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A great Bluffton football story for Super Bowl Sunday

By Fred Steiner

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.

Here’s a Bluffton hometown classic football story.

It’s Spike Berry’s version of something that only happens in movies–except this one is true. If you don’t believe us, ask Spike.

The story involves Elbert “Dobe” Dubenion, Bluffton College’s only football player to make it in the pros, where he played for the Bufalo Bills from 1960 to 1968.

The story takes place in a football game between Bluffton and Hiram College, played at Hiram. Just sit back and list to Spike recall this event:

Dobe was hurt. He didn’t even bring his uniform. We were behind 7 to 6 at halftime. Dobe went up to Kenny (Mast, Bluffton’s coach) and he said, “I believe I can go along for one play. But not any more. I’ll run one.”

It was just like in the movies. Glenn Snyder, who later ended up being the Bluffton College men’s basketball coach, was the center. He also was hurt. He and Dobe went behind some bushes. He put Dobe’s street clothes on. Dobe put Duke’s (Snyder’s) uniform on. Number 67, I still remember that.

They kicked off to us and we took it out to about the 35. So we’re 65 yards away. I was playing quarterback then. I handed off to Dobe and he went 65 yards for a touchdown. And we went ahead and eventually won 13 to 7 and he came out and he said to Kenny, “Don’t ask me to go back in again because I told you I’d run one play.” 

Someday when they excavate Harmon Field they’ll uncover cleat marks from the late 1950s that will fill the field from end zone to end zone.

Dubenion left those for us. We watched him dance up and down that field, chased but seldom tackled by opponents, during four memorable seasons as a Bluffton College Beaver. Those season are 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958.
Dozens of photos, videos and news clippings of Dubenion’s careera are at