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          Prior to coach Wayne Grant's arrival in Brundidge in 1982, Pike County had won very little on the football field. The team had never even qualified for a playoff spot. The last team to win nine games was way back in 1959. In his third season on the job, the Bulldogs bested that record by finishing 10-3 in 1984. That team not only qualified for the playoffs but reached the third round before losing.

          The Bulldogs kept winning and in 1988 won the first state championship in the school's history. The next season they made it back-to-back titles. Following the 1991 season Coach Grant stepped down at Pike County. He returned in the fall of 1999 for another run of nine seasons at the helm of the Bulldogs. During the seven seasons he was away the Bulldogs finished a combined 36-42 with only two winning seasons.

          In 2003, the Bulldogs lost their opening game to Eufaula 13-7 then proceeded to win the next nine games to finished the regular season 9-1. In the playoffs they averaged scoring 40 points a game. For the season, Pike County set a school record by scoring a total of 591 points.

          The offense clicked all season long behind quarterback Chris Nickson. The Bulldogs were in prime form when they defeated Calhoun 84-0 in week six.

          In the 3A championship game, Chris Nickson put on a one-man show. He ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 121 yards and returned an interception 56 yards for another score. Nickson accounted for 259 of Pike County's 275 total yards. The Bulldogs opened up a 14-0 halftime lead and coasted to a 30-7 win over Oneonta for their third state championship.    

          Chris Nickson set a new single season state record for touchdowns as a senior with 67. He completed 187 of 335 passes for 2,963 yards and 42 touchdowns while rushing for 1,488 yards and another 23 scores. He also scored on a punt return and returned an interception for a touchdown. His favorite target, Nick Walker caught 67 passes for 1,028 yards and 14 TDs in 2003.

          Nickson's total offense numbers for the season were also state records. His 4,460 yards of total offense in 2003 were the most by any player in state history.

          As a junior he completed 108 of 234 passes for 2,273 yards and 30 touchdowns. Over the span of his career he accounted for 142 touchdowns, 6,534 yards passing and 9,796 all-purpose yards.

          In 2004, the Bulldogs finished with a 9-4 record losing 18-13 to Oneonta in the third round of the playoffs.

          The next season they returned to prominence by opening the season with a magnificent offense. Over the course of four weeks they defeated Headland 61-0,  Slocomb 34-0, Bullock County 77-0 and Abbeville 91-0.

          The Bulldogs entered the semi-finals of the 2005 playoffs having not given up more than a single score to any opponent. They defeated T.R. Miller 42-21 to advance to the Super Six championship game against Cherokee County. The game turned into a defensive struggle between the two teams as most of the points were scored by the defenses.

         Pike County scored first on a safety to take a 2-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Warriors answered back when Damien Chambers caught a 25 yard touchdown pass from Zach Morgan as Cherokee County took a 6-2 lead into the half.

          Tim Isaac returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown with 9:47 remaining in the game to give the Bulldogs a hard-fought 10-6 victory. The championship was the second in three years and fourth overall for the program. Pike County set a team record by scoring 686 points in 2005.

          In 2006, the Bulldogs lost a wild 44-43 game to Geneva in the second game of the season before regrouping to finish the regular season 9-1. They rolled through the season scoring at least 28 points in every game.

          In the championship game, the Bulldogs faced Clay County for the title. The Panthers struck first on a long pass midway through the first quarter before Pike County settled down and scored 24 unanswered points. Tobias Lee passed for 212 yards and three touchdowns to lead the offensive attack. Six fumbles by the Panthers turned what should have been a close game into a rout.

          Pike County won the game going away 44-14 to capture their third title in four years. It was also their fifth overall state championship.

           Tobias Lee threw for 2,509 yards by completing 133 of 253 passes. He also tossed 41 TD passes.

           They followed the 2006 season with a 12-1 record in 2007 completing their fourth undefeated regular season in five years. The team set a school record with a 25 game winning streak before falling to Cordova 24-0 in the third round of the playoffs.

           The Bulldogs finished a combined 64-7 between 2003-2007. The team won three state championships in a span of four year.

           Coach Wayne Grant stepped down at Pike County for the second time following the 2007 season with a 184-60 record in 19 seasons at the helm of the Bulldogs.

         



Pike County Bulldogs     2003-07
Year Record Championship Game
2003 14-1 Pike County 30-7 Oneonta
2004 9-4  
2005 15-0 Pike County 10-6 Cherokee County
2006 14-1 Pike County 44-14 Clay County
2007 12-1  


Pike County
2003

7 Eufaula . . . . . . . . . . . 13
41 W.S. Neal . . . . . . . . . 24
40 Central Hayneville . . 6
35 Elba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
34 Montgomery Academy . . 14
84 Calhoun . . . . . . . . . . . 0
55 Clarke County . . . . . 6
27 T.R. Miller . . . . . . . 21
32 Straughn . . . . . . . . . . 13
36 Stanhope Elmore . . . . 26
63 Oak Grove * . . . . . . . 0
38 Lincoln * . . . . . . . . . 22
34 Tarrant * . . . . . . . . . 28
35 T.R. Miller * . . . . . 34
30 Oneonta # . . . . . . . . . 7

591 14-1 214
2004

0 B.T. Washington . . . . 18
18 W.S. Neal . . . . . . . . . 7
34 Headland . . . . . . . . . . 0
32 Bullock County . . . . . 0
41 Abbeville . . . . . . . . . 0
53 Dale County . . . . . . . 33
27 T.R. Miller . . . . . . . 52
15 Straughn . . . . . . . . . . 18
51 Slocomb . . . . . . . . . . . 19
45 Elba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
28 Clarke County * . . . . 8
12 Montgomery Academy * . 7
13 Oneonta * . . . . . . . . . 18

369 9-4 187
2005

27 B.T. Washington . . . . 6
34 W.S. Neal . . . . . . . . . 7
61 Headland . . . . . . . . . . 0
34 Slocomb . . . . . . . . . . . 0
77 Bullock County . . . . . 0
91 Abbeville . . . . . . . . . 0
46 Dale County . . . . . . . 0
10 T.R. Miller . . . . . . . 7
43 Straughn . . . . . . . . . . 7
55 Elba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
62 Alabama Christian * . . 0
37 Midfield * . . . . . . . . 8
57 Springville * . . . . . 8
42 T.R. Miller * . . . . . 21
10 Cherokee County # . . . 6

686 15-0 77
2006

32 Andalusia . . . . . . . . . 7
43 Geneva . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
28 Abbeville . . . . . . . . . 20
54 Straughn . . . . . . . . . . 19
67 Hillcrest Evergreen . . 0
53 Elba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
51 Headland . . . . . . . . . . 0
49 Slocomb . . . . . . . . . . . 0
62 Dale County . . . . . . . 7
47 B.T. Washington . . . . 21
49 Montevallo * . . . . . . 12
20 Aliceville * . . . . . . 15
42 Gordo * . . . . . . . . . . . 13
36 Winfield * . . . . . . . . 21
44 Clay County # . . . . . 14

677 14-1 199
2007

29 Andalusia . . . . . . . . . 18
39 Geneva . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
35 Abbeville . . . . . . . . . 6
48 Straughn . . . . . . . . . . 7
48 Hillcrest Evergreen . . 29
48 Elba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
41 Headland . . . . . . . . . . 0
42 Slocomb . . . . . . . . . . . 0
60 Dale County . . . . . . . 7
41 B.T. Washington . . . . 9
26 Aliceville * . . . . . . 14
28 Marbury * . . . . . . . . . 6
0 Cordova * . . . . . . . . . 24

485 12-1 147

* Playoff game
# State championship game





          NEXT: Spanish Fort Toros 2009-2013
          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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