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  • Budd Bailey

Buffalo Bills: September 9, 1979 – Hooks’ big day

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

(Editor’s Note: Reedy Press has published “The Buffalo Bills: An Illustrated Timeline of a Storied Franchise.” The book was written by Greg Tranter and Budd Bailey; click here for more information. The authors wrote some potential chapters to the book that were not used, and didn’t want to put them to waste. Therefore, they thought people would like to read about those events from the team’s past on this site. It will give you a taste of what the text of the coffee-table book is like.)

The Bills and Cincinnati Bengals played a rather typical first half in a meeting of projected also-rans in the second week of the season. The teams were tied at 10-10 after 30 minutes of play, even though Buffalo ran up 258 yards in total offense.

Then someone must have sprinkled pixie dust on Bills’ running back Roland Hooks. He had the half of his – or almost anyone’s – life.

After a fumble by the Bengals deep in their territory, Hooks scored on a three-yard run. About 10 minutes of playing time later, Roland struck again on a 32-yard gallop. The fourth quarter was no different. Hooks picked up touchdowns on runs of four and 28 yards.

Roland had scored four touchdowns in less than 16 minutes of play. Add that to the fact that he only carried the ball five times on the day, and his performance becomes even more remarkable. Hooks only had three touchdowns in his entire career before this game; he surpassed that total in those 16 minutes.

If that weren’t enough, two Bills’ linebackers also scored touchdowns in the second half. Isiah Robertson scored on an interception, and Lucious Sanford had a three-yard stroll to the end zone after a blocked punt. It added up to a 51-24 win over the Bengals. It was the start of a four-game streak in which Buffalo scored 147 points; the team didn’t have even 21 points in a game in the final 11 weeks of the season.

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