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Colts Hold On to Defeat Lions in Baltimore

Nov. 11, 1963 - The Baltimore Colts scored the first four times they had the ball yesterday and then held on to defeat the Detroit Lions, 24-21, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Johnny Unitas led the Colt attack with two touchdown passes and gained a total of 376 yards on 17 completions in 24 attempts. Earl Morrall also threw two scoring passes for the Lions and gained 296 yards, completing 22 of 34 aerials. Baltimore, which scored all its points in the first half, scored what proved the winning touchdown on a 4-yard run by Lenny Moore in the second quarter. A few minutes later, Moore was kicked in the head and had to retire from the game. He complained of dizziness. The Lions got a touchdown just before the end of the first half when Tom Watkins plunged over from the 1 to make the score 24-14. Detroit closed to within 3 points in the third quarter on Morrall’s 10-yard pass to Terry Barr. The touchdown had been set up on a pass interception by Bruce Maher. What triggered the Colt explosion of 24 points in 21 minutes? “We pass-protected for Unitas,” said Baltimore coach Don Shula. “That was all. We worked hard on basic protection against their blitzes, and we did a good job early.” Asked about the subsequent offensive letdown, Shula said fumbles (2) and an interception, all in the second half, hurt the attack. “We had a lot of opportunities in the second half,” sighed Lion coach George Wilson. “We just couldn’t take care of them.” The fans’ booing of the officials for frequent penalties delayed the game several times. “We run into that now and then around the league,” said Wilson, “but never quite as loud as here in Baltimore. Personally, I wish Morrall would back out from there and simply not try to call a play. I don’t think the people here realize it, but excessive interference with the visiting quarterback like that can cost Baltimore a five-yard penalty. I think the fans are very foolish. It doesn’t help their own ballclub any, it doesn’t affect the officiating, and someday it’s going to cost the Colts a big ballgame. Somebody ought to tell them.”


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