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






Dynasties 


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Coach Don Creasy
          The Colbert County Indians have made more playoff appearances than any other team in the state since the playoff system began in 1966 with a total of 37. They qualified for a playoff spot in thirty consecutive seasons between 1981 and 2010. 
    
          The Indians won the first state championship in school history in 1972 when a team led by the likes of Ozzie Newsome, Phil Gargis and Thad Flannagan defeated Cullman for the Class 3A title by a score of 41-14.

           Between 1954 and 1977 one man led the Indians onto the field as their head coach. C.T. Manley compiled a record of 164 wins, 80 losses and 8 ties with two undefeated teams over the course of twenty-four seasons. 

           Coach Don Creasy arrived in Leighton in 1978 and compiled a 126-25-1 record over the next twelve seasons at the helm. After back-to-back 3-7 seasons before his arrival, he led the Indians to the Class 3A championship game in his first year as the head coach. The Indians lost in the title game to a strong Eufaula team by a score of 29-0 but it set in motion other great things to come. 
           The Indians reached the 1979 title game with a perfect 13-0 record only to play Jackson to a 0-0 tie. In the days prior to overtime the two teams were both declare champions for the 1979 season. The defense pitched seven shutouts during the season and rolled through the playoffs into the championship matchup with Jackson. 

           The 1979 team was led by tight end Ed West and running back Reginald Goodloe who ran for 5,031 yards and scored 44 touchdowns for Colbert County during his high school career. He also returned 13 kicks for touchdowns.

           The 1981, 1982 and 1983 teams finished the regular season undefeated only to fall short of championships with playoff losses. The 1984 season saw the Indians lose two games but not before they had won a school record thirty-two consecutive regular season games with a streak that began in 1981. Both losses in 1984 came to eventual 3A champions Emma Sansom, the first in the regular season and the later in the third round of the playoffs.

           In 1985, the most dramatic game came against Russellville. With the Indians trailing 12-10 with only twelve seconds remaining in the game and no timeouts they took over on their own 23-yard line. The first play was a halfback pass from Eddie Hampton to Richard King that covered the entire 77 yards in one play.

           The Indians lost to Hamilton 20-12 in the final regular season game but came back just two weeks later in the second round of the playoffs to avenge the loss with a 26-20 victory. Following close wins over Gadsden and Homewood, the Indians claimed their third championship with a 26-13 win over Dora.

           In the championship game, the Indians jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter before Dora had a chance to get untracked. Dora's only first half score came after the second Indian score when Eli Gaines returned the kickoff for a touchdown. Colbert County answered with another score for a 20-7 halftime lead. The Indians held on the win another championship in 1985.

           The 1986 version of the Colbert County Indians returned only three starters to team that finished with a 7-4 record and a first round loss in the playoffs to Russellville.

           The 1987 team lost to Russellville in the semi-finals and the 1988 team fell to Tarrant in the semi-finals of the playoffs.

           In 1989, the Indians rolled into the title game against a very strong Pike County team with a perfect 14-0 record. Colbert County was defeated by Pike County in a hard fought 20-19 game that saw the Indians miss on a two point conversion that would have given them a lead late in the game.

           The Indian led 13-7 at halftime before Pike County scored two quick third quarter touchdowns to take a 20-13 lead with 5:58 remaining in the third. Colbert County pulled within a single point on its next possession by driving 72 yards in six plays. Quarterback Jason Clement completed a couple of long passes before Kenyatta Jones scored on a 12-yard run.

           Creasy decided to attempt a two-point conversion instead of going for the tie. Quarterback Jason Clement was sacked on the play and the Indians still trailed 20-19 with 10:48 to play. After forcing a Pike County punt, the Indians drove 76 yards to the Bulldogs five before missing a 21-yard field goal attempt. A last play interception by the Bulldogs dashed any hopes of a comeback by the Indians.

           Steve Cater took over for the departed Don Creasy in 1990 but did not enjoy the same success as the previous coach. The 1990 and 1991 teams lost to North Jackson in the second round of the playoffs while the 1992 team fell to Central Florence in the third round.
          
           Jimmie Moore took over the program in 1993 and returned it to where it had been with Coach Creasy. Coach Moore had won two championships in Mississippi before making the move to Colbert County. In 1993 the Indians finished the regular season with a 6-4 record but got hot at the right time to make a run to the championship game where they beat St. Paul's 14-10 for another title.

           In the title game, the Indians fell behind early 10-0 before rallying in the second half. Trailing 10-7, they took the second half kickoff 75 yards in 12 plays to score the winning touchdown. The Indians ran the same play seven times in a row before scoring on a Stanley 6-yard run. The defense held up the rest of the game for Colbert County.

The 1993 State Champion Colbert County Indians

           The 1994 team returned fourteen players from the previous season's championship team and seemed poised to repeat. They lost back-to-back midseason games to Deshler and Hazlewood before getting on another late season roll. They reached the title game and defeated Luverne 17-10 for their second consecutive title. The Indian's defense stopped Luverne three times inside the ten-yard line including once with only seconds remaining to seal the victory.

           Steve Stanley led the 1993-94 teams from the quarterback position. Stanley was considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a senior. He ran for 1,089 yards and passed for over 1,200 yards with 23 touchdowns to lead Colbert County to their second straight Class 3A state title. As a junior he passed for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was named 3A Player of the Year following both seasons.

           In 1995 Colbert County lost to Weaver in a first round game to finish with a 7-4 record.

           The 1996 season saw the Indians bounce back to capture the Class 3A championship with a 25-19 victory over UMS-Wright. In the championship game the two teams traded first quarter touchdowns before the defenses took over. Neither team could find the end zone until Demarcus Warren scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.

           The Indians scored again just three minutes later on a Howard Davis 32-yard pass from quarterback Tiran King to take a 19-7 lead with just 6:19 remaining in the game. It seemed the Indians were in control but UMS-Wright mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback by scoring 12 points to tie the game 19-19 in regulation.

           Quarterback Tiran King scored on a one-yard run to seal the win for the Indians and clinch their sixth state championship and third in the last five years. Demarcus Warren rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown while Ronnie Ricks added 77 yards on 15 carries for Colbert County.

           Only Hazlewood and Hoover have appeared in more state championship games than the Colbert County Indians with twelve. Only Hazlewood and T.R. Miller have won more playoff games than the Indians (82). No team has qualified for the playoffs more than the Indians (37).

           The years for this dynasty can be debated. Possibly it should be shorter. Maybe it could be long. The one thing that is not debatable is the fact that the Colbert County Indians belong in the list of dynasties. With an overall record of 179-51-1 and five championships during the eighteen year span chosen here, they clearly were a dominate factor in high school football during this time.          




Colbert County     1979-1996
Year Record Championship Game
1979 13-0-1 Colbert County 0-0 Jackson
1980 5-5  
1981 10-1  
1982 10-1  
1983 12-1  
1984 10-2  
1985 13-1 Colbert County 26-13 Dora
1986 7-4  
1987 11-2  
1988 10-4  
1989 14-1 Pike County 20-19 Colbert County
1990 8-4  
1991 7-5  
1992 6-7  
1993 11-4 Colbert County 14-10 St. Paul's
1994 13-2 Colbert County 17-10 Luverne
1995 7-4  
1996 12-3 Colbert County 25-19 UMS-Wright




Colbert County
1979

27 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 0
32 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 21
35 Lauderdale County . . . 14
14 Russellville . . . . . . 0
14 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 0
39 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
14 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 9
29 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 7
39 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 16
34 Central Florence . . . 0
27 Fayette County * . . . 0
32 Cullman * . . . . . . . . . 13
27 Glencoe * . . . . . . . . . 11
0 Jackson # . . . . . . . . . 0

363 13-0-1 91
1980

12 Colbert Heights . . . . 20
21 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 0
19 Lauderdale County . . . 12
7 Russellville . . . . . . 12
0 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 14
40 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
13 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 0
15 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 9
12 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 15
14 Central Florence . . . 26

153 5-5 115
1981

27 Colbert Heights . . . . 12
36 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 6
26 Lauderdale County . . . 0
26 Russellville . . . . . . 6
20 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 13
7 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 3
33 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 8
33 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 6
42 Lawrence County . . . . 10
48 Central Florence . . . 29
21 Russellville * . . . . . 48

319 10-1 141
1982

7 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 6
26 Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
35 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 14
41 Central Florence . . . 14
35 Lauderdale County . . . 6
21 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
47 Russellville . . . . . . 28
29 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 0
41 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
39 Colbert Heights . . . . 14
13 Hamilton * . . . . . . . . 14

334 10-1 124
1983

27 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 6
39 Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 0
30 Central Florence . . . 7
49 Lauderdale County . . . 0
33 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
14 Russellville . . . . . . 12
14 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 3
49 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
40 Colbert Heights . . . . 8
34 Dora * . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
24 Hartselle * . . . . . . . 0
20 Emma Sansom * . . . . . 23

401 12-1 80
1984

7 Central Florence . . . 6
41 Colbert Heights . . . . 0
15 Emma Sansom . . . . . . . 18
48 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 0
18 Russellville . . . . . . 14
35 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 7
28 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
39 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 0
22 Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . 6
35 Athens * . . . . . . . . . . 6
31 Russellville * . . . . . 13
7 Emma Sansom * . . . . . 10

326 10-2 80
1985

41 Central Florence . . . 0
28 Colbert Heights . . . . 7
28 Emma Sansom . . . . . . . 0
34 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 0
17 Russellville . . . . . . 12
29 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 0
21 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
45 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 13
12 Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . 20
21 Cullman * . . . . . . . . . 0
26 Hamilton * . . . . . . . . 20
20 Gadsden * . . . . . . . . . 13
9 Homewood * . . . . . . . . 7
26 Dora # . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

357 13-1 105
1986

16 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 12
8 Russellville . . . . . . 15
22 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 28
47 Loretto TN . . . . . . . . 0
20 Bradshaw . . . . . . . . . . 0
27 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
24 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 0
23 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 0
0 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 13
14 Erwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
6 Russellville * . . . . . 7

207 7-4 96
1987

26 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 22
10 Russellville . . . . . . 16
7 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 0
36 Bradshaw . . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
20 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 7
17 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 14
28 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 0
34 Erwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
38 Cullman * . . . . . . . . . 0
34 Woodlawn * . . . . . . . . 0
21 Emma Sansom * . . . . . 14
0 Russellville * . . . . . 17

299 11-2 116
1988

34 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 13
18 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 6
0 Russellville . . . . . . 21
22 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 7
44 Colbert Heights . . . . 8
14 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 7
48 Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
41 Lawrence County . . . . 0
14 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 22
0 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 7
47 Sheffield * . . . . . . . 0
50 New Hope * . . . . . . . . 3
30 Oneonta * . . . . . . . . . 14
12 Tarrant * . . . . . . . . . 20

374 10-4 135
1989

26 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 0
20 Russellville . . . . . . 13
21 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Colbert Heights . . . . 3
32 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 0
34 Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
36 Lawrence County . . . . 0
22 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 0
23 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 0
41 Brooks * . . . . . . . . . . 17
35 Hanceville * . . . . . . 13
21 Deshler * . . . . . . . . . 7
40 Munford * . . . . . . . . . 25
19 Pike County # . . . . . 20

426 14-1 115
1990

21 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 3
0 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 14
27 Russellville . . . . . . 24
21 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 6
27 Colbert Heights . . . . 0
12 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 8
14 East Lawrence . . . . . 0
34 Lawrence County . . . . 0
21 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 56
0 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 6
21 Wilson * . . . . . . . . . . 0
14 North Jackson * . . . . 21

212 8-4 138
1991

37 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 8
13 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 20
7 Russellville . . . . . . 23
34 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 27
21 Colbert Heights . . . . 17
14 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 28
47 East Lawrence . . . . . 14
6 Lawrence County . . . . 0
14 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 28
27 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 6
19 Sheffield * . . . . . . . 14
7 North Jackson * . . . . 12

246 7-5 197
1992

14 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 0
14 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 19
7 Russellville . . . . . . 14
27 Central Florence . . . 6
6 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 22
9 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 11
21 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
21 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
0 Dora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
0 New Hope . . . . . . . . . . 13
40 Colbert Heights * . . . 8
20 Plainview * . . . . . . . 7
2 Central Florence * . . 6

181 6-7 157
1993

41 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 7
3 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 19
13 Russellville . . . . . . 18
53 Central Florence . . . 21
17 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 12
7 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 9
41 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7 Brooks . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
20 Dora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
20 New Hope . . . . . . . . . . 6
40 Colbert Heights * . . . 0
13 South Lamar * . . . . . 7
38 Plainview * . . . . . . . 15
40 Central Florence * . . 15
14 St. Pauls # . . . . . . . 10

367 11-4 173
1994

28 Hatton . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
48 Colbert Heights . . . . 22
21 Russellville . . . . . . 14
30 Central Florence . . . 0
14 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 21
21 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 34
21 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
16 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 14
41 Lamar County . . . . . . 14
28 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 13
30 Vinemont * . . . . . . . . 0
35 Piedmont * . . . . . . . . 34
28 J.B. Pennington * . . . 21
42 Sylvania * . . . . . . . . 27
17 Luverne # . . . . . . . . . 10

420 13-2 230
1995

41 Hatton . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
21 Colbert Heights . . . . 7
14 Russellville . . . . . . 21
21 Central Florence . . . 0
35 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 21
7 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 21
14 Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
9 Courtland . . . . . . . . . 20
21 Lamar County . . . . . . 7
27 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 13
31 Weaver * . . . . . . . . . . 34

241 7-4 151
1996

48 Colbert Heights . . . . 16
43 Lauderdale County . . . 3
24 Russellville . . . . . . 0
42 Central Florence . . . 15
7 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 8
0 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 34
28 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
42 West Limestone . . . . . 20
21 West Morgan . . . . . . . 28
48 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 28
41 Hanceville * . . . . . . 6
28 Good Hope * . . . . . . . 20
49 Plainview * . . . . . . . 21
28 East Limestone * . . . 7
25 UMS-Wright # . . . . . . 19

474 12-3 238

* Playoff game
# State championship game





          NEXT: Courtland Chiefs 1986-1991
          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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