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           It is called "the Battle of Old Shell Road" and it is an annual football game between two private schools in Mobile. When UMS-Wright and St. Paul's get together the game is for bragging rights in west Mobile.

           2003 was no exception. the St. Paul's Saints entered the game with a 7-2 record against the UMS-Wright Bulldogs who came in with a perfect 9-0 slate. The Bulldogs were the defending state champions and riding a 23-game winning streak.

           On Oct. 31, 2003, the Saints stunned the Bulldogs with a 28-24 upset and claimed bragging rights for the next 12 months. Senior fullback Christian Fletcher raced into the end zone from four yards out with just 16 seconds remaining in the game for the winning touchdown.

           St. Paul's jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Neal Collins scored on a 5-yard run. UMS-Wright answered with a 15-play drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by Andrew Friedman. UMS-Wright scored on a 1-yard dive by Dan Cadden and an 11-yard Taylor Atchison to Josh Stapleton pass for a 17-7 lead with 2:59 remaining in the first half.

           The Saints were not done and scored on a Lott Lewis 68-yard run just moments later to close the first half trailing only 17-14. St. Paul's put together a 65-yard drive following the second half kickoff and scored on Andre Williams' 19-yard run for a 21-17 lead.

          The Bulldogs answered with a 68-yard ten play drive culminating in a Brent Daugherty 2-yard run with just 2:01 left in the third for a 24-21 lead. All of a sudden the Saints became turnover prone as they gave the football to UMS-Wright on the next three possessions. Fortunately for the Saints, the Bulldogs were unable to cash in on any of the mistakes.

           UMS-Wright had an opportunity to put the game away near midfield with 2:20 left. The Bulldogs faced a fourth and one needing only a first down to run out the clock. The Saints would have none of it and stopped Daugherty for a one-yard loss on the play. The Saints took over on their own 39-yard line with just 1:26 remaining and in need of a field goal to send the game to overtime.

           Six plays moved the football to the UMS-Wright four-yard line with 19 seconds left. Wilson completed three passes and and ran twice more to account for all the yardage in the drive. Following a time-out, Christian Fletcher scored the winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 16 seconds remaining in the football game to give the Saints a 28-24 lead.

           Stuart Parnell picked off a final desperation pass by the Bulldogs and the celebration could begin for the Saints and their fans. St. Paul's had ended the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs' 23-game winning streak with a dramatic come from behind win in the Battle of Old Shell Road. UMS-Wright had not lost on their home field at Ervin S. Cooper Stadium since the opening game of the 2000 season.



St. Paul's .......................................   7  7   7   7 -28
UMS-Wright .................................   3 14   7   0 -24
 
St. Paul's  - Neal Collins 5-yard run (kick)
UMS-Wright - Andrew Friedman 25-yard field goal
UMS-Wright - Dan Caden 1-yard run (kick)
UMS-Wright - Taylor Atchison 11-yard pass to Josh Stapleton (kick)
St. Paul's  - Lott Lewis 68-yard run (kick)
St. Paul's  - Milan Williams 19-yard run (kick)
UMS-Wright - Brent Daugherty 2-yard run (kick) 2:01
St. Paul's  - Christian Fletcher 4-yard run (kick) 0:16


St. Paul's
2003

8/29 28 Alma Bryant . . . . . . . 6
9/5 34 Fairhope . . . . . . . . . . 21
9/12 42 Citronelle . . . . . . . . 14
9/19 14 B.C. Rain . . . . . . . . . 24
9/26 37 Mary Montgomery . . . . 20
10/3 34 Shaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
10/10 17 Robertsdale . . . . . . . 6
10/17 16 Williamson . . . . . . . . 42
10/24 30 Blount . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/31 28 UMS-Wright . . . . . . . . 24
11/7 27 Homewood * . . . . . . . . 49

307 8-3 220

* Playoff game
UMS-Wright
2003

8/28 41 McGill-Toolen . . . . . 28
9/5 49 Monroe County . . . . . 13
9/12 41 Choctaw County . . . . . 24
9/19 42 Andalusia . . . . . . . . . 20
9/26 10 Robertsdale . . . . . . . 0
10/3 31 Hillcrest Evergreen . . 0
10/10 52 Thomasville . . . . . . . 26
10/17 50 Gulf Shores . . . . . . . 7
10/24 45 Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . 14
10/31 24 St. Pauls . . . . . . . . . 28
11/7 33 Greensboro * . . . . . . 2
11/14 35 Southside Selma * . . . 6
11/21 7 Demopolis * . . . . . . . 19

460 11-2 187

* 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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