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          Oct. 10, 1958, the Cherokee Indians traveled to Double Springs to face the Yellow Jackets of Winston County. The game does not appear on either teams' schedule for that season because it was never completed as both teams agreed to cancel the game after the tragic death of a game official shortly before half time. 

           Field Judge Bill Pickett from nearby Jasper, died from an apparent heart attack with one minute left in the first half. Pickett collapsed at the goal line after running the length of the field on a punt return.

           The game began with Winston County marching 60 yards and scoring on a five-yard run by Billy Crittenden. The extra point was missed and the Yellow Jackets led 6-0. In the second quarter, Cherokee scored to take the lead 7-6 when Olen Bishop scored on a five-yard run following a 68-yard drive.

          Shortly after the touchdown, Cherokee was forced to punt and Marlin Townsend returned the kick 85 yards for a touchdown. It was on this play that Pickett collapsed. He was rushed to a doctor's office in Double Springs and was pronounced dead a few minutes later.

          Pickett was thirty years old and was employed by Alabama Power Company. He had been officiating high school football for the past six seasons in the area.

          Following the stoppage in play, the two opposing coaches agreed to call off the second half of the game. It was also agreed upon not to count the game as a win or loss by either side. On the AHSFHS.org website the date is shown as an open date for both teams.




Cherokee  .......................................   0   7      
Winston County ..............................   7   6      
           
Winston County - Billy Crittenden 5-yard run
Cherokee - Olen Bishop 5-yard run
Winston County - Marlin Townsend 85-yard punt return


Winston County
1958

9/12 20 Meek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
9/12 6 Phil Campbell . . . . . 12
9/12 Addison . . . . . . . . . . .
9/12 . . . . . . . . . . .
10/10 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/17 31 Lynn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/24 39 Curry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
10/31 20 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 40
11/7 40 Oakman . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
11/7 33 Cordova . . . . . . . . . . . 47

189 3-3-1 158
Cherokee
1958

9/12 0 Red Bay . . . . . . . . . . . 13
9/19 12 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 7
9/26 6 Phil Campbell . . . . . 31
10/3 7 Lauderdale County . . . 13
10/10 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/17 0 Hanceville . . . . . . . . 7
10/24 0 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 34
11/3 13 Central Florence . . . 7
11/7 28 Vina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
11/14 0 Colbert County . . . . . 38

66 3-6 156



  The Memorable Games, a series on the important and memorable games in high school football history

David Parker
  AHSFHS.org
  dparker@ahsfhs.org



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