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






Dynasties 


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          The Cedar Bluff Tigers closed out a disappointing 1958 campaign with a 4-4-2 record. One of the smallest high school in the state was about to build upon that season and create a dynasty. Head football coach L.D. Bruce had been at Cedar Bluff from 1946-1956 but had left for the head coaching job at Summerville GA for one year in 1958. His team there finished with a 7-3 record.

          Coach Bruce returned to Cedar Bluff after one year in Georgia in 1958. The Tigers opened the 1959 season with a romp over Appalachian by a score of 44-0.

          They rolled through the next nine game and defeated Johnson High School from Rome, GA 47-0 to complete the first undefeated and untied season in school history. Tailback Larry Tucker ran for for a 17-yard score, passed for three others and returned an interception for a fifth touchdown on the evening.

          The 1959 Tigers outscored their ten opponents by a combined 400-18 and except for a close 7-0 win over Walnut Grove were never tested during the season. In every other contest, Cedar Bluff's offense put up at least 27 points.

          Cedar Bluff was named state champions of District three by the Birmingham News. They finished number three behind Sumter County and Red Bay in the final AP poll.

          The 1960 team returned only two players that were regulars from the dream team of 1959. Fullback Boyd McHugh and guard Paul Barkley were the lone returnees that played first the first teamers the previous season.

          Quarterback Jerry Hardin was a 130-pounder who saw limited action in 1959. What the fans did not know was that there would be more than enough talent on this years to to be competitive. Newcomers included sophomore Jim Bouchillon at halfback, junior Herman McElrath at end and junior Charles Pledger at tackle.
         
          The team opened with a 6-0 loss to Springville and a 13-13 tie at Walnut Grove before gaining enough experience to to get the offense untracked. They rolled over the next seven opponents to finish the season with a 7-1-1 record.

          The 1961 team averaged just 151 pounds across the line of scrimmage. Most of their opponents had backfields that averaged more weight. Led by 145-pound center Bo Martin, guards Hal Davis 145 and Mack Arnold 135, tackles Charles Pledger 160 and Gary Mobbs 155, the Tigers played much bigger than their size would indicate.

          The Tigers met little resistance in the first eight weeks of the season, handling every opponent by at least three touchdowns. In late October they met Gaston hoping to maintain their perfect record. Gaston proved to be a true test. They moved the football inside the Cedar Bluff ten yard-line early in the second quarter only to see a penalty and lost yards thwart the threat.

          Gaston again threatened late in the game but an interception by David Bedwell ended the drive this time. The only score of the night came when quarterback David Bedwell passed 8 yards to halfback Wilbur Pruitt on a fourth down play as the final stanza began. The 6-0 lead held up after Gaston's final rally came up short and the Tigers went home winners of the ninth game of the season.

          Junior Jim Bouchillon led the rushing attack from his right halfback position. The 1961 team were named state champions by the Birmingham News for the second time in three seasons. They lost out to Notasulga in the final Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.

          In 1962 the Cedar Bluff Tigers returned seven of the top eleven players and were expecting big things going into the season. Bedwell returned for his junior season along with senior Bouchillon at halfback. The Tigers won all ten games during the season to  see their winning streak reach a school record twenty-seven games.

          For the third time in four years the 1962 team was declared state champions for District three by the Birmingham News. In the final ASWA poll, Notasulga edged out Cedar Bluff after the Tigers had led the rankings just two weeks prior. They finished fourth in the final Birmingham Post-Herald poll behind Linden, Altoona and Notasulga.  

          The 1963 season opened with three easy wins before a Sept. 20 game against Southside High School from Gadsden. Southside played the Tiger tough all night until Cedar Bluff scored on a 15 yard pass from Bedwell to Lawrence Black in the third quarter. Lynn Bruce scored the point after for a 7-0 lead.

          Late in the game Southside drove to the Tiger's ten yard-line before fumbling away any chance at tying the game. Cedar Bluff held on and the streak reached 31 consecutive wins. The next week the Tigers tied Collinsville 0-0, then defeated Saks 7-6 and Springville 6-0 in close games before finishing the season with three easy victories.

         When the season was over, the Tigers had gone 9-0-1 and outscored their opponents by a combined 168-13 with eight shutouts.

          The 1963 Tigers finished second to a 10-0 Hayneville team in the final poll from the Montgomery Advertiser. They also finished third in the Birmingham Post-Herald rankings.

          The Cedar Bluff Tigers went 46-1-2 over the course of these five seasons. Granted they did not play any of the big-name teams from across the state but they did play the schedule in front of them. They were a very small school playing against schools of similar size.

          They outscored the 49 teams by a combined total of 1,302-147. The defense shutout 32 of the teams including eight in a row during the 1962 season.

          When considering the teams that would be included in this list, Cedar Bluff was near the bottom but are included mainly because they won and won convincingly for five consecutive seasons.
         



Cedar Bluff Tigers     1959-1963
Year Record Championship Game
1959 10-0 Birmingham News
1960 7-1-1  
1961 10-0 Birmingham News
1962 10-0 Birmingham News
Alabama Sports Writers Association
1963 9-0-1  


Cedar Bluff
1959

44 Appalachian . . . . . . . 0
27 Springville . . . . . . . 0
7 Walnut Grove . . . . . . 0
34 Davis GA . . . . . . . . . . 6
68 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 6
44 Menlo GA . . . . . . . . . . 7
33 Collinsville . . . . . . 0
47 Ragland . . . . . . . . . . . 0
49 Gaston . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
47 Johnson Rome GA . . . . 0

400 10-0 19
1960

0 Springville . . . . . . . 6
13 Walnut Grove . . . . . . 13
24 Saks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
19 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0
31 Menlo GA . . . . . . . . . . 0
39 Appalachian . . . . . . . 0
21 Ragland . . . . . . . . . . . 6
14 Gaston . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
26 Collinsville . . . . . . 12

187 7-1-1 62
1961

25 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0
32 Adairsville GA . . . . . 6
27 Walnut Grove . . . . . . 0
28 Southside Gadsden . . . 0
25 Collinsville . . . . . . 0
34 Springville . . . . . . . 7
19 Mt. Zion GA . . . . . . . 0
34 Ragland . . . . . . . . . . . 14
6 Gaston . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
37 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0

267 10-0 27
1962

27 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0
20 Adairsville GA . . . . . 0
13 Walnut Grove . . . . . . 6
13 Southside Gadsden . . . 0
31 Collinsville . . . . . . 6
31 Springville . . . . . . . 0
37 Ragland . . . . . . . . . . . 14
33 Gaston . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
41 Plainview . . . . . . . . . 0
34 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0

280 10-0 26
1963

29 Gaylesville . . . . . . . 0
20 Adairsville GA . . . . . 0
35 Johnson Rome GA . . . . 0
7 Southside Gadsden . . . 0
0 Collinsville . . . . . . 0
7 Saks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
6 Springville . . . . . . . 0
20 Ragland . . . . . . . . . . . 7
12 Gaston . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
32 Plainview . . . . . . . . . 0

168 9-0-1 13

* Playoff game
# State championship game





          NEXT: A wrap up of the Dynasties.
          The Dynasties, a series of articles on Alabama high school football's best teams.

David Parker
  AHSFHS.org
  dparker@ahsfhs.org


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