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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





The Greatest Games


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           On Nov. 27, 1998 the Vigor Wolves (10-3) traveled to Tuscaloosa to play the Tuscaloosa County Wildcats (9-4) in the semi-finals of the state playoffs. At stake was a chance to play in the Class 6A Super Six state championship game the following week in Birmingham.

           Vigor recovered a Wildcat fumble on the opening kickoff and scored on a fourth and twenty pass play from Jarvis Sanders to Larry Howell for a 7-0 lead. Tuscaloosa County responded with a long drive that ended when they turned the ball over on downs ay the Vigor 27.

           The Wolves drove 73 yards in 13 plays to take a 14-0 lead on another Sanders to Howell pass. This one covered 20 yards and came with 1:01 left in the first.

           The Wildcats came back in the second quarter. They scored on a Bobby Moore to Michael Hope pass that went for 22 yards and a touchdown. With just a few minutes left in the half, the Wildcats mounted another drive and scored on a 34-yard field goal by Moore to cut the Vigor lead to 14-10 at the half.

           The defenses took over during the third quarter as neither team was able to score. Tuscaloosa County had a chance but a bad snap on a field goal attempt thwarted the drive.

           The Wolves appeared to have put the game away with seven minutes remaining in the game when Cleitus Walker scored on a 7-yard run to give Vigor a 21-10 lead. The Wolves did not attempt a pass on the 89-yard drive. The Wolves may have thought the game was over but the Wildcats had other thoughts about the outcome of the game.

           Patrick Prince returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Vigor 33-yard line before being tackled. Prince later scored on a fourth and goal play from the 1-yard line to cut the lead to 21-16. Quarterback Bobby Moore ran for the two point conversion to bring the Wildcats within a field goal at 21-18 with just 3:46 left in the game.

           Following the ensuing kickoff, Vigor tailback Rydarian Dees fumbled on third down at the 22-yard line and the Wildcats recovered to give them new life with 1:44 left. Prince scored the go ahead touchdown on a 6-yard run to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game 24-21 with one minute remaining.

           Vigor quarterback Jarvis Sanders needed only 32 seconds to drive the Wolves 65 yards with four straight completions. The winning strike came on a 28-yard pass to Larry Howell in the corner of the end zone with just 21 seconds remaining. It was Howell's third scoring catch of the evening.

           Sanders finished with 257 yards passing completing 17-of-31 passes and three touchdowns. Prince led the Wildcats' attack with 148 yards on 38 carries. Howell caught caught 7 passes for 137 yards and the three touchdowns.

           Vigor lost the next week to an undefeated Vestavia Hills team to deny them a third state championship. 



Vigor ......................................... 14   0   0 14 -28
Tuscaloosa County ..................   0 10   0 14 -24
 
Vigor - Jarvis Sanders 20-yard pass to Larry Howell (kick)
Vigor - Jarvis Sanders 20-yard pass to Larry Howell (kick)
Tuscaloosa County - Bobby Moore 22-yard pass to Michael Hope (kick)
Tuscaloosa County - Bobby Moore 34-yard field goal
 Vigor - Cleitus Walker 7-yard run (kick) 7:00
Tuscaloosa County - Patrick Prince 1-yard run (Moore run) 3:48
Tuscaloosa County - Patrick Prince 7-yard run () 1:00
Vigor - Jarvis Sanders 28-yard pass to Larry Howell (kick) 0:21


Vigor
1998

8/28 0 Opelika . . . . . . . . . . . 17
9/4 41 LeFlore . . . . . . . . . . . 12
9/11 14 Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
9/18 60 Mary Montgomery . . . . 0
9/25 27 Theodore . . . . . . . . . . 7
10/2 56 Satsuma . . . . . . . . . . . 14
10/9 28 Williamson . . . . . . . . 0
10/16 33 McGill . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/23 31 Baldwin County . . . . . 14
10/30 13 Blount . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
11/6 20 Baldwin County * . . . 13
11/13 21 Central Tuscaloosa * . 7
11/20 21 Alma Bryant * . . . . . 14
11/27 28 Tuscaloosa County * . . 24
12/4 7 Vestavia Hills # . . . 10

400 11-4 172

* Playoff game
# State championship game
Tuscaloosa County
1998

8/28 20 Holt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
9/4 30 Gordo . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
9/11 21 Hillcrest Tuscaloosa . 10
9/18 16 Etowah . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
9/25 31 Hoover . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
10/2 48 Hueytown . . . . . . . . . . 8
10/9 14 Homewood . . . . . . . . . . 27
10/16 13 Vestavia Hills . . . . . 41
10/23 20 Shades Valley . . . . . 24
10/30 7 Central Tuscaloosa . . 19
11/6 42 Enterprise * . . . . . . 36
11/13 21 Daphne * . . . . . . . . . . 14
11/20 24 Opelika * . . . . . . . . . 17
11/27 24 Vigor * . . . . . . . . . . . 28

331 9-5 271

* 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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