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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 11: Ridlehuber strikes again

Oct. 11, 1969 – Preston Ridlehuber isn't exactly a common name in football circles. Yet he was involved in a couple of good-sized moments in his brief career.

The first came in 1968. You might have heard of the "Heidi" game, in which NBC left a broadcast of the Jets-Raiders game in the final minutes to switch to a showing of "Heidi." The Raiders scored two touchdowns in the final, blacked-out moments to win the game as angry fans bombarded NBC affiliates with complaining phone calls. NBC never tried that again. Ridlehuber scored one of those touchdowns on a fumble recovery.

Ridlehuber found himself on the Buffalo Bills roster the following season. He was one of the backups to O.J. Simpson, which usually is a great way to be anonymous.

In this night in 1969, Ridlehuber threw a 45-yard halfback-option pass to Haven Moses with 5:02 left to give the Bills a 23-16 win over the Boston Patriots. The victory came before a record War Memorial Stadium crowd of 46,201. Simpson missed that game because of injury, but Wayne Patrick ran for 131 yards. Ridlehuber gained 25 yards on four carries, the only times he carried the ball all year.

The 1969 season was Ridlehuber's last year in pro football. Can you guess how many passes he threw in his entire NFL career? That's right, one.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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