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Football’s Mario Moriello Dies

March 10, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ Mario Moriello, remembered as the player who left the Boston University bench to tackle a Villanova player heading for a touchdown more 45 years ago, is dead. He was 73.

Moriello died Friday in a Veterans Administration hospital.

During the Nov. 22, 1952, BU-Villanova football game in Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium, Moriello was thrown out of the game for fighting with Villanova back Bill Brannau. BU was down by five touchdowns at the time.

``I’d just reached our bench when some people yelled, ’Get him. Get him,‴ Moriello told a BU alumni publication several years ago. ``I turn around and here comes Brannau _ the same guy I’d just whacked. He’d caught a little loop pass and was down the sidelines, heading past our bench for an easy touchdown.

``Everyone was yelling to stop him, so I did. I stepped across the sideline and dropped him.″

After a near riot in the stadium and several minutes of turmoil on the field while officials sorted out the mud-soaked players, Moriello was escorted to the locker room by the Philadelphia police

Moriello said he was too embarrassed to speak with his teammates on the flight home.

After graduating from BU with a master’s degree in education, Moriello held teaching and coaching positions at various high schools.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; a son; a daughter; a sister, and three grandchildren.

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