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          In 1971, the Marion County Red Raiders accomplished so many things that had never happened in the history of the school. It was the first undefeated regular season, the first playoff spot and the first playoff victory since the school began playing football some fifty-five years earlier. Most teams would have been satisfied with these record but the Red Raiders still had some unfinished business ahead.

          Marion County won their first and second round playoff games to reach the Class 1A state championship game against Addison. The Red Raiders faced a strong Addison team that entered the game riding a 25-game winning streak and were the Class 2A defending champions.

          At a time when most teams rarely kicked three field goals in a season, 15 year-old sophomore David Adkins booted three in the championship game to lead Marion County past Addison 17-14.

          Addison took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards for a touchdown with quarterback Sandy Lee scoring on a short run to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first. Craig Bell kicked the extra point and Addison led 7-0.

          The Red Raiders came back to cut the lead to 7-3 on a 23-yard field goal by Adkins in the first quarter. Keith Cox came up with a touchdown saving interception near the goal line to halt an Addison drive late in the second quarter. Just before halftime, Marion quarterback David Peoples hit Phil Seagraves with a 29-yard pass and after a 15-yard penalty the ball was at the Addison 24-yard line. Adkins booted his second field goal from 41-yards with five seconds remaining in the first half to cut into the Addison lead.

           Marion County opened the third quarter with an 80-yard drive culminating in a touchdown run by quarterback David Peoples. A 33-yard pass to David Reed and a 19-yard run by Larry Couch set up the score. Peoples then hit Tony Baird on the two point conversion and Marion County led 14-7.

          Addison was hampered when all-state running back Terry Stallings went out with a leg injury in the third quarter. Even without their star runner, the Bulldogs came back and scored on a nine-yard run by Leonard Stallings to tie the score at 14-14 with 10:37 to play. 

          Marion answered with a drive to the Addison 35-yard line before an interception at the two by the Bulldogs halted the drive. Addison could not gain a first down and following a short punt, Marion took possession on the Addison 24. Failing to move the football, the Red Raiders faced fourth down at the twenty yard line.

          Adkins was called upon once again to try a field goal from the 37-yard line with just five minutes remaining in the game. His kick was true and the defense held Addison for the win on a night when a steady misty rain fell on the game.

          Adkins said in a postgame interview that he had learned to kick by kicking over the power lines near his home in Guin. He made six of his eight field goal attempts during the 1971 season to prove his unique practice habits were effective.

          Marion County won the next two state championships to join a select group of team that won three titles in a row. They would not reach the championship game again until winning it all in 2012.




Marion County .....................................   3  3  8  3 - 17
Addison ................................................   7  0   0  7 - 14
 
Addison - Lee 1-yard run (Bell kick)
Marion County- Adkins 23-yard field goal
Marion County- Adkins 41-yard field goal
Marion County- Peoples run (Peoples to Baird)
Addison - L. Stallings 9-yard run (Bell kick)
Marion County - Adkins 37-yard field goal


Marion County
1971

9/4 Sulligent . . . . . . . . .
9/10 14 Carbon Hill . . . . . . . 8
9/17 49 Brilliant . . . . . . . . . 6
9/24 21 Winfield . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/1 26 Berry Fayette . . . . . 6
10/8 27 Phillips Bear Creek . . 10
10/15 14 Warrior . . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/22 35 Millport . . . . . . . . . . 7
10/29 47 Hackleburg . . . . . . . . 0
11/5 45 Lamar County . . . . . . 15
11/19 70 Billingsley * . . . . . 13
11/26 39 Ohatchee * . . . . . . . . 6
12/3 17 Addison # . . . . . . . . . 14

404 13-0 97

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Addison
1971

9/4 35 Meek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
9/11 27 Fairview . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/18 28 Lynn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
9/24 44 Falkville . . . . . . . . . 0
10/1 10 West Morgan . . . . . . . 7
10/8 30 Holly Pond . . . . . . . . 6
10/15 17 Parrish . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/22 31 Curry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/29 38 Oakman . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
11/5 57 Winston County . . . . . 6
11/19 42 Hatton * . . . . . . . . . . 8
11/26 13 Carrollton * . . . . . . 0
12/3 14 Marion County # . . . . 17

386 12-1 74

* 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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