New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team
Houston J. Antwine (April 11, 1939 – December 26, 2011) was a college and professional American football player from Southern Illinois University. He was drafted by the American Football League's Houston Oilers, then traded to the Boston Patriots in 1961. He is in the Southern Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Patriots Hall of Fame. A former NAIA wrestling champion, as a defensive tackle, the stocky "Twine" was nearly impossible to move out of the middle.
Antwine was cited by fellow Hall of Famer Billy Shaw as one of the American Football League's best pass rushers, athletic and very quick on his feet. He usually drew double-team blocking. He was an American Football League All-Star six straight years, from 1963 through 1968, was named to the All-Time All-AFL Team, and to the Patriots All-1960s (AFL) Team.
Houston recorded 39 sacks, recovered four fumbles and had one interception in 142 regular season games for the Patriots. He returned an interception two yards in a 28-20 win over the Broncos on December 12, 1965. Houston led the team in sacks in 1967, 1968 & 1969.
He was the AFL Defensive Player of the Week as he sacked Dan Darragh three times in the Patriots 16-7 win over the Buffalo Bills @ War Memorial Stadium on September 8, 1968. He was awarded the game ball for his performance in the Patriots 26-10 win over the New York Jets at Boston College Alumni Stadium on September 27, 1964. He posted a career high ten tackles in the Patriots 33-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals @ Fenway Park on December 1, 1968.
He had four games with at least two sacks and recorded sacks of George Blanda, Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Fran Tarkenton, and Johnny Unitas. He recovered fumbles by Paul Lowe, Darrell Lester, Bert Coan & Dennis Shaw.
Houston was an AFL All Star Defensive Tackle in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 & 1968.
By Dean Hanley
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