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The Greatest Games


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          On Sep. 30, 1994, the Fort Payne Wildcats hosted the Oxford Yellow Jackets in a midseason game that will be remembered by both side for years to come. Coach Bill Burgess brought his team to Fort Payne as the defending Class 5A state champions. The Yellow Jackets had gotten off to a slow start in 1994 with a 2-2 record but were considered the favorite over the 1-3 Wildcats.

          Oxford built a 13-0 lead through the first three quarters of the game. Michael Calhoun returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown with 8:10 remaining in the game to give the Yellow Jackets a seemingly invincible 20-0 lead.

          Fort Payne cut the margin to 20-7 when Matt Baker blocked a punt which bounced backwards into the end zone and was recovered by Larry Rothel for a touchdown. The Wildcats decided to try an onside kick which was recovered by the Wildcats' Scotty Vaughn at the 47-yard line.

          The Wildcats scored quickly on an 11-yard run by Randall Beagles and following the extra point by Hank Cobble, the lead was down to 20-14. The defense held Oxford on three plays and forced a punt. Baker once again broke through the Oxford line to block his second punt of the evening.

          Rothell recovered the blocked kick but this time at the Oxford 21-yard line. Quarterback Tyler Griggs directed the Wildcat offense to the five-yard line where Brian Moon scored on the next play. Cobble booted the point after and the Wildcats had the lead 21-20 with little time remaining on the game clock.

          The Fort Payne Wildcats had scored 21 points in the last eight minutes of the game to defeat the defending state champions.


 

Oxford .......................................   7   6   0   7 -20
Fort Payne  ..............................   0   0   0 21 -21
 
Oxford -
Oxford -
Oxford - Michael Calhoun 72-yard punt return
Fort Payne - Larry Rothel recovered blocked punt in end zone
Fort Payne - Randall Beagles 11-yard run
Fort Payne - Brian Moon 5-yard run


Fort Payne
1994

9/2 3 Etowah . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
9/9 26 Hartselle . . . . . . . . . 41
9/15 20 Gadsden . . . . . . . . . . . 3
9/23 6 Armuchee GA . . . . . . . 7
9/30 21 Oxford . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
10/7 28 Dade County GA . . . . . 0
10/14 18 Albertville . . . . . . . 29
10/21 14 North Jackson . . . . . 21
10/28 20 Scottsboro . . . . . . . . 14
11/4 41 Cherokee County . . . . 7

197 5-5 159

* Playoff game
Oxford
1994

9/2 7 Talladega . . . . . . . . . 6
9/9 20 Anniston . . . . . . . . . . 34
9/16 9 Pell City . . . . . . . . . 10
9/23 28 Minor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
9/30 20 Fort Payne . . . . . . . . 21
10/7 28 Homewood . . . . . . . . . . 21
10/14 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/21 17 Saks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
10/28 35 Southside Gadsden . . . 0
11/4 27 Walter Wellborn . . . . 21
11/11 3 Wenonah * . . . . . . . . . 8

194 6-4 154

* 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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