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         It was fitting that these two teams met in the first year of the state playoffs for teams in classifications 1A-3A. Russellville had won a mythical championship the previous season with a perfect 10-0 record. Their undefeated streak had reached twenty games by the time Russellville and Colbert County met in the title game.

          Ironically, the only blemish on the Golden Tigers otherwise perfect record was a 20-20 tie with the Colbert County Indians earlier in the season. Fans expected another high scoring affair from the two teams that are only thirty miles apart in the championship game but somewhere along the way it just did not happen. It was actually the third meeting during the year between the two teams as they also met in the spring jamboree.

          Speedy Terry Pounders, a 140-pound senior halfback, proved to be the hero of the game when he streaked 70 yards in the third quarter on a punt return to break a 6-6 tie. The return was the winning score and propelled the Tigers to the first 3A state championship decided by a playoff.

          Close to 7,000 spectators packed Braly Stadium in Florence for the matchup of two squads that had played each other every year since the 1953 season. Russellville had dominated the series, winning every game except a 14-6 loss during the 1962 season. Colbert County had not beaten the Golden Tigers since 1926.

          The Indians scored first on a five-yard end around run by star flanker Jimmy Isbell with 9:13 remaining in the second quarter. The drive covered 50 yards and took 17 plays. The point after kick sailed wide left but Colbert County led 6-0.

          Late in the first half, Russellville got on the scoreboard after recovering an errant pitchout by Colbert County to take possession on the three-yard line. Roy McCormack was subbing for the injured Colbert County quarterback Dempsey Dickerson on the play and mishandled the pitch that was recovered by Tiger defender Danny Steward.

          Jeff Fuller scored on fourth down from the one with 2:36 left before halftime but the extra point was missed and the game was tied 6-6 at intermission.

          Taking the second half kickoff, Russellville drove 54 yards to the Indians 9-yard line before a failed field goal attempt left the game tied. Colbert County took over and moved the ball before being forced to punt. It was at this time the heroics of Pounders happened with 5:36 remaining in the third stanza.  He caught the punt on his own 30-yard line and weaved through the Indians defense for the go ahead score.

          The Indians came back on the ensuing kickoff and drive the ball to the Tigers' 23-yard line before a sack and incomplete passes stalled the scoring threat. Another Colbert County drive reached the Russellville ten-yard line late in the game but the Tiger's defense again held and returned the football to their offense with just 1:55 remaining in the game. The Tigers ran three plays and punted on fourth down as the clock ran out.

          Russellville celebrated their championship and continued their winning ways in 1968. They repeated with another championship and ran their undefeated streak to a school record 41 games before falling to Muscle Shoals 36-26 in the last game of the 1969 regular season.




Russellville .......................................   0   6   7   0 - 13
Colbert County ..............................   0   6   0    0  - 6
 
Colbert - Jimmy Isbell 5-yard run (kick failed)
Russellville - Jeff Fuller 1-yard run (kick failed)
Russellville - Pounders 70-yard punt return ( kick)


Russellville
1967

9/8 14 Bradshaw . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/15 20 Colbert County . . . . . 20
9/22 26 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
9/29 37 Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/6 39 Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
10/13 50 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 17
10/20 32 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 7
10/27 34 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 14
11/3 27 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 6
11/10 40 Hartselle . . . . . . . . . 7
11/25 20 Cherokee County * . . . 6
12/1 13 Colbert County # . . . 6

352 11-0-1 109

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Colbert County
1967

9/8 21 Lawrence County . . . . 0
9/15 20 Russellville . . . . . . 20
9/22 20 Sardis . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/29 39 Central Florence . . . 7
10/6 41 Lauderdale County . . . 12
10/13 44 Hanceville . . . . . . . . 0
10/20 28 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 6
10/27 33 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 0
11/3 33 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 7
11/10 13 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 6
11/24 20 Pisgah * . . . . . . . . . . 19
12/1 6 Russellville # . . . . . 13

318 10-1-1 90

* Playoff game
# State championship game



  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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