The Field Goal That Wasn’t: North vs. Mater Dei 1968

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – In 100 years of high school football there are a lot of stories. Some true. Some not. And some in between, the truth lost somewhere in time.

Across the city of Evansville each high school football team considers the others rivals. But depending on the year and the game, some time it means more.

“They were unscored on and unbeaten.”

In 1968,  Ron Hancock was a member of the team at North High School as the Huskies traveled to play the undefeated Mater Dei Wildcats. At that point in the year, Mater Dei had kept every team out of the end zone, including North that night. It was the final minutes of the game, North was getting close and points were within their sights.

“They called timeout and let’s go for a field goal. At least we will have scored. The game was out of our reach. It was basically over. It was late in the 4th quarter,” added Hancock.


“We were on probably the 20 yard line. So it was a 37 yard field goal. It was well within my range,” said the kicker on the 1968 team, Bob Hawkins.

Today the story goes that a field goal may have finally scored on Mater Dei, but a touchdown would have been sweeter.

So a choice was made by coach Morris Riley.

“We had a chance to score the field goal. They called him back. We instead ran the play, and it was unsuccessful. We didn’t score and we didn’t kick the field goal,” said Hancock, who played both offense and defense as a Huskie football player.

Some it may have been one coach looking out for a friend. Others say the motivation may have just been a choice that someone thought was a better chance of scoring at the time. As for the player, who for a moment was lining up a kick, 53 years later he said it was a sure thing.

“I would have liked to have had the opportunity. I think I would have made it, but you never know,” said Bob Hawkins. Though he didn’t get the chance on that kick, Hawkins got plenty more chances. He went on to continue kicking at North, and then the University of Evansville.

That night North didn’t score on Mater Dei. In fact during the 68 season, no one did until the 8th game of the year. That was when the Bosse Bulldogs beat the Wildcats 6 to 0.

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