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Amazing Seasons 

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           The 1990 Courtland Chiefs were coming off back-to-back state championships as they entered the season. But with only one home game on a schedule filled with teams from higher classification, the Chiefs had their work cut out for them.

          Head Coach Louis White knew the schedule was difficult but he also knew his team had the experience to win another title. Playing a tough schedule would bode well come playoff time. Courtland carried a nine-game winning streak into the season and returned 15 starters. 

           The only Class 1A opponents on the schedule were area foes Speake and Madison Academy. Speake was going to be the only regular season home game for the Chiefs. With an average daily attendance of 111 students, the Chiefs faced school many times larger than they were.

  Courtland 0   21   7   0   28  
  Hazlewood 6   0   0   0   6  

           Not since the 1985 season have the Chiefs been able to defeat the Hazlewood Golden Bears on the football field. All that frustration ended with a 28-6 win over the defending Class 2A state champions and No. 1 ranked Golden Bears on the road. The Chiefs found themselves in an early hole when the Bears scored on the first play of the game for a 6-0 lead.

          After that initial 49-yard run, the Chiefs defense held Hazlewood to just 58 yards of offense and five first downs the remainder of the game. Courtland rushed for 162 yards and gained another 70 through the air. Juan Bailey got the first score for the Chiefs on a 5-yard run and following the extra point they led 7-6 with 10:57 left in the first half.

           Following a fumble, the Chiefs scored again on a 35-yard pass from Jonathan Orr to Evans for a 14-6 lead just minutes later. They added another score before the half after another Hazlewood fumble and went into the intermission with a 21-6 lead.

  Courtland 7   0   7   0   14  
  Colbert County 0   0   0   0   0  

           Next up were the No. 1 ranked Class 4A Colbert County Indians. Fullback Tecumseh Mayes scored on touchdown runs of nine and five yards to pace the Chiefs to a 14-0 victory over the Indians.

           The defense limited the Indians to just 103 yards of total offense. The offense got going early with a 96-yard, 15-play, drive that ended with the first touchdown by Bailey with 2:13 left in the first.

           The Chiefs led 7-0 at the half and added another score by Bailey in the third to post a 14-0 win. The Chiefs had pulled off the near impossible feat of beating two No. 1 ranked teams from higher classification in back-to-back weeks to open the season.

  Courtland             28  
  Lamar County 0   0   0   0   0  

           The Chiefs defeated Lamar County in week three by a score of 28-0. The Class 3A Bulldogs proved to be little opposition in defeat.

  Courtland 0   13   0   7   20  
  Emma Sansom 0   3   0   0   3  

           Next up were the Class 5A Emma Sansom Rebels. The Chiefs dominated the game, gaining 330 total yards while holding the Rebels to just 118. Courtland scored first on a 90-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead on Nance 11-yard run in the second quarter.

           They added another touchdown in the second quarter and wrapped up the 20-3 win with a late touchdown. Jonathan Orr completed 6-of-11 passes for 180 yards to lead the offense.

           Courtland could not find an opponent to play for week five of the schedule. With only two are games, no one wished to place the Chiefs on their slate of games and face the fact they would likely be defeated.

  Courtland 0   9   7   7   23  
  Oxford 0   0   0   0   0  

           What should have been one of the toughest test of the season proved to be just the opposite. Class 5A Oxford went down 23-0 without much of a fight. The defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 68 yards of offense on the evening and only 33 yards rushing.

           The Chiefs grabbed a 9-0 first half and built it to 23-0 on touchdowns by Mayes, Orr and Cornelius King. Orr also booted a 23-yard field goal in the first half. King got the last score on a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown.

  Courtland 12   8   15   0   35  
  Cherokee County 7   0   0   0   7  

           In week seven on the 1990 season, the Chiefs were on the road again in Centre against the Class 4A Cherokee County Warriors. Riley Evans returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to set up a short 35-yard drive for the first score. Five plays later, Mayes scored from the 8-yard line for a quick 6-0 lead.

           The Warriors came back on a 79-yard run to take a 7-6 lead just minutes later. Bret Mason got the lead back for Courtland on a 63-yard punt return with 4:38 left in the first quarter for a 12-7 Chiefs' lead.

           Jonathan Orr returned an interception 31 yards for the next score and a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. The Chiefs added two more third period touchdowns and the game ended 35-7 in favor of the top ranked Chiefs. The defense held Cherokee County to four first downs and 157 yards of offense while the offense gained 256 yards rushing.

  Speake 0   0   8   0   8  
  Courtland 22   14   7   0   43  

           Following another open date, the Chiefs played their first Area 14 game of the year against the Speake Bobcats. Finally they were playing in front of a home crowd after playing the first six games on the road. They needed a win to clinch a playoff spot.          

           Courtland defeated Speake 43-8 behind a great defensive effort. The Chiefs held Speake to 134 yards while rolling up 375 yards on offense. They rushed for 314. They led 22-0 after one quarter and 36-0 by halftime. Timothy Carter scored on a 54-yard run and Bret Mason ran 69 yard for a touchdown on free kick after the Chiefs scored on a safety.

  Courtland 22   6   6   8   40  
  Madison Academy 0   0   0   0   0  

           Madison Academy proved to be little trouble for the Chiefs as they fell 40-0 on a rain-soaked field in Huntsville. They Chiefs clinched the Area 14 title with the win and the right to host a first round playoff game. Courtland amassed 301 yards of offense while holding the Mustangs to 35 total yards and four first downs.

           The Chiefs jumped out to a 22-0 first quarter lead and stretched it to 28-0 by halftime. Freddie Freeman returned an interception 12 yards for the first touchdown. Mason, Timothy Carter and Nance all scored in the first half.

  Gaylesville 0   0   0   0   0  
  Courtland 21   14   18   6   59  

           The Chiefs played their second home game of the season in the first round of the playoffs against the Gaylesville Trojans. The defense held Gaylesville to minus eleven yards of offense and a single first down in a 59-0 win.

           Courtland scored in the first minute of the game on a 25-yard run by Juan Bailey and led 21-0 after the first period. They added two more scores in the second for a 35-0 halftime lead. Laron White, the current coach at Tanner, picked up a blocked Gaylesville punt and rumbled 26 yards for a touchdown.

           The Chiefs score three more times in the third as Gholston ran 46 yards for one score and Derrick King blocked another punt, returning it 36 yards for another touchdown. Rondrick Horton capped the scoring on a 63-yard run.

  Courtland 14   18   19   14   65  
  Brilliant 0   0   0   0   0  

           Next up for the Chiefs were the Brilliant Tigers. The Chiefs were back on the road as the traveled for a second round playoff game. It mattered little where the game was played as the final score was 65-0 in favor of the visitors. The Tigers netted six yards rushing and a total of 46 yards of offense while Courtland amassed 364 yards rushing and 498 total yards.

           Tecumseh Mayes scored four touchdowns and Mayes added tow more scores as the Chiefs rambled to a 39-0 halftime lead. The backups played most of the second half and tacked on four more touchdowns before the massacre was mercifully over.

  Courtland 6   27   6   0   39  
  Meek 6   0   0   0   6  

           The Courtland Chiefs continued to roll as they defeated Meek 39-6 in the third round of the playoffs. While Meek did manage to gain 196 yards on offense, the Chiefs racked up 373 yards to outman the Tigers. 

           Meek actually scored first on an eight-play, 56-yard drive to take a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Courtland answered with a 66-yard drive of their own capped by a 24-yard pass from Orr to Nance to tie the score at 6-6 with 4:11 left in the first.

           The Chiefs scored again just minutes later following a Meek fumble and an 11-yard run by Bailey for a 14-6 lead. Cornelius King scooped up another Meek fumble and rambled 46 yards for the score and a 26-6 lead. With just 10 seconds left before halftime, Orr found Bret Mason open on a 43-yard scoring pass. The Chiefs led 33-6 at the half. Freddie Freeman ran 96 yards with an interception for the final touchdown in the third.

  Maplesville 0   3   0   8   11  
  Courtland 12  14   0   0   26  

           Courtland advanced to their third consecutive state championship game with a 26-11 victory over the Maplesville Red Devils at home. The Chiefs jumped out to a 26-0 second quarter lead and coasted the rest of the game.

           Maplesville got a field goal and a touchdown in the second half as the Chiefs' offense struggle to find the end zone. The defense played well enough to win the game and send the Chiefs to the title game.

  Courtland 0   18   0   0   18  
  Autaugaville 0   0   0   0   0  

             In the championship game, Johnathan Orr completed 6-of-9 passes for 135 yards and Courtland's defense limited Autaugaville to 196 yards as the Chiefs won their third straight state crown. Juan Bailey collected 13 tackles on defense and led the offense with 69 yards rushing.

           Courtland scored all of its points in the second quarter and the defense took over from there for the win as Autaugaville only crossed midfield twice in the game. Autaugaville became the thirteenth victim of the season in an 18-0 win for the Chiefs.

           Courtland finished the 1990 season with a perfect 13-0 record. Even that is deceiving as the Chiefs defeated six opponents from high classifications and swamped every Class 1A opponent they crossed during the season.

           The title game was 10th road game for the Chiefs as they only played three on their home field.

          Louis White was named coach of the year by the ASWA. First team all-state players included receiver Brett Mason, quarterback Jonathan Orr, running back Juan Bailey, defensive back Marcus Gholston, linebacker Cornelius King linemen Kevin Jackson and Lee Cowan. 

          Surely the 1990 Courtland Chiefs were one of the greatest teams ever in the history of high school football in Alabama.


9/7 28 Hazlewood . . . . . . . . . 6
9/14 14 Colbert County . . . . . 0
9/21 28 Lamar County . . . . . . 0
9/28 20 Emma Sansom . . . . . . . 3
10/5  OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10/12 23 Oxford . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/19 35 Cherokee County . . . . 7
10/26 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11/2 43 Speake . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
11/9 40 Madison Academy . . . . 0
11/16 59 Gaylesville * . . . . . 0
11/23 65 Brilliant * . . . . . . . 0
11/30 39 Meek * . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
12/7 26 Maplesville * . . . . . 11
12/14 18 Autaugaville # . . . . . 0

438 13-0 41

* Playoff game
# State championship game

1990 Courtland Chiefs
QB Jonathan Orr 5-11 165 Sr.
QB Courtney Langham 5-8 150 Fr.
QB Eddie Carter 5-10 160 Fr.
B Juan Bailey 6-0 185 Sr.
B Marcus Gholston 5-10 165 Sr.
B Thomas Young 5-11 180 So.
B Tecumseh Mayes 5-10 175 Sr.
B Freddie Freeman 5-11 170 Sr.
B Timothy Carter 5-9 170 Jr.
B Donnie Nance 5-10 170 Jr.
WR Riley Evans 6-0 180 Jr.
WR Britt Mason 6-0 180 Jr.
WR Troy Jones 5-10 165 So.
Lineman Myrone Nance 6-1 180 Sr.
Lineman Edward Carter 6-2 190 Sr.
Lineman Laron White 6-2 256 Sr.
Lineman Kevin Jackson 6-3 277 Sr.
Lineman Tony Clopton 6-0 180 Sr.
Lineman Lee Cowan 6-3 350 Sr.
Lineman Reginald Young 5-10 210 Sr.
Lineman Cornelius King 6-0 200 Sr.
Lineman Corey Davis 5-10 190

Amazing Seasons, a series on the greatest seasons in high school football history

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Robby James has won nine AISA State Championships during his career at Catherine Academy, Morgan Academy and Marengo Academy.