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   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

Fort Payne Wildcats

 James Porch 

James R. Porch graduated from Arab High School and received his degree from Jacksonville State. Porch got his first head coaching job at Oneonta in 1940 where he led his team to a 10-0 record. Following five years of service during World War II, Coach Porch returned to Oneonta for two more years posting a 15-2-1 record in 1946-47.

Porch travel south to the small town of Verbena in 1948 and coached the football team for nine years. His Red Devil teams went an amazing 81-7-1 during his tenure at the school. He had five consecutive undefeated seasons and posted a 50 game winning streak.

He arrived in Verbena in the fall of 1948. The previous team had finished the 1947 season with an 0-10 record and scored only nineteen points the entire year. Coach Porchs first team turned things around quickly by going 7-3 in his first year with the program.

In 1949 Verbena lost to Ramer (Montgomery County) 19-14 in the last game of the season. It was a game that seemed meaningless at the time. It would be the last time a Verbena football squad would feel defeat for the next five years.

The streak would begin in the first game of the 1950 season. It reached 50 games before Verbena met defeat during the 1955 football season when they lost to Elmore County 7-0. The 50 game winning streak stood until Clay County snapped it with a 55 game streak of their own between 1994-97.

The 1952 team went 10-0 and were named Class A State Champions by the Birmingham News. The 1953 (10-0) team repeated the feat. The 1954 squad was also 10-0 and won a title as awarded by the Post Herald.

The 1955 squad also won a State Title when once again, the News voted them District 2 Champions. Following the 1956 season, Coach Porch stepped down as the head football coach at Verbena. He moved north to take over the football program at Ft. Payne. His only team at Ft. Payne finished the season with a 7-3 record.

Coach Porch retired from the sidelines after the 1957 season with a 111-13-2 record. He was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. James Robert Porch pased away July 13, 1998 at his home in Scottsboro at the age of 84.

Known Record:  110-14-1   88.7%
 Season Total   Playoffs   Region Record 
 Team   Season  Class   W/L/T   PF  PA   W/L/T  PF  PA   Region  Title  W/L/T   PF  PA 
Fort Payne
DeKalb County1957 6-4188156
 1 Year6-41881560-0000-000
Verbena1956 7-2-1237117
Verbena1955 9-143945
Verbena1954 10-038544
Verbena1953 9-025250
Verbena1952 10-034461
Verbena1951 10-032265
Verbena1950 10-039053
Verbena1949 9-126381
Verbena1948 7-3227115
 9 Years81-7-128596310-0000-000
Oneonta1947 7-221451
Oneonta1946 7-219674
Oneonta1940 9-018425
 3 Years23-45941500-0000-000
 13 Years110-15-136419370-0000-000

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Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

Etowah defeated Oxford 69-63 in 1991 to set a state record for most points scored by both teams in a playoff game.