Tuesdays with Tony: Col. Lackey Talks About One of His Most Memorable Citadel Football Games

In a photo taken in 1960, former Bulldogs quarterback Jerry Nettles is joined on The Citadel campus by teammates (from left) Tommy Edwards, Earley Eastburn, George Garrison and Belton Dykes.

In a photo taken in 1960, former Bulldogs quarterback Jerry Nettles is joined on The Citadel campus by teammates (from left) Tommy Edwards, Earley Eastburn, George Garrison and Belton Dykes.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Col. Tony Lackey ’61 has been around Citadel Athletics since the mid-1950s and will provide a weekly blog on some of the sports highlights that he recalls.

By Col. Tony Lackey ‘61

As told to Andy Solomon

One of my favorite football games of all-time was the 1959 Citadel-Presbyterian contest on November 7 at Johnson Hagood Stadium.  I remember it vividly because PC, although a NAIA school at the time, was a terrific team that may have been undefeated as they came to Charleston.  It rained like crazy the entire game and only members of the Corps and assorted loyal fans remained in the stands late in the fourth quarter.

We were pretty good that year, as we finished 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southern Conference.  Eddie Teague was the coach and our captains were Jim Gulliford and Tom Hemingway.  When PC came for this game, we were 7-1 overall with our only loss coming at Florida State (47-6).

PC had a very good quarterback by the name of Bob Waters, who later was a member of the San Francisco 49ers and who later became the legendary coach at Western Carolina.  We all know that Coach Waters, who eventually was one of the first to utilize the shotgun formation, was later struck with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and became one of the most inspirational men in our region.

But back to the 1959 game.  I remember late in the game it was scoreless and our quarterback was Hall of Famer Jerry Nettles.  For reasons we didn’t know at the time, Coach Teague inserted Paul Maguire, another Hall of Famer, into the backfield.  This was strange because Maguire was an outstanding end and a terrific punter.  He was never in the backfield.  But on this particular play, Nettles pitched the ball to Maguire who punted, and it wasn’t fourth down.  Maguire’s punt, almost by design, landed in a puddle near the PC goal line.

On their first play from scrimmage, our defense forced a PC fumble that we recovered and on the next play, we scored a touchdown (and a two-point conversion) for the 8-0 victory, the closest we came to losing at home the entire season.

Maguire was chosen as Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1956 and Player of the Year in 1959. As a punter, he still holds the school record with an 83-yard punt against West Virginia in 1959

Maguire was chosen as Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1956 and Player of the Year in 1959. As a punter, he still holds the school record with an 83-yard punt against West Virginia in 1959

As the campaign went on for two more weeks, we lost decisively (32-8) at VMI when their terrific end, Dick Evans, had an outstanding game but we rebounded the following week and beat West Virginia (20-14) on the road in the game in which Maguire had an 83-yard punt with about a minute left to seal the victory.

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