Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 5, 1961: Bill Stacy Leads The Gridbirds To Victory

On November 5, 1961, Bill Stacy's two second quarter interception return touchdowns proved to be the difference in a 31-17 Cardinals win over the Cowboys in Dallas. The St. Louis defense wreaked havoc on the Cowboys quarterback Eddie LeBaron all day long. LeBaron threw 5 picks on the day with three of those five turning into 21 points for the opposition. The Cardinals scored their only offensive touchdown in the first quarter after capping off a 78 yard drive with Frank Mestnik punching it in from the one. The next 14 points were all Stacy, he ran his first pick in from 31 yards out then his second pick in from 39 yards out. All the Cowboys offense could muster was a field goal in the first half  that gave the Cardinals a commanding 21-3 lead as they headed to their locker rooms. The 5 foot 7 LeBaron showed he had a short memory and got the Cowboys right back in the game by hitting Frank Clarke for touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to close the gap to 21-17. Unfortunately for LeBaron any thoughts of a comeback win went to the wayside after he tossed his 5th pick of the day to Joe Robb late in the game. The Cardinals offense turned it into 7 points, then tacked on another 3 before the day was over. Stacy played for 5 seasons with the Cardinals. In his first couple seasons he was a  kick return specialist that led the league in returns and return yards in his rookie season. He picked off a total of 20 passes over his 5 years in the league and those two on that day in '61 were the only ones that ended up in the endzone. The '61 season proved to be a great one for Stacy as he ended it with a Pro Bowl selection. It was the only time he would receive the honor.

Here's the box score: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196111050dal.htm

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