Auburn football: David Langner of 'Punt, Bama, Punt' fame passes away

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comApril 26, 2014 

1972: Auburn 17, Alabama 16

Alabama was in complete control of the game in the fourth quarter, leading 16-3 when Bill Newton blocked a Greg Gantt punt and David Langner returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.

A few minutes later, Newton and Langner did it again, tying the score. Gardner Jett added the PAT that gave the Tigers the lead.

But Langner wasn't through his his heroics. He later intercepted a pass that ended Alabama's chances.

AUBURN, Ala.David Langner, the hero of the 1972 Iron Bowl contest known as "Punt, Bama, Punt," died Saturday morning after a bout with cancer.

He was 62.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, who confirmed Langner's passing on Twitter, released a statement Saturday afternoon.

"David Langner was one of Auburn's greats who will be remembered by generations to come," Jacobs said. "He was a fierce competitor who fought cancer as hard as he fought any opponent he faced. I know the entire Auburn family joins me in offering our sympathy and prayers to his family."

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn also sent along his condolences.

"I'm saddened by the passing of David Langner, who was not only an Auburn legend but a great man," he said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire Auburn football program, our thoughts and prayers are with David's family and friends."

Langner, a native of Birmingham, Ala., had his most memorable performance in his hometown. Facing off against second-ranked (and undefeated) Alabama at Legion Field in 1972, Auburn found itself down 16-3 with less than six minutes to play. That's when Langner teamed up with Bill Newton to turn the tables on the Crimson Tide. Newton blocked a pair of punts and Langner was in the right place each time, returning both for touchdowns.

His second touchdown return tied the game at 16 before the Tigers took the lead on the ensuing extra point.

Langner's heroics weren't over yet, however, as he also came up with an interception on Alabama's final drive to seal the 17-16 victory for Auburn.

He played at Auburn from 1971-73 and was named an All-SEC performer at defensive back in his final season on the Plains. Langner, who went into the car business after his playing career ended, worked at a dealership in Tuscaloosa before retiring last November.

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