/Rebels’ Boykin, SEC touchdown king, dead at 89

Rebels’ Boykin, SEC touchdown king, dead at 89

Showboat Boykin will be the name that football fans from a certain age remember better. His name will be forever linked to Mississippi football history, and especially the history of the Egg Bowl. Boykin was the quarterback for seven Ole Miss touchdowns on Dec. 1, 1951 in the Rebels’ 49-7 win over Mississippi State at Starkville. This is right: Showboat Boykin scored 42 point, a record for the Southeastern Conference that stands 67 years after it was set. Boykin, a senior college halfback, carried the ball 14 more times, scoring on exactly half of them – for 187 yard. Here’s the kicker. He scored seven touchdowns on one play, which was a delay at the State line. Boykin never spoke to me about this most productive single-game performance in Mississippi history. However, Jerry Clower, a comedian who was a defensive tackle for Mississippi State, told me the story. Clower stated, “Yeah! Ol’ Showboat scored seven touchdowns and I remember that last one the most.” He was then asked why. Clower responded, “Because I stepped on his big ol’ stomach right before he went into the end zone.” Jimmy Lear, the Ole Miss quarterback of that day, was the late Jimmy Lear. Lear once said to me that Showboat scored seven touchdowns on the exact same play, a trap play up the middle of a line. It was the most productive game in Boykin’s football career. After spending most of his Ole Miss football career on the defensive side, he switched to running back as a senior. Arnold Hederman wrote in the Clarion-Ledger the following day that Boykin’s efforts reminded him of the Ole Mississippi River. He kept going on …” Boykin ran for runs of 21 and 14 yards, respectively, in the first quarter. He scored 13 yards from the goal line in the second quarter. His longest run, an 85 yarder in the third quarter is still the sixth longest in Ole Miss History. His touchdown runs of one and five yards in the fourth quarter were his two longest. Boykin was not running against a weak defense. The State defense, which was led by Joe Fortunato (later NFL great), was the 12th-best in the country in 1951. Boykin was selected to play in the Senior Bowl all star game. He also signed with the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The following summer, Boykin was selected for the Lions roster just as he received his draft notice. After completing the ROTC program at Ole Miss, Boykin was drafted as a second lieutenant. Boykin rose to the rank Lieutenant Colonelel in the Army and made a career of it. Boykin, a Greenville native, was an active member of the Greenville High football team. He was a senior at Greenville High and led the Old Big Eight Conference in scoring. This helped Greenville achieve a perfect record. Boykin stated that his Egg Bowl of 1951 feat was not a big deal in a 2001 interview with The Clarion-Ledger. He said, “Nobody thought so much about it after the match.” “We beat State,” he said. Boykin’s 42-point game record was also an NCAA record. The man who broke that record five years later may be familiar to you. Jim Brown, a great Syracuse player, scored 43 points with six touchdowns, seven extra point kicks, and a total of 43 points. *** Showboat Boykin will be buried at Greenville Cemetery, 1000 S. Main St. in Greenville on Monday. Boone Funeral Home will handle the arrangements._x000D