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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





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           The Fairhope Pirates entered the 1986 game with Foley riding a 5-2 record while Foley was undefeated in eight games. The two teams had been playing each other every season since Fairhope first fielded a team in 1931. It is one of the longest continuous rivalries in the state. The two teams play for a trophy called the 'Blue & Gold' rightfully named since both team colors are the same.

           As Foley would learn this evening on their home field, the game is 48 minutes long and every play is important in a close game. The Pirates capitalized on a Foley fumble late in the game to pull off the upset with a 9-8 victory over the No. 4 ranked team in the state. Both teams had already qualified for a playoff spot and this game was played for the chance of hosting a first round game.

            Foley got a safety in the first quarter when the football was snapped over the punter's head and the Lions fell on the football in the end zone. The Pirates got on the scoreboard with an 18-yard field goal by Craig Kelly in the second quarter to give Fairhope a 3-2 lead. The Lions came back, scoring on a 32-yard run by Derrick Nicholson. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Lions led 8-3 at the half.

          The Pirate's defense rose up in the second half to stop Foley twice inside the 15-yard line. Foley still seemed to be in control of their own destiny after a fake punt retained possession of the ball with just minutes to play.

           On a fourth down play from the Fairhope 40-yard line, Coach Lester Smith rolled the dice and called for a fake punt. The ball was snapped to upback Thomas Bullard who gained the six-yards needed for a first down.

          The Lions reached the Fairhope 30-yard line with less than a minute to play. Foley had drained over five minutes from the game clock during the time consuming drive that kept the Fairhope offense on the bench without a possibility of scoring.

          The wishbone offense was perfect under these conditions as the Foley quarterback was among the best in the state at running it. Herbert Casey kept the football on most plays instead of risking a pitch.

          On the next play, Casey decided to pitch the ball to halfback Ty Morgan who promptly fumbled. The football bounced perfectly to a waiting Steve Crawford who returned it 58 yards to the Foley 14. Casey ran down Crawford from behind to save the touchdown. It was the only turnover for either team during the game but it proved to be monumental in determining the outcome.

           Darrell Williams scored five plays later from the one as the Foley fans watched in disbelief and the Fairhope side erupted in excitement.  The winning score came on third down with just 18 seconds remaining in the game. Fairhope retained possession of the Blue & Gold trophy for another year.

           Ironically, Foley lost 16-13 in 1985 when Fairhope blocked a Lions' punt setting up the winning touchdown with just seconds remaining in the game.




Fairhope .......................................   0   3   0   6 -9
Foley ............................................   2   6   0   0 -8
 
Foley - Safety, snap over punter's head
Fairhope - Craig Kelly 18-yard field goal
Foley - Derrick Nicholson 32 yard run
Fairhope - Williams 1 yard run


Fairhope
1986

8/29 14 Greenville . . . . . . . . 7
9/5 7 Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/12 6 McGill . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
9/19 14 Theodore . . . . . . . . . . 7
9/26 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/3 20 Satsuma . . . . . . . . . . . 16
10/10 6 Baldwin County . . . . . 21
10/17 20 Davidson . . . . . . . . . . 12
10/24 9 Foley . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
10/31 7 Prattville . . . . . . . . 25
11/7 24 Shaw * . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
11/14 14 B.C. Rain * . . . . . . . 6
11/21 17 Vigor * . . . . . . . . . . . 28

158 8-4 153

* Playoff game
Foley
1986

8/29 14 Escambia County . . . . 0
9/5 14 Satsuma . . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/12 16 Choctawhatchee FL . . . 14
9/19 21 Robertsdale . . . . . . . 0
9/26 28 Baldwin County . . . . . 21
10/3 27 Theodore . . . . . . . . . . 18
10/10 28 Biloxi MS . . . . . . . . . 21
10/17 28 Blount . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
10/24 8 Fairhope . . . . . . . . . . 9
10/31 7 McGill . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
11/8 9 B.C. Rain * . . . . . . . 21

200 8-3 137

* 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



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