Saints Pivotal Moments
1968 Vikings: Durkee, Whittingham Make Clutch Plays
The 1-3 Saints hosted the 3-1 Minnesota Vikings on a squally October 13 afternoon. The vast majority of the 71,105 in attendance felt quite good at halftime as their hometown heroes led 14-0 after 30 minutes of rain-drenched combat. But the sun came out at half­time and shoned brightly on the Vikings, who took control with 17 unanswered points in the third period. Saints fans had to wonder if this was deja vu all over again after the club had blown leads against both the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Cardinals in previ­ous games.
The Saints' comeback began on their first possession after the Vikes took a 17-14 lead when CB Bobby Bryant made a leaping one-handed interception of a Billy Kilmer aerial, got off the ground untouched, and sped 59y to the end zone with 1:34 left in the third period.

L-R: Bob Bryant, Billy Kilmer, John Gilliam, Charlie Durkee
Kilmer, a six-year veteran who didn't let an interception faze him, led his offense to the tying field goal. The biggest gain came on a 17y pass to WR John Gilliam for a first down on the Viking 34. But three plays later, facing 4th down and just two feet to go for a first down, Coach Tom Fears elected to go for the tying three-pointer. "Little" Charlie Dur­kee, 5'11" 165lb, drilled it through the uprights to make it 17-17 with 13:49 left in the game.
The Saints got the ball back at the 10 after a fine punt by Bill Martin. Kilmer got out of the hole fast by lofting a 40y heave to Gilliam to midfield. The momentum continued to the 33 until a weird play slowed the march. RB Tony Lorick caught a pass and made enough for a first down after breaking a tackle but, trying to find more running room, retreated 6y where he was dropped to bring up fourth down. So Durkee came in and booted the go-ahead field goal with 6:30 left in the game.
The Vikings went 1-2-3-punt on their next possession. The Saints ran some time off the clock and moved far enough for Tom McNeill to punt to the Minnesota 10 with 2:46 left.

L-R: Tony Lorick, Tom McNeill, Joe Kapp and Bud Grant, Fred Whittingham
The fans were standing, and Saints' unofficial cheerleader, trumpeter Al Hirt, was chant­ing into his microphone, "Get that ball! Get that ball!" QB Joe Kapp completed passes to Tom Hall for 13y and Gene Washington for 10 before the two-minute warning. The Vi­kings worked their way to the NO 46 where they faced third and one. Kapp sent Jim Lindsey off right tackle, but MLB Fred Whittingham nailed him for a loss of one. On the next snap, Fred zoomed through to hurry Joe into throwing a pass that CB John Douglas broke up with 48 seconds left.
The fans went wild as Hirt led "When the Saints Go Marching In" over the PA system. The fans counted down the last 20 seconds, and a cannon was fired when the clock struck zero.
Coach Tom Fears was still pinching himself in the locker room. "It's hard to believe we won. This game showed that we have a hell of a lot of guts. Minnesota has one of the finest offensive four in football. That's an excellent team. They can beat anybody in the league on a given day." After the Saints took the 20-17 lead, "I had all the confidence in the world that our defense would hold. Our defense did a great job."
Joe Kapp, who completed only 9 of 28 passes for 51y, said the Saints put on "the strong­est rush I've seen this year. They came hard, and they mixed their defenses well. I don't think they guessed wrong one time."