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This Day in Sports History: Gale Sayers Scores Six Touchdowns

On December 12, 1965, Gale Sayers etched his name in the record books. Although just a rookie, the "Kansas Comet" had already proved his worth. What's more, earlier in the year, the 49ers had humbled the Bears, winning 52-24. Now on this cold, damp Chicago afternoon, the 49ers stepped on the muddy quagmire of Wrigley Field, confident in stopping one of the most elusive players in NFL history. After all, he was just a rookie.

They could not have been more wrong. On Chicago's opening drive, Gale Sayers took a pass from Rudy Bukich and zoomed past the 49ers defense for an 80 yard touchdown. He scored twice more before the half was over, one on a 21-yard scamper in the middle of the second quarter and another on a seven-yard dash to end the half with Chicago up 27-13.

Sayers continued his scoring binge in the second half, scoring on a 50 yard run early in the third and another on a one-yard plunge to end the quarter with Chicago comfortably in the lead 40-13. Up until this time, only two other players in NFL history had scored six touchdown in a game with Ernie Nevers having done so way back in 1929 and Dub Jones have accomplished the feat back in 1951. Gale Sayers tied the record in the most amazing of ways, catching a punt and proceeding to make evfery defender on the field look absolutely befuddled.

Having tied the historic mark with time to spare, Sayers brought his team down to San Francisco's two-yard line. Incredibly, Bears coach George Halas elected to pull his rookie sensation from the game, giving the ball to backup running back Jon Arnett instead. For the day, Gale Sayers ran nine times for 113 yards and four touchdowns, caught two passes for 89 yards and a touchdown andreturned five punts for 134 yards and his sixth and final touchdown. Although the Bears avenged their season opening loss by beating the 49ers 61-20, Gale Sayers came painfully close to cementing his name atop one of football's most untouchable records.

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