ex Cowboy in Famous College Play

Home | Did ya know | ex Cowboy in Famous College Play

1954 Cotton Bowl ProgramThe year was 1954, the setting was the famous Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The Rice Owls faced off against the Crimson Tide of Alabama. What the viewers got this day besides one of the greatest performance by a running back in College Football history was arguably the most famous play in college football.

With Rice leading 7-6 and possession of the ball on their own 5 yard line. Running Back Dickey Moegle takes a handoff and bursts through the line and was sprinting down the sidelines for an apparant 95 yard touchdown when Alabama's 12th man, Tommy Lewis, a RB supposedly on the bench leaped on the field, threw a cross block and dropped Moegle near the 45 yard line. The stunned audience watched on as the Referee Cliff Shaw awards Moegle a 95 yard touchdown run. Moegle went on to score 3 touchdowns on the day. A 79 yard run, 95 yard run cut short by Tommy Lews, and a 34 yarder, amassing a Cotton Bowl record 265 yards on only 11 carries, averaging a whopping 21.4 yards per rush!

Lewis, who scored Alabama's only touchdown early in the 1st quarter, apologized twice to Moegle, once while he is laying on the ground and again at halftime. "I saw him coming a long way off," Lewis says after the game. "The nearer he got to me, the nearer I moved to the field. I don't know what happened. I couldn't realize that I had done it when I returned to the bench. It seemed like a dream." "I'm too emotional," he told a reporter. "I kept telling myself, 'I didn't do it. I didn't do it.' But I knew I had. "I'm just too full of 'Bama. He just ran too close. I know I'll be hearing about this the rest of my life."

Rice went on to win the game 28-6 behind Dickey Moegle's heroics. Moegle was named the games most outstanding back. Later the pair, Lewis and Moegle appeared on the Ed Sullivan show to talk about the play.

Dickey went on to play in the NFL for 7 seasons, 5 with the San Francisco 49ers, 1 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and 1 with the Dallas Cowboys.

Tommy Lewis, a fine RB himself, was drafted by the NFL Chicago Cardinals in 1954 but never played Pro football.

Dickey Moegle later changed the spelling of his name to Maegle to make it look the way it sounds.Dickey Moegle1954 Cotton Bowl

Dallas Cowboys