Elbert Dubenion ’59

In his four yearsElbert Dubenion at Bluffton, Elbert Dubenion, gained 4,734 yards rushing and averages 9.4 yards a carry. In 1960 he joined the Buffalo Bills for the first season of the American Football League. In his eight year career he caught 294 passes for 5,294 yards and 35 touchdowns. In one stretch, from 1961 to 1964, he caught passes in 42 consecutive games. A sportswriter wrote that he was “the most popular man on the team.”

Dubenion was a team man at Bluffton. As one who could have made any Big Ten team, Dubenion gave the Bluffton teams of those years the touch of the invincible. Opponents could not believe that these players were drawn to Bluffton without the allurements of athletic scholarships.Buffalo Bills

Many stories can be told about Dubenion. One of his many admirers tells of a neighboring team psyching itself up in the pre-game warm-ups with the chant: “get Dubenion…get Dubenion…get Dubenion…get Dubenion.” That day it was touchdown Dubenion…touchdown Dubenion…touchdown Dubenion…touchdown Dubenion. Four touchdowns, 270 yards, 27 yards a carry.

Theree_dubenion_jerseys is also the story of the injured Dubenion, sitting on the bench with Bluffton trailing. At halftime Dubenion asked Coach Ken Mast whether he could suit up. He went in for one play, scored the winning touchdown and returned to the bench, his day’s work done.