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The Greatest Games


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          Before a crowd of 13,000 spectators, the Mountain Brook Spartans held off Dothan for the 1975 Class 4A state championship by a score of 29-23 at Legion Field in Birmingham. Coach Robert Higginbotham's team won the fourth consecutive title for a Birmingham team and completed the first undefeated season in the ten-year history of the school with a 13-0 record. Just two years prior the Spartans won a single game in his first year as the head football coach.

          Dothan quarterback Steadman Shealy, almost single-handedly carried his team to a win but in the end came up a little short. He rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries and completed 11 of 19 passes for 138 yards.

          Junior running back sensation, Major Ogilvie gained 171 yards rushing on 22 carries to lead the Spartans offensive attack. Quarterback Richard Burg completed only five passes in seven attempts but threw for 128 yards in the win.

          The Spartans got off to a bad start by fumbling on the first play of the game. The defense held and Dothan settled for a 42-yard field goal. After the ensuing kickoff Mountain Brook put together an 80-yard, six play drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by Ogilvie. The big play during the drive was a 48-yard pass from Burg to Sam Price.

          Burg scored on a 1-yard run after Keith Bouchillon recovered a Dothan fumble at the Tigers' 21-yard line to give the Spartans a 14-3 lead with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter. Midway through the second, Dothan got on the scoreboard again when David Reeves returned an errant pitchout intended for Ogilvie 25 yards for a touchdown.

          Mountain Brook answered with a 67-yard drive culminating in a 7-yard scoring run by Billy Morris to give the Spartans a 21-7 lead. Dothan tacked on two points just before halftime when Scott Caldwell intercepted a Shealy pass but stepped back into the end zone and was tackled for a safety. The team went into the intermission with Mountain Brook leading 21-9.

          Dothan turned to Shealy in the second half and behind his running and passing the Tigers scored on their first possession on a 14-yard pass to Johnny Gause. An failed two point conversion left the Tigers trailing 21-17. Early in the fourth quarter, Shealy scrambled for a first down from his own end zone on a fake punt to keep a drive alive.

          The Tigers then drove 95 yards for the go ahead touchdown on a 39-yard pass to Buddy Collins with 10:17 left in the game. The extra point was blocked and Dothan led 23-21. Mountain Brook came right back and mounted an 80-yard, nine play drive ending in a Burg one-yard quarterback sneak for the winning score with 5:20 remaining in the game. Burg and Ogilvie accounted for all but four of the 80 yards during the drive. His pass to Price on the two point conversion gave the Spartans a 29-23 lead.

          Dothan put together a drive that reached the Mountain Brook 45-yard line but failed to convert a fourth down play and the Spartans took over with just eighteen seconds remaining. One snap and the celebration could begin.

          The Spartans rolled up 241 yards rushing and a total of 369 yards compared to 295 total yards for the Tigers.

          Ironically, Shealy and Ogilvie signed with the University of Alabama and were instrumental in back to back national championships in 1978-79 with the Crimson Tide. Mountain Brook returned to the championship game the following season and defeated Murphy for their second consecutive title. In that game, Ogilvie rushed for 339 yard to lead Mountain Brook.

          In the 38 seasons since the 1975 championship game, Dothan has won exactly two playoff games and has not returned to the title game.




Dothan ..............................   3   2   6 12 - 23
Mountain Brook .............. 14   7   8   0 - 29
 
Dothan: Scott Brazell 42 yard field goal
Mountain Brook: Major Ogilvie 8 yard run (Rem Miller PAT)
Mountain Brook: Richard Berg 1 yard run (Rem Miller PAT) 5:48
Dothan: David Reeves 25 yard fumble return (pass failed)
Mountain Brook: Billy Morris 7 yard run (Rem Miller PAT)
Dothan: Scott Cardwell tackled for safety after an interception
Dothan: Johnny Gause 14 yard pass from Steadman Shealy (pass failed)
Dothan: Buddy Collins 39 yard pass from Steadman Shealy (PAT blocked) 10:17
Mountain Brook: Richard Berg 1 yard run (Berg to Price pass) 5:20


Mountain Brook
1975

8/29 28 Vestavia Hills . . . . . 8
9/5 35 John Carroll . . . . . . 0
9/12 22 Hewitt-Trussville . . . 20
9/19 31 Erwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
9/26 23 Berry Birmingham . . . 12
10/3 28 Banks . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/10 13 Shades Valley . . . . . 0
10/17 27 Hueytown . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/24 24 Tuscaloosa County . . . 3
11/7 19 Homewood . . . . . . . . . . 10
11/14 Bye * . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11/21 21 Tuscaloosa County * . . 16
11/28 50 Coffee * . . . . . . . . . . 20
12/6 29 Dothan # . . . . . . . . . . 23

350 13-0 125

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Dothan
1975

9/5 13 Carver Montgomery . . . 12
9/12 3 Jeff Davis . . . . . . . . 7
9/19 8 Americus GA . . . . . . . 14
9/26 7 Douglasville GA . . . . 0
10/3 28 Central Phenix City . . 20
10/10 24 Selma . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/17 43 Prattville . . . . . . . . 7
10/24 18 Sidney Lanier . . . . . 0
10/31 34 Carroll . . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/7 16 Enterprise . . . . . . . . 0
11/14 Bye * . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11/21 13 Murphy * . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/28 7 Hueytown * . . . . . . . . 6
12/6 23 Mountain Brook # . . . 29

237 10-3 95

* 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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