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





The Greatest Games


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          When Tim Gifford was tackled at the Cherokee County 16-yard line with 3:15 remaining in the game, the Miller offense took the field knowing what they had to do. Actually it was something they had not done all season long, drive the length of the field and score a touchdown in the final minutes of a game.

          It took the Tigers only 2:16 and 11 plays to cover the 84 yards. They scored with just 49 seconds remaining on a fourth down pass from Ken Ladnier to James Weaver for 21 yards. T.R. Miller converted two fourth-down plays in the final two minutes to capture a come from behind 20-18 victory over Cherokee County for a state championship.

          The biggest play of the final game-winning drive came on a third and 12 play from their own 14. Ken Ladnier threw a short pass to James Weaver who lateraled the ball to Joseph Williams who sprinted down the sidelines for a 42-yard gain into Indians' territory. Four plays later the Tigers faced a fourth and four from the Cherokee 38-yard line.

          Ladnier hit Weaver for a 11-yard gain to the Indians 21-yard line. Three incomplete passes brought up another fourth down. Coach Sasser used the Tigers last timeout to decide the strategy.

          What happened next will be remembered forever by the T.R. Miller fans. Lanier dropped back in the pocket and found Weaver open to his right. He threw the ball, Weaver caught it at about the five-yard line and after breaking a tackle raced into the end zone to give the Tigers their first lead of the game with just 49 seconds remaining in the game.

          The Cherokee County Warriors controlled the first half and led 12-0 at intermission. Cash Covington scored first on a 3-yard run to put the Warriors up 6-0 in the first. Slone Maddox caught a second quarter touchdown pass from Neal Wester to put Cherokee County up 12-0 at intermission.

          Miller took the second half kickoff and used a 12-play, 77 yard drive to close the gap to 12-7. The Warriors answered following a Miller fumble to score in three plays from 51 yards out to take a 18-7 lead after three periods.

          The Tigers fought back with a 79-yard, three play drive to pull within 18-13 on Joseph Williams 20-yard run early in the final stanza. Following a Cherokee County punt, Miller took over on their 15-yard line and set out on a game winning drive with 3:05 left in the game.

          The Warriors gave Miller a scare in the last few seconds of the game by driving to the Tigers 27-yard line with 20 seconds left. A 47-yard field goal attempt by Cherokee County as time expired fell short and Miller could begin the celebration.

          The Tigers began the season with a 2-3 record following a close loss to Jackson and two blowout losses to Monroe County and Escambia County. They finished 12-3 with a ten-game winning streak.

          They rolled up 367 yards of total offense against the Cherokee County defense and likely would have gained more except for losing three fumbles in the game. The Tigers defense limited the Warriors to just 81 yard of offense and two first downs in the second half.



T.R. Miller .................................................   0   0   7 13 -20
Cherokee County ....................................   6   6   0   6 -18
 
Cherokee: Cash Covington 3 yard run (pass failed)
Cherokee: Slone Maddox 54 yard pass from Neal Wester (pass failed)
Miller: Ken Ladnier 2 yard run (Herbert PAT)
Cherokee: Neal Wester 46 yard run (run failed)
Miller: Joseph Williams 20 yard run (run failed)
Miller: James Weaver 21 yard pass from Ken Ladnier (Herbert PAT)


T.R. Miller
1984

8/31 20 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 26
9/7 43 Thomasville . . . . . . . 27
9/14 2 Monroe County . . . . . 20
9/21 15 UMS-Wright . . . . . . . . 3
9/28 14 Escambia County . . . . 35
10/5 31 McIntosh . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/12 25 Opp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
10/19 35 Evergreen . . . . . . . . . 6
10/26 29 Alba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
11/2 27 W.S. Neal . . . . . . . . . 0
11/9 33 Keith * . . . . . . . . . . . 22
11/16 23 UMS-Wright * . . . . . . 17
11/23 31 Pike County * . . . . . 6
11/30 17 Tallassee * . . . . . . . 7
12/7 20 Cherokee County # . . . 18

365 12-3 207

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Cherokee County
1984

8/31 18 Piedmont . . . . . . . . . . 13
9/7 34 Etowah . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/14 15 Scottsboro . . . . . . . . 6
9/21 13 Walter Wellborn . . . . 21
9/28 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/5 34 Saks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/12 14 Athens . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
10/19 22 Glencoe . . . . . . . . . . . 26
10/26 48 Litchfield . . . . . . . . 19
11/2 36 Boaz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/9 28 Alexandria * . . . . . . 22
11/16 18 Munford * . . . . . . . . . 13
11/23 33 Shelby County * . . . . 27
11/30 15 Wilson * . . . . . . . . . . 6
12/7 18 T.R. Miller # . . . . . 20

346 10-4 188

* 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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