August 12, 2014

1960: Unitas to Moore TD Passes Propel Colts to Rout of College All-Stars

The 27th annual College All-Star Game on August 12, 1960 featured the Baltimore Colts, back for a second straight year after repeating as NFL champions, against an All-Star team coached by Otto Graham, former star pro quarterback and now head coach at the Coast Guard Academy.

The Colts, under Head Coach Weeb Ewbank, had a productive passing attack that featured QB Johnny Unitas, HB Lenny Moore, and end Raymond Berry. The defense was strong and had shut the All-Stars down in a 29-0 win in ’59.

Graham, who was coaching the All-Stars for the third consecutive year, had a roster that included future pro stars in Southern Methodist QB Don Meredith, fullbacks Dick Bass of the College of the Pacific and Don Perkins from New Mexico, Vanderbilt HB Tom Moore, ends Carroll Dale from Virginia Tech and Gail Cogdill of Washington State, and Georgia Tech C/LB Maxie Baughan.

There were 70,000 fans in attendance on a warm, moonlit Friday night. On their second possession of the game, the Colts rolled 69 yards in seven plays that culminated in Johnny Unitas tossing a four-yard touchdown pass to Lenny Moore. Steve Myhra added the extra point.

Down by 7-0, the All-Stars responded with an impressive series. Don Meredith connected with Dick Bass on a screen pass for 30 yards and, after Bass carried for nine more yards, a pass interference penalty put the ball on the Baltimore five yard line. However, Meredith fumbled and DE Gino Marchetti recovered for the Colts to end the threat. The Colts then proceeded to drive 95 yards to another Unitas-to-Moore TD, this time covering three yards, and Myhra’s PAT made it 14-0.

Before the half was over, Baltimore took complete control. Myhra booted a 38-yard field goal and then Unitas connected with Moore for a third touchdown of 14 yards. The pro champs had a comfortable 24-0 lead at halftime.

With the game well in hand, Unitas was relieved early in the third quarter by backup QB Ray Brown. The defense put more points on the board when Notre Dame QB George Izo was tossed for a safety by DE Don Joyce and DT Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb.

While Gail Cogdill made some good catches for the All-Stars, the running game was kept in check by the savvy Baltimore defense and quarterbacks Meredith, Izo, and Pete Hall of Marquette faced heavy pressure throughout the contest.

Myhra kicked a 27-yard field goal that padded the Baltimore lead to 29-0 after three quarters. Early in the fourth quarter, the All-Stars finally avoided a shutout when Meredith threw a short pass to HB Prentice Gautt of Oklahoma who took off for a 60-yard touchdown. Mississippi’s Bob Khayat added the extra point.

That was all the excitement the collegians would muster, however. Myhra kicked one more field goal, of 26 yards, and once again the Colts were comfortable winners by a final score of 32-7.

Baltimore outgained the All-Stars by 416 yards to 128. The All-Stars managed just 13 yards on the ground and turned the ball over four times, to one turnover by the Colts. Johnny Unitas completed 17 of 29 passes for 237 yards while ends Raymond Berry and Jim Mutscheller combined for nine catches and 153 yards.

Don Meredith (pictured at right) was the most productive of the All-Star quarterbacks, completing 8 of 20 throws for 156 yards and the lone TD. Gail Cogdill made five catches for 64 yards to make him the offensive star for the collegians.

The only downside for the Colts was a broken hand suffered by the All-Pro OT Jim Parker, but he was back in action by the time the regular season came around. Baltimore got off to a 6-2 start but, with a deficient running attack, faded down the stretch to end up at 6-6.

Don Meredith joined the expansion Dallas Cowboys, where he played for nine years and was chosen to the Pro Bowl three times. Gail Cogdill had a stellar rookie season for the Detroit Lions and also went to the Pro Bowl three times over the course of eleven years as a pro.

The win for the Colts put the pro champs ahead in the series by 17 to 8 with two ties, with lopsided results such as that in 1960 becoming more of the norm.