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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.






Dynasties 


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           The Leroy Bears are one of only eight teams to win three consecutive AHSAA state championships. Beginning in 2004, the Bears won five of the next seven Class 2A titles with a combined record of 90-11. Three of those losses came to 4A Jackson, four came against 2A power Southern Choctaw, three against always tough Sweet Water and one against Pickens County.

           In 2004, the Bears returned 16 starters from a team that took an undefeated Oakman team to overtime before losing in the state playoffs. The Bears opened the 2004 season with a 14-7 loss to rival Jackson 14-7.

           They only lost one other game during the season to region foe Southern Choctaw by a score of 29-25 but that loss cost them the region title and the Bears entered the playoffs as the number two seed from region one. The Bears got their revenge on Southern Choctaw in the third round of the playoffs with a 17-0 win on the road.

          Leroy reached the championship game for just the second time (2001) in school history by playing great defense during the first four rounds of the playoffs.

          The Bears were led by quarterback Logan Keith who completed 70-119 passes for 1,158 yards and ten scores. The ground attack was led by running back Darius Ervin who ran for 1,773 yards and 18 touchdowns and Labrandon Cunningham with 653 yards and three scores. Herman Chapman caught 41 passes for 519 yards and four scores.

          In the Class 2A championship game, the Bears tried to rely on their running game but the Woodland defense did a good job of shutting it down most of the game. Leroy had gained at least 240 yards in each of their playoff games but the Bobcats held them to just 51 yards on this day. Instead Leroy turned to the passing game, using big plays to score enough points for the first state championship in school history.

          On the fist snap of the Bears' initial possession of the game, Logan Keith hit Herman Chapman over the top of the Bobcats' defense with a 51 yard touchdown pass for an early 7-0 lead. Then, after Woodland cut Leroy's lead to 10-6 at halftime, big play No. 2 came on the second play of the second half. Reed made an adjustment on his route and found himself wide open down the right sideline, where Keith hit him with a 67 yard touchdown pass to make it 17-6.

          In 2005, Leroy opened the season with a dramatic 28-27 win over rival Jackson and once again ran over the next six opponents by a combined score of 267-15 before running into an old foe from Southern Choctaw on Oct. 14. Once again Leroy came up short, losing 20-0 to the Indians. The team regrouped and reached the semi-finals of the playoffs before once again falling to the Indians 14-10 on the road to end their season.

         Following the 2005 season, Coach Scott Phelps stepped down to take the head coaching job at Robertsdale and longtime assistant Danny Powell assumed the head coaching duties. Coach Phelps left having won more games (103) and coached more seasons (13) than any coach in school history.

         The 2006 regular season saw the Bears finish with an 8-2 record and losses to Southern Choctaw (25-19) and Sweet Water (35-6). When playoff time rolled around the Bears were back to winning games and reached the championship game for the second time in three years.

         Once again the Woodland Bobcats stood between the Bears and another championship. Leroy's defense forced five turnovers, including a fumble recovery that Joe Fields lateralled to linebacker Craig Weaver for a 93 yard touchdown, and Bracy scored from 6 yards out for the game winning score in the third quarter to lead the Bears to a 12-7 win over Woodland for the 2A title at Legion Field.
 
          Weaver's return was the game changing play, as Woodland was poised to go up 14-0 when the tables were turned. Fields, a senior defensive end who also started on Leroy's 2004 state championship squad, picked up a Bobcats fumble at the Leroy 7 and rumbled to the Bears' 24 before pitching it to Weaver as he was pulled down from behind. Weaver went the remaining 76 yards for the touchdown.

          The teams went into the half with Woodland nursing a 7-6 lead. Leroy opened the second half with a 75 yard drive in 11 plays to grab the lead. Bracy ripped off a 29 yard run and Moseley scrambled for 16 more before Bracy swept around right end to score from 6 yards out. Moseley's two-point conversion pass fell incomplete and the Bears led 12-7. The defense took over from there and Leroy celebrated a second title in three seasons.
         
          The 2006 Bears were led by running back Ronald Bracy who gained 1,040 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Detrick Powell added over 700 yards and 10 scores. The quarterbacking duties fell to future star Clint Moseley who threw for 1,390 yards and 17 touchdowns. Johnny Williams caught 33 passes for 632 yards and 10 TDs.

          In 2007, Leroy's lone setback came against 1A power Sweet Water 35-14. The team entered the playoffs with a 9-1 record and promptly won the next four games to reach the championship game for the third time in four years. The opponent this time was an undefeated Fyffe team.

          After a scoreless first quarter, Fyffe got on the scoreboard first with a 30 yard field goal before the teams traded touchdowns. Fyffe led at the half 10-7. Through three quarters Fyffe used a wing-T offense to run over the Bears defense at will gaining for 228 yards rushing. Finally in the fourth quarter, the Bears began to find a way to slow them down enough for the offense to get untracked.

          Norbert Blum booted a Super Six record 43 yard field goal with 11:55 remaining to put Fyffe up 20-12. From there the Bears got within a point at 20-19 two minutes later as a 50 yard Michael Bracey kickoff return that led to a 39 yard scoring drive and a 1 yard touchdown by Detrick Powell.
 
          Fyffe went three-and-out and a 12 yard punt put the Bears in good field position. Two plays later, MVP Moseley hit Patrick Rivers on a 32 yard touchdown pass for a 25-20 lead with 7:14 left and a state title in their pocket. Moseley put up a 17-for-27 performance and three touchdowns - all 2A final records - to go with 243 yards passing.

          As a junior, Clint Moseley completed 159 of 253 passes for 3,012 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 701 yards and another 11 touchdowns to lead the Bears.

          In 2008, the Leroy Bears rolled to a perfect 15-0 record and set a school record by scoring 659 points during the season. The fifteen win are also a team record and the 2008 season is the only time a Leroy football team finished a season undefeated.

          Leroy reached the championship game riding a twenty-four game winning streak. The 12-2 Sulligent Blue Devils were the opponent this time. After playing the first quarter to an 8-8 tie, Leroy exploded for 27 fourth quarter points to break open a close game and win convincingly 41-8.

          Clint Moseley completed 15-of-27 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns while Michael Bracy rushed for 131 yards and two more scores. Leroy gained 508 yards of total offense while the defense force five turnovers. 

          Senior Clint Moseley completed 209 of 313 passes for 3,758 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2008. For his career at Leroy he completed 473 of 755 passes good for 8,413 yards and 79 touchdowns with only 18 interceptions. He also ran for 1,899 yards and scored 34 touchdowns on the ground.

          Moseley was named the Back of the Year by the ASWA both seasons. Sophomore sensation Sammie Coates caught 18 passes for 477 yards (39.8 ypc) and four touchdowns while intercepting three passes on defense.  

           In 2009 the Bears were riding a team record 29 game winning streak before Jackson beat them 27-13 in week five. The Bears also lost to Sweet Water 28-27 in the last regular season game before falling to Pickens County in the third round of the playoffs by a score of 19-12 to end their season with a 10-3 record. Wide receiver, Sammie Coates caught 50 passes for 788 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior campaign.

           In 2010, the Bears won ten games in a season for the seventh consecutive year. The only loss came to 5A Jackson midseason as the Bears finished with a 14-1 record.

           Leroy again reached the championship game on a roll this time facing the Reeltown Rebels for a shot at their third title in a row and fifth in seven years. The Bears opened up a 21-0 halftime lead and were never threatened in a 34-7 rout of the Rebels.

           Senior Sammie Coates caught 57 passes as a senior for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2010. He led his team to the Class 2A state championship, earning MVP honors after hauling in five catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns, rushing six times for 27 yards and a score, punting twice for 63 yards and returning a punt for 5 yards.

           If there is any doubt about whether Leroy belongs in our group of dynasties, consider this one fact. Only three teams have won five state championships within a span of seven years. The Bears join Hoover and Sweet Water as the only trio to accomplish this feat.

         



Leroy Bears    2004-2010
Year Record Championship Game
2004 14-1 Leroy 17-14 Woodland
2005 10-3  
2006 13-2 Leroy 12-7 Woodland
2007 14-1 Leroy 25-20 Fyffe
2008 13-2 Leroy 41-8 Sulligent
2009 12-2  
2010 12-2 Leroy 34-7 Reeltown



Leroy
2004

7 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 14
26 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
17 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 6
34 McIntosh . . . . . . . . . . 0
15 Georgiana . . . . . . . . . 7
20 Washington County . . . 15
25 Southern Choctaw . . . 29
49 Bayside Academy . . . . 0
42 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 0
35 Marbury * . . . . . . . . . 6
20 Houston Academy * . . . 0
17 Southern Choctaw * . . 0
27 Cottonwood * . . . . . . 13
17 Woodland # . . . . . . . . 14

351 12-2 110
2005

28 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 27
42 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
27 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 8
60 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 0
50 McIntosh . . . . . . . . . . 0
47 Georgiana . . . . . . . . . 7
41 Washington County . . . 0
0 Southern Choctaw . . . 20
49 Bayside Academy . . . . 7
23 Catholic FL . . . . . . . 13
42 Houston County * . . . 8
38 Calera * . . . . . . . . . . 13
21 Cottonwood * . . . . . . 7
10 Southern Choctaw * . . 14

478 12-2 124
2006

41 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 6
60 Keith . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
36 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Georgiana . . . . . . . . . 0
6 Sweet Water . . . . . . . 35
42 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 13
19 Southern Choctaw . . . 25
29 Bayside Academy . . . . 7
26 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 16
34 Choctaw County . . . . . 8
41 Holy Spirit * . . . . . 14
13 Loachapoka * . . . . . . 7
36 Lanett * . . . . . . . . . . 16
34 Houston Academy * . . . 7
12 Woodland # . . . . . . . . 7

457 13-2 181
2007

30 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 27
34 Keith . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
28 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
27 Georgiana . . . . . . . . . 13
14 Sweet Water . . . . . . . 35
45 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 6
39 Southern Choctaw . . . 6
47 Bayside Academy . . . . 20
50 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 0
39 Choctaw County . . . . . 13
39 Luverne * . . . . . . . . . 20
52 Pickens County * . . . 26
18 Lanett * . . . . . . . . . . 12
42 American Christian * . 35
25 Fyffe # . . . . . . . . . . . 20

529 14-1 240
2008

36 Clarke County . . . . . 9
35 Millry . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
54 Washington County . . . 34
48 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 14
63 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 34
41 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
45 Southern Choctaw . . . 8
45 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 0
69 Mobile Christian . . . 41
28 Sweet Water . . . . . . . 21
47 Elba * . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
47 Houston Academy * . . . 27
34 Millry * . . . . . . . . . . 16
26 Reeltown * . . . . . . . . 6
41 Sulligent # . . . . . . . 8

659 15-0 272
2009

7 Clarke County . . . . . 4
10 Millry . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
28 Washington County . . . 21
27 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 21
13 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 27
40 Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
39 Southern Choctaw . . . 29
54 Red Level . . . . . . . . . 6
48 Mobile Christian . . . 13
27 Sweet Water . . . . . . . 28
34 New Brockton * . . . . . 21
29 Houston Academy * . . . 0
12 Pickens County * . . . 19

368 10-3 214
2010

14 Washington County . . . 9
45 Cottage Hill Christian . 7
47 Southern Choctaw . . . 22
49 J.U. Blacksher . . . . . 12
24 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 28
45 Mobile Christian . . . 14
55 Flomaton . . . . . . . . . . 21
55 Choctaw County . . . . . 13
47 Millry . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
27 Sweet Water . . . . . . . 7
49 New Brockton * . . . . . 6
41 Mobile Christian * . . 20
40 Cottonwood * . . . . . . 21
34 American Christian * . 16
34 Reeltown # . . . . . . . . 7

606 14-1 210

* Playoff game
# State championship game





          NEXT: Pike County Bulldogs  2003-2007
          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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