News

We now have 819 teams &  
175,329 games on AHSFHS.org.


Search Site

AHSFHS Article Series


   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





The Greatest Games


     Share on Facebook         
      





          Before overtime games became the norm for settling tie football games in Alabama they were decided by a bizarre set of rules called the "penetration rule". Never heard of it? Most younger fans would not believe it if you told them about it.

          Most high school fans have witnessed an overtime game where the rules are quite simple. Each team starts with possession of the football on the ten-yard line and has four plays to score. After their turn, the opposing team attempts the same thing. The two teams rotate possessions until one of the teams has the lead and is declared the winner. Simple enough.

          In 1972 the rules were a little different for determining a winner of a tie playoff football game. Following a five-minute break, a coin-toss decided which team would gain possession of the football on the 50-yard line. The teams would rotate plays and after eight plays if one of the teams had penetrated into the opposing team's territory they were declared the winner.

           On Nov. 17, 1972 the penetration rule came into play by deciding which team advanced in the state playoffs and which team ended their season. Davidson and Banks fought for 48-minutes to a 20-20 tie without determining which team would advance to the semi-final game the following week.  

           Davidson won the coin flip and began at midfield and on the first play quarterback Rusty Rawlins threw an interception. The ball was again placed on the 50 yard line and Banks gained one-yard on a run by Rodney Johnson. Davidson ran a play but Rawlins' pass was incomplete. Future Alabama star quarterback, Jeff Rutledge tossed an 11-yard pass to Bobby Morrow placing the football at the Davidson 38-yard line.

          The Warriors tried a reverse and lost 14 yards on the play. Five plays down, three to go. Rutledge gained five-yards to the Davidson 19 and Rawlins pass attempt on the Davidson's last play was incomplete. Rutledge took a knee on the last play. Game over. Banks wins.

          The Davidson Warriors were considered heavy underdogs to the Jets but the way they stared out no one would have known it. Randy Yancey got the Warriors on the scoreboard first when he raced 28 yards with a Banks fumble with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter. Shortly afterward, Rawlins scored on a one-yard touchdown run the put Davidson up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

           Banks Score on a Johnny Gunnels three-yard run with just 1:38 left before halftime. The second half began much like the first for Davidson. Danny Beck fumbled the second half kickoff and Tim Gwin pounced on the football for the Warriors at the Banks 28-yard line.

          It took the Warriors six plays to reach the end zone. Letoris Gulley scored on an 8-yard run but the all important extra point was blocked. Davidson still led 20-7 with 9:41 left in the third. Banks came storming back and scored on an eight-yard run by Rodney Johnson following a 61-yard drive but the point after was blocked.

          On their next possession the Jets drove 46 yards and Rodney Johnson scored his second touchdown on a 16-yard run. The extra point tied the game at 20-20 with 2:45 remaining in the third. Coach Shorty White called timeout to discuss the possibility of going for two but the decision was made to kick the extra point.

          Neither team could mount a scoring drive in the last quarter leading to the strange and odd ending. Jeff Rutledge had a rough evening, completing just 4 of 14 passes for 29 yards and two interception. Johnson led all runners with 83 yards on 18 carries to pace the Jets' ground attack.

          Banks defeated Huffman for the Class 4A state championship two weeks later. In 1973 the Jets pulled off a repeat by winning their second title in as many years. The school was converted into a middle school following the 1989 school year.

          One final note of interest. Did you know that David Cutcliffe, the Duke Blue Devil head football coach played football at Banks? He graduated in 1972 and was the head football coach at Banks high school in 1980-81.



Davidson ....................................... 14  - 20
Banks ............................................ 13  - 20
 
Davidson - Yancey 28-yard fumble return (Wright kick)
Davidson - Rawlins 1-yard run (Wright kick)
Banks - Gunnels 3-yard run (Shaw kick)
Davidson - Gulley 8-yard run (kick failed)
Banks - Johnson 8-yard run (kick blocked)
Banks - Johnson 16-yard run (Shaw kick)


Banks
1972

9/1 42 Ramsay . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/8 6 Berry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
9/15 22 West End . . . . . . . . . 14
9/22 21 Mountain Brook . . . . . 7
9/29 41 Ensley . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
10/6 17 Gadsden . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/13 27 Woodlawn . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/20 19 Jones Valley . . . . . . 0
11/3 23 Huffman . . . . . . . . . . . 6
11/10 14 Berry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
11/17 20 Davidson * . . . . . . . . 20
11/24 21 Tuscaloosa County * . . 0
12/2 34 Huffman # . . . . . . . . . 8

307 12-0-1 96

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Davidson
1972

8/31 30 Shaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/7 19 Blount . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/15 27 Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
9/21 29 Williamson . . . . . . . . 14
9/29 14 McGill . . . . . . . . . . . 12
10/7 14 Toulminville . . . . . . 0
10/14 28 Hattiesburg MS . . . . . 7
10/20 30 UMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
10/27 7 Vigor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
11/3 29 Talladega . . . . . . . . . 6
11/17 20 Banks * . . . . . . . . . . . 20

247 9-2 87

* Playoff game



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

David Parker
  AHSFHS.org
  dparker@ahsfhs.org



comments powered by Disqus



Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden was a star quarterback at Woodlawn high school in Birmingham.