buckeroo Broncos

Records continued to tumble as Houston racked up a record score against a sorry Denver side at Jeppesen stadium on Sunday. Denver were missing Lionel Taylor and Fred Bukaty for this fixture and it showed as they never managed to come to terms with a Houston team keen to silence critics of recent performances. Denver’s only score came after a trick play fake punt when George Herring’s pass found Gene Prebola for a 30 yard gain to set up a td shortly after. That was the high water mark for Denver who were unable to record many first downs let alone get into Oiler territory. For Houston, the running game felt as if it were a training exercise with both Cannon and Tolar racking up their personal highest yardage tallies for rushing in a single match. George Blanda had an unspectacular day passing but his kicking was sublime and with the 49 yard FG at the end of the game, he registered the most points (19) scored by a player in a Houston shirt in a single game.

All eyes now turn to next weeks fixture, seen by many as a dress rehearsal for the end of season Championship decider. The Oilers will be without End John White and Safety Freddy Glick who were both injured during the course of the last game.

26 Nov 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.37,845 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Denver Broncos70007
Houston Oilers1021171361
real life Denver 14, Houston 45

   

q1 11:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 52 kick

q1 04:25 – DB – Jack Hill WR4(3)/PK – 5 pass (Gene Mingo kick)

q1 00:15 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 2 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 12:00 – HO – Dave Smith FB3 – 11 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 08:00 – HO – Charley Hennigan FL0 – 9 pass (George Blanda kick)

q2 02:20 – HO – Charley Tolar FB1 – 2 run (George Blanda kick)

q3 14:10 – HO – Jim Norton DSB/P – 29 interception (George Blanda kick)

q3 07:10 – HO – Dave Smith FB3 – 4 run (George Blanda kick)

q3 03:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 35 kick

q4 12:50 – HO – Bob McLeod RE3 – 3 pass (George Blanda kick)

q4 02:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 26 kick

q4 00:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 49 kick

Houston’s defense closes in

Record Breaking RB

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK351817551.4%230
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan FL077210.3201
Bill Groman LE023316.5190
Billy Cannon FL033010.0170
Claude King HB422613.0180
Charley Tolar FB12115.570
Bob McLeod RE32105.071

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0271626.0161
Charley Tolar FB1251415.6161
Dave Smith FB36386.3112
Claude King HB43103.360

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS920
BOSTON PATRIOTS740
NEW YORK TITANS650
x – BUFFALO BILLS480
x = Eliminated from Championship contention

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1100
x- DALLAS TEXANS380
x- DENVER BRONCOS390
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS290
x = Eliminated from Championship contention


Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
UK #1 – (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister – Elvis Presley

Cannon blasts 1000 yard landmark

Billy Cannon’s milestone 1000 rushing yard season total only added fuel to the fire that Houston are fast becoming a one trick pony in this dour victory at a sodden Jeppesen Stadium. While Cannon was setting his personal career records including the most carries in a game, the rest of the Oilers offense were finding life hard against a New York side that had they been more confident may have taken the spoils.

Careless kicking from Titans Dick Guesman ultimately cost his side victory as Houston turned the ball over in the first half with alarming regularity. New York were in complete control in the first quarter but only had a single FG to show for their efforts. Guesman missed a routine 2nd kick and then the Titans offense were flagged for a holding penalty on their next drive after looking likely to add to their score. The game was low in quality apart from Cannon and it took Houston most of the first half before they finally found their rhythm. Once more, it came down again to the Oilers defense who collectively put in another strong performance and were to all intents and purposes the difference between victory and defeat. Cannon grabbed the headlines though especially when he broke through to score a 17 yard td in the 4th quarter and give Houston a single score lead. He is now averaging over 113 yards per game and with 4 matches to play, looks likely to set records that could stand for a long time. Oilers new head coach Wally Lemm will need to quickly work out a system that doesn’t rely so heavily on Cannon as the potential championship dress rehearsal verses the Chargers is just two games away.

19 Nov 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.37,845 – Weather – Rain
q1q2q3q4Score
New York Titans300710
Houston Oilers073717
real life New York 13, Houston 49

   

q1 09:45 – NY – Dick Guesman PK/DE – 27 kick

q2 05:45 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 17 pass (George Blanda kick)

q3 02:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 37 kick

q4 10:20 – NY – Al Dorow QBA4 – 4 run (Dick Guesman kick)

q4 03:40 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 14 run (George Blanda kick)

#16 George Blanda goes aerial seeking out Bill Groman for Houston’s first score
Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK241110745.8%130
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE056613.217td1
Charley Hennigan FL03186.070
John White RE311111.0110
Willard Dewveall SE4177.070
Billy Cannon FL0155.000

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0301394.617td1
Charley Tolar FB19232.660
Dave Smith FB34123.080
Claude King HB4252.550

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS820
BOSTON PATRIOTS740
NEW YORK TITANS550
x – BUFFALO BILLS470
x = Eliminated from Championship contention

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1100
x- DENVER BRONCOS380
x- DALLAS TEXANS280
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS280
x = Eliminated from Championship contention


Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
UK #1 – (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister – Elvis Presley

Boston boss Oilers

Houston’s winning streak was rudely brought to an end in their own back yard by a determined Boston side keen on proving their own championship credentials. Boston are perhaps the most underrated team in the AFC while Houston have recently flattered to deceive. For Houston this performance was very much of last year’s vintage, lacking in flair and too conservative to trouble their opponents.

Houston had started well when Blanda found Groman in the end zone to open the scoring. The drive was marked by an injury to Billy Cannon after only his 2nd carry of the game. Limping from the field of play he was to be sidelined for the rest of the half. Without their talisman, Houston found life difficult and struggled to find a way through a resurgent Patriots defensive line. Blanda’s form also began to tail off as the Oilers had to play catch up when the Patriots first drew level and then began to pull ahead through a brace of Cappelletti Field Goals. The Oilers defense also had their hands full contending with Larry Garron but by and large put in another solid display blunting the opposition offense. The play of the game came when Boston QB Babe Parilli having struggled to make yards on running plays, managed to find Larry Burton in acres of space for a 36 yard td pass. Houston threatened on fewer and fewer occasions and a passage of play involving an offensive holding penalty followed by a QB sack effectively ended their chances.

Following this result at the press conference, Oilers owner Bud Adams announced that with immediate effect Wally Lemm would take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. Although the announcement was a shock considering the result was the first defeat in seven matches, it was not so much a surprise to insiders amid rumours of dissatisfaction regarding the playing style in unconvincing wins of recent weeks. Houston will look to bounce back next week with a home fixture against the Titans of New York who also harbour championship aspirations.

12 Nov 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.37,845 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Boston Patriots733720
Houston Oilers70007
real life Boston 15, Houston 27

   

q1 05:20 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 16 pass (George Blanda)

q1 00:00 – BP – Larry Garron FB1 – 7 pass (Gino Cappelletti kick)

q2 00:45 – BP – Gino Cappelletti LE0/PK – 8 kick

q3 09:35 – BP – Gino Cappelletti LE0/PK – 45 kick

q4 06:05 – BP – Ron Burton HB1 – 36 pass (Gino Cappelletti kick)

Rich Michael #77 & Bob Schmidt #52 prise open the door for a rare opportunity for Billy Cannon #20 in front of a sell out home crowd
Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK271212144.4%101
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE056012.0161
John White RE312121.0210
Dave Smith FB32168.090
Billy Cannon FL02115.560
Bob McLeod SE3188.080
Charley Hennigan FL0155.050

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB012413.4120
Charley Tolar FB18313.9120
Dave Smith FB34143.5120
Claude King HB4133.030
George Blanda QBA5/PK320.720

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS720
BOSTON PATRIOTS640
NEW YORK TITANS540
BUFFALO BILLS370

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS1000
x- DENVER BRONCOS370
x- DALLAS TEXANS270
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS270
x = Eliminated from Championship contention



Playboy Playmate of the Month – Dianne Danford
Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Runaround Sue – Dion
UK #1 – Walkin’ Back to Happiness – Helen Shapiro

Lacklustre Oilers forced once more to rely on defense in bad tempered match

For the second successive match, Houston had their defense to thank after the offense inexplicably caught the jitters late on in a game marred by ill discipline from both teams. A total of eleven players had to seek treatment during the match as tempers frayed at a wet Bears Stadium.

Houston had to recover from an atrocious start after Cannon fumbled the kick off and when on their next drive Blanda was picked, Denver were shortly after 10-0 to the good. Houston had been expected to make light work of Denver but only found their feet in q2 when the offense clicked while Denver’s was for the most part of the match impotent. After the break the Broncos reduced arrears with a Mingo FG from one of their few well constructed drives. A little later on Blanda took a late hit and was replaced by Jacky Lee. Blanda returned for a field goal attempt but despite making the kick limped off the field and did not return. Houston extended their lead to 11 points with a Bill Groman td pass reception when Lee hit a purple patch but on the next drive he also received a knock that required treatment. With tempers fraying amid colourful language, the officials had a busy time keeping both sets of players separated between plays and when Denver scored in the 4th quarter the game threatened to boil over before order was restored. The Oilers offense began to choke with Lee struggling who was having to rely on obvious running plays that were easily dealt with by Denver. In the end, it came down to the defense to make a stand on their own 25 and hold Denver on fourth down before a grateful Lee ran out the clock.

Another unconvincing win nevertheless extends the Oilers winning streak to 6 games. They entertain Boston next week in a top two clash and the first ever all ticket match at Jeppesen Stadium.

05 Nov 1961 – At Bears Stadium, Denver CO.
Att.15,611 – Weather – Rain
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers01410024
Denver Broncos1003720
Real Life Houston 55 Denver 14

q1 12:15 – DB – Gene Mingo PK/HB4 – 32 kick

q1 02:20 – DB – Gene Mingo PK/HB4 – 7 pass (Gene Mingo kick)

q2 12:20 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 4 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 08:50 – HO – Charley Hennigan FL0 – 5 pass (George Blanda kick)

q3 10:55 – DB – Gene Mingo PK/HB4 – 26 kick

q3 07:10 – HO – George Blandainj QBA5/PK – 30 kick

q3 01:40 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 7 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 10:10 – DB – Donnie Stone LHB0 – 8 run (Gene Mingo kick)

Mark Johnston (#41) picks off a wayward Denver pass thereby registering his 2nd interception of the game

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK1698356.3%120
Jacky Lee QBB5141010971.4%120
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan FL0131249.5241
Bill Groman LE233311.0191
John White RE32199.5120
Willard Dewveall SE411616.0160

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0261325.2131
Charley Tolar FB112695.8140
Claude King HB422311.5130
Dave Smith FB3122.020

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS710
BOSTON PATRIOTS 540
NEW YORK TITANS440
BUFFALO BILLS270
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 900
x- DENVER BRONCOS360
x- DALLAS TEXANS 260
x- OAKLAND RAIDERS 260
x = eliminated from Championship game contention


Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Runaround Sue – Dion
UK #1 – Walkin’ Back to Happiness – Helen Shapiro

A game of two halves as Houston are forced to dig deep

Houston had to thank their defense for a hard fought single point victory at Buffalo on Sunday. Arriving as clear favourites having shut out their opponents in the home rubber, Houston got off to a perfect start after Buffalo fumbled the kick off. Billy Cannon scored his 8th td of the season on the opening drive setting the tone for the first half as Houston dominated and added to their score to lead at half time 17-0. Buffalo, facing a second blowout had the “riot act” read to them in the dressing room and returned to the field for the second half a different team. While Houston carelessly turned the ball over with three Blanda interceptions, Buffalo began to chip away at the deficit. Bills kicker Joe Hergert was on target three times in the second half and following his 3rd successful kick, the teams were separated by just a single point. Houston captain Orville Trask, as ever strategically aware enforced a “bend don’t break” defense that restricted most of the Bills attacks to field goal attempts. When they held Buffalo on a 4th down play in the last minute, the game was won.

Houston’s winning streak continues. Next they travel to Denver

29 Oct 1961 – At War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo.
Att.29,035 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers7100017
Buffalo Bills0013316
Real Life Houston 28 Buffalo 16

q1 13:50 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 6 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 07:55 – HO – George Blanda – QBA5/PK 12 kick

q2 05:55 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 15 pass (George Blanda kick)

q3 10:10 – BB – Joe Hergert PK/LB – 37 kick

q3 07:50 – BB – Joe Hergert PK/LB – 23 kick

q3 01:20 – BB – Fred Brown LHB3 – 5 run (Joe Hergert kick)

q4 11:35 – BB – Joe Hergert PK/LB – 21 kick

layer PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK391819646.2%132
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
John White RE389912.4190
Bill Groman LE245112.8151
Charley Hennigan FL04399.8190
Willard Dewveall SE4155.050
Billy Cannon HB0122.020

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB023903.9151
Charley Tolar FB18232.9110
Claude King HB42157.5130
Dave Smith FB3540.890
George Blanda QBA5/PK1-1-1.0-10

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS610
NEW YORK TITANS430
BOSTON PATRIOTS440
BUFFALO BILLS260
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS800
DENVER BRONCOS350
DALLAS TEXANS250
OAKLAND RAIDERS 160


Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
UK #1 – Walkin’ Back to Happiness – Helen Shapiro

FRANK JACKSON NEARLY RUINS OILERS DAY

Frank Jackson scored 3 td’s for Dallas but still left the field on the losing side in a keenly fought contest at Jeppesen Stadium. Dallas were much improved from the previous match between these Texan rivals and with the acquisition of kicker Ben Agajanian looked to have addressed their biggest weakness. The Texans arrived without their talisman Abner Haynes who was unfit. Thus running duties were placed squarely on rookie Frank Jacksons shoulders.

Houston started the stronger, and after two quick fire td’s were well in control. Dallas hit back in the 2nd qtr when Jackson broke free to record a 22 yard rushing td. The game then settled into a period of relative calm until the beginning of the 4th qtr when all hell broke loose. Jackson scored a second breakaway on the first play of the quarter covering 21 yards and thereby handing Dallas a slender 3 point lead. From the next drive George Blanda tied the scores with a 34 yard kick but 2 minutes later Jackson scored his third and most impressive td breaking clear of the Oilers defense covering 46 yards for a score. Calm heads were needed on the Oilers sidelines and when Cannon was slow to get up after a 14 yard gain the nerves may have begun to jangle. Fortunately Houston have a wealth of offensive weapons and it only took a couple of minutes for Blanda to respond when he found Groman for a 10 yard td pass. When the normally reliable Dallas receiver Chris Burford spilled a greasy ball shortly after the restart, Houston had the “in” they needed and Blanda found Groman for his second score of the game to seal victory for the Oilers.

Houston travel to Buffalo next week.

22 Oct 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.24,423 – Weather – Rain
q1q2q3q4Score
Dallas Texans 31001427
Houston Oilers14031734
real life Dallas 7, Houston 38

   

q1 07:20 – HO – Charley Hennigan FL0 – 15 pass (George Blanda)

q1 05:30 – HO – Charley Tolar FB1 – 9 run (George Blanda kick)

q1 01:35 – DT – Ben Agajanian PK – 33 kick

q2 04:15 – DT – Ben Agajanian PK – 33 kick

q2 01:50 – DT – Frank Jackson HB3(2) – 22 run (Ben Agajanian kick)

q3 07:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 16 kick

q4 14:50 – DT – Frank Jackson HB3(2) – 21 run (Ben Agajanian kick)

q4 11:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 34 kick

q4 09:05 – DT – Frank Jackson HB3(2) – 46 run (Ben Agajanian kick)

q4 06:45 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 10 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 04:55 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 5 pass (George Blanda kick)

Billy Cannon with another 100+yd haul
Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK291318044.8%320
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
John White RE336020.0210
Bill Groman LE05428.4142
Charley Hennigan FL023919.5241
Willard Dewveall SE422412.0190
Billy Cannon HB011515.0150

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0251275.1170
Charley Tolar FB110464.6111
Dave Smith FB3(2)6193.2100
George Blanda QBA5/PK166.060
Claude King HB4133.030

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS510
NEW YORK TITANS330
BOSTON PATRIOTS340
BUFFALO BILLS250

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS700
DENVER BRONCOS340
DALLAS TEXANS240
OAKLAND RAIDERS150


Box Office – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard)
Billboard #1 – Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
UK #1 – Michael – The Highwaymen

Oilers on a winning streak

The Oilers came through a tricky road game at a wet and windy B.U. Field to record a third straight win, thus putting the team clear at the top of the Eastern Conference. Taking the difficult weather conditions into account, Houston reverted to a running game with Billy Cannon up to the task despite facing strong opposition. Boston had raced to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter with Houston the slower of the sides to adapt to the conditions, but once the 2nd quarter commenced they quickly found their stride. As the score line suggests, the game was keenly contested although for the most part Houston had a 2 score cushion. When Billy Lott was bundled over the line for the home side in the 4th quarter, the two teams were separated by just one score. Cool heads were required and Houston found it with Dave Smith when he sold the defensive linemen a dummy and ran in a td to restore the Oilers 14 point lead. For the remainder of the quarter, they weathered a Patriots onslaught and managed to restrict Boston to a single late consolation td at the death as time ran out.

The Oilers are next at home against the Texans and can expect a bumper crowd after this fine performance.

13 Oct 1961 – At B.U. Field, Boston.
Att.15,824 – Weather – Rain & Wind
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers0207734
Boston Patriots10031427
Real Life Houston 31 Boston 31

q1 12:10 – BP – Larry Garron FB – 1 run (Gino Cappelletti kick)

q1 06:05 – BP – Gino Cappelletti LE0/PK – 24 kick

q2 14:40 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 5 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q2 10:10 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 2 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 01:55 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 17 kick

q2 00:10 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 35 kick

q3 11:35 – BP – Gino Cappelletti LE0/PK – 19 kick

q3 03:00 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 1 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 11:50 – BP – Billy Lott FB1 – 5 run (Gino Cappelletti kick)

q4 07:20 – HO – Dave Smith FB3 – 1 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 00:10 – BP – Larry Garron FB1 – 2 run (Gino Cappellettiinj kick)

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK281520853.6%120
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE2712217.4381
Billy Cannon HB045112.8181
John White RE32199.5120
Willard Dewveall SE411111.0110
Charley Tolar FB1155.050

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0251224.9122
Charley Tolar FB18253.1130
Dave Smith FB36244.081
George Blanda QBA5/PK122.020
Claude King HB4100.000

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS410
NEW YORK TITANS320
BOSTON PATRIOTS240
BUFFALO BILLS240
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS600
DALLAS TEXANS230
DENVER BRONCOS240
OAKLAND RAIDERS 140


Box Office – The Hustler (Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie)
Billboard #1 – Take Good Care of my Baby – Bobby Vee
UK #1 – Michael – The Highwaymen

RECORDS TUMBLE AS OILERS ENJOY BLOW-OUT VICTORY

A supreme first half performance in all three phases of the game ensured a routine victory for the Oilers return to Jeppesen. Houston completely dominated the game and could even afford 3 interceptions as the defense shackled Buffalo and blunted every attack allowing a single field goal attempt from their beleaguered opponents.

George Blanda recorded a career high 22 completions and for the second successive week broke his record for passing yards with 313. The receiving yard record set last week by Bill Groman was also broken when Charley Hennigan made 14 receptions for 196 yards, bettering Groman’s tally by 2. Hennigan has received close attention this season by his markers but this time he managed to get the better of the defense and show his true potential in explosive fashion.

Houston have a shorter than normal rest before their next game at Boston on Friday 13th.

08 Oct 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.23,800 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Buffalo Bills 00000
Houston Oilers7100320
real life Buffalo 22, Houston 12

   

q1 11:00 – HO – Charley Hennigan FL0 – 15 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q2 12:05 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 18 kick

q2 06:25 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 3 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 01:55 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK- 16 kick

Charley Hennigan

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK382231357.9%130
Jacky Lee QBB51000.0%000
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan FL01419614.0221
Bill Groman LE047117.8380
Willard Dewveall SE42178.590
Billy Cannon HB011515.0150
John White RE311414.0140

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0201135.7161
Charley Tolar FB114543.9120
Dave Smith FB37162.360
George Blanda QBA5/PK2105.060
Claude King HB41-3-3.0-30

Eastern ConferenceWLT
NEW YORK TITANS310
HOUSTON OILERS310
BOSTON PATRIOTS230
BUFFALO BILLS140

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS500
DALLAS TEXANS220
OAKLAND RAIDERS130
DENVER BRONCOS140



Playboy Playmate of the Month – Jean Cannon
Box Office – Come September – (Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobridgia)
Billboard #1 – Take Good Care of my Baby – Bobby Vee
UK #1 – Kon-Tiki – The Shadows

GROMAN SETS FRANCHISE RECORD

Bill Groman set a franchise receiving record of 194 yards at a wet Cotton Bowl to consign to memory the disappointment of the previous weeks defeat to San Diego. Dallas had got off to the perfect start with an opening td drive but Houston were in no mood to capitulate and came back strongly, dominating the rest of the half. George Blanda’s 61 yard td pass to Groman gave Houston a 10 point lead before being pegged back with a short range Dallas FG. Dallas’ kicking weakness was cruelly exposed in this game and the arrival of Ben Agajanian to their roster will be a relief.

Houston continued the second half in the same vein never taking their foot off the gas. Blanda posted 281 yards with 3 passing td’s, and for the first time in almost a year a completion percentage of over 50% as the Oilers ran out comfortable winners.This match was the last for Ken Hall who has joined NFL outfit, the Saint Louis Cardinals. The club wished him well in his new venture and expressed their thanks for this contribution to the team.

Houston play divisional rivals Buffalo at Jeppesen next week.

01 Oct 1961 – At The Cotton Bowl, Dallas.
Att.23,800 – Weather – Rain
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers 71014738
Dallas Texans730717
real life Houston 21, Dallas 26

   

q1 13:00 – DT – Frank Jackson HB2(1) – 16 run (Cotton Davidson kick)

q1 04:20 – HO – John White RE3 – 12 pass (Charlie Milstead kick)

q2 13:55 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 26 kick

q2 01:40 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 61 pass (George Blanda kick)

q2 00:05 – DT – Jack Spikes FB4/P/PK – 18 kick

q3 10:30 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 3 run (George Blanda kick)

q3 00:50 – HO – Claude King RB4 – 4 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 08:50 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 9 pass (George Blanda kick)

q4 02:30 – DT – Jack Spikes FB4/P/PK – 7 Run (Cotton Daviddson kick)

Bill Groman

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK261428153.9%310
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE0819424.3612
Charley Hennigan FL034615.3210
John White RE322814.0161
Billy Cannon HB011313.0130

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB018884.9141
Charley Tolar FB110303.080
Dave Smith FB33237.7120
Claude King HB4144.04td1
Ken Hall HB4/P242.040
George Blanda QBA5/PK122.020

Eastern ConferenceWLT
NEW YORK TITANS310
HOUSTON OILERS210
BOSTON PATRIOTS220
BUFFALO BILLS130

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS400
DALLAS TEXANS120
OAKLAND RAIDERS130
DENVER BRONCOS130


Box Office – Come September (Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobridgia)
Billboard #1 – Take Good Care of My Baby – Bobby Vee
UK #1 – Reach for the Stars/Climb Ev’ry Mountain – Shirley Bassey

San Diego prove too strong for Houston

The San Diego Chargers remain THE team in the AFL and the only unbeaten side as they came through a bruising encounter against Houston. The Oilers fresh from their bye week had fancied a first ever win against San Diego after thrashing of the pitiful Raiders but this encounter was an all together different affair. The game was one for the defensive purists despite large yardage figures being racked up by some players, but ultimately it came down to the San Diego defense and their ability to be in the right place at the right time. George Blanda was picked a career record 6 times which proved to be the difference between the two teams.

San Diego capitalised on 2 interceptions in the first quarter to run up a 14-3 lead that they seldom looked like giving up. Despite heroic Houston defense for the rest of the game limiting their opponents to a single field goal success, the offensive unit rarely threatened apart from a 61 yard draw play by Billy Cannon who racked up a record haul for the second game in succession. The Oilers, struggling to drive out of their own territory had to settle more often than not for speculative long range field goal attempts. In this discipline at least Blanda did excel but his passing was wayward, particularly early in the game. He ended the day on a career high 217 yards as well as registering an enormous record breaking 55 yard field goal but these records will be scant consolation for the veteran QB.

 Houston travel next week to Dallas for the crunch Texas derby game.

24 Sep 1961 – At Balboa Stadium, San Diego.
Att.27.750 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Houston Oilers30339
San Diego Chargers1403017
Real Life Houston 24 San Diego 34

q1 12:10 – SD – Paul Lowe HB0 – 3 run (George Blair kick)

q1 07:35 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 23 kick

q1 00:10 – SD – Don Norton LE1 – 14 pass (George Blair kick)

q3 12:45 – SD – George Blair PK/DB – 31 kick

q3 00:20 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 55 kick

q4 10:25 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 44 kick

Billy Cannon taking on 3 defenders

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK401521737.5%060
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Charley Hennigan FL035719.0240
Bill Groman LE234615.3230
Claude King HB423618.0190
Billy Cannon HB023015.0170
Willard Dewveall SE422412.0160
John White RE322311.5180
Charley Tolar FB1111.010

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0221476.7610
Charley Tolar FB1530.650
George Blanda QBA5/PK200.000
Dave Smith FB31-2-2.0-20

Eastern ConferenceWLT
NEW YORK TITANS210
BOSTON PATRIOTS210
HOUSTON OILERS110
BUFFALO BILLS120
Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 300
DALLAS TEXANS110
DENVER BRONCOS120
OAKLAND RAIDERS 030



Playboy Playmate of the Month – Christa Speck
Box Office – Come September (Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida)
Billboard #1 – Michael – The Highwaymen
UK #1 – Johnny Remember Me – Johnny Leyton

WOEFUL RAIDERS NO MATCH FOR NEW LOOK OILERS

Houston put last season’s disappointment firmly behind them routing a dire Oakland team in front of a meagre home crowd down 25% on last seasons average. Those who did pay for their ticket certainly got their money’s worth and then some. The result was perhaps more down to the Raiders inability to compete in all three phases of the game. When they did begin to find some sort of rhythm, they gave away sloppy and costly penalties over and over.

That shouldn’t detract from a polished Houston performance nonetheless. Offensively Billy Cannon was pick of the team with 3 td’s. Cannon, clearly relishing his new role as the #1 RB rushed for a career high 139 yards. He was ably supported by Charley Tolar who also managed a 100 yard haul as well as Dave Smith who although relegated to 3rd string RB showed he has lost little of his ability when given the chance also scoring a td. Bill Groman carried on where he left off last season and was also on the score sheet for the receivers although a minor injury in the 4th quarter curtailed any chance to add to his tally.

The defense collectively played exceptionally well stifling the Oakland attack with ease and it was a measure of their total dominance that coach Rymkus managed to blood almost the entire team of back up players mid way through the final quarter.

The side will not be able to rest on their laurels as they’ll need to be on their mettle against expected firmer opposition in the next game at San Diego. Before that they have a bye week and a chance to fully prepare against the reigning AFL champions

09 Sep 1961 – At Jeppesen Stadium, Houston.
Att.13,796 – Weather – Fair
q1q2q3q4Score
Oakland Raiders 00077
Houston Oilers720141455
real life Oakland 0, Houston 55

   

q1 09:50 – HO – Bill Groman LE2 – 26 pass (George Blanda kick)

q2 14:00 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 1 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 12:45 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK – 29 kick

q2 06:55 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 11 run (George Blanda kick)

q2 00:25 – HO – George Blanda QBA5/PK- 21 kick

q3 06:00 – HO – Dave Smith FB3 – 9 run (George Blanda kick)

q3 01:55 – HO – Jim Norton LSB/P – 47 interception (George Blanda kick)

q4 14:30 – HO – Billy Cannon HB0 – 10 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

q4 07:15 – OR – Charlie Fuller HB3 – 7 run (George Fleming kick)

q4 00:50 – HO Claude King HB4 – 5 run (Charlie Milstead kick)

Billy Cannon scored 3td’s today

Player PASSINGAtt.Comp.Yds.Pct.TDInt.Sck
George Blanda QBA5/PK271317448.2%120
Player
RECEIVING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Bill Groman LE036120.3261
Charley Hennigan FL034715.7200
John White RE333913.0150
Billy Cannon HB02178.5130
Charley Tolar FB1155.050
Willard Dewveall SE4155.050

Player
RUSHING
No.YdsAveLgTD
Billy Cannon HB0241395.8123
Charley Tolar FB1211004.8130
Dave Smith FB34194.891
Claude King HB4263.051
Ken Hall HB4/P210.540
George Blanda QBA5/PK100.000

Eastern ConferenceWLT
HOUSTON OILERS100
NEW YORK TITANS100
BOSTON PATRIOTS010
BUFFALO BILLS010

Western ConferenceWLT
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS100
DENVER BRONCOS100
DALLAS TEXANS 010
OAKLAND RAIDERS010