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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

Amazing Seasons 

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          The 1990 Deshler Tigers had the components needed to win a state championship. They combined great coaching with a winning tradition and 19 returning starters to win the Class 4A state title. The Tigers finished with a perfect 15-0 record and set team records for wins and points scored in a season. The championship was also the first in the school's long history.

          Nine players returned to an offensive unit that reached the third round of the playoffs with a 9-4 record in 1989. They scored 600 points during the 1990 season which was a state record for team scoring in a season. The defense returned eight starters to a team that allowed only eleven points per game in 1989. Last year the Tigers won twice in overtime and on three occasions came from behind late to win.

          Head football coach Tandy Gerelds returned for his seventh season at Deshler. Each of his previous teams reached the playoffs and all but the first won in the first round.

  Deshler 21   0   14   7   42  
  Bradshaw 7   7   0   0   14  

          The Tigers opened the season with a 42-14 win over Bradshaw. Deshler rushed for 303 yards and built a 21-7 first quarter lead. Thomas Counts got the scoring going with a 26-yard interception return for the first touchdown of the season.

  Muscle Shoals 0   7   0   7   14  
  Deshler 0   12   14   8   34  

          Deshler used big plays to defeat Muscle Shoals 34-14 at home in week two. After a scoreless first quarter, Muscle Shoals drove 80 yards to take a 7-0 lead in the game. The drive was a wakeup call for the Tigers as they came right back with a 70-yard drive in three-plays. Anthony Morris raced 67 yards for the score. Deshler added another score and led at the half 12-7.

          Pat Smith ran 80 yards for a third quarter score following a blocked field goal attempt. In the fourth quarter, Shug Russell picked up a Muscle Shoals fumble and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown that gave the Tigers a 34-7 lead. Morris and Smith both ended the game with over 100 yards rushing.

  Wenonah 0   6   0   6   12  
  Deshler 7   19   7   14   40  

          Wenonah proved to be no test for the Tigers as they rolled the Dragons 40-12 behind a rushing attack that gained 289 yards. Corey Donley returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half to give Deshler a 26-6 lead at intermission. The Tigers tacked on two second half scores to secure the win.

  Deshler 7   13   14   12   46  
  East Lawrence 0   0   0   6   6  

          The Tigers opened area play against East Lawrence and promptly beat the Eagles 46-6 as the offense rolled up 489 yards rushing and added another 70 through the air. Deshler led 20-0 at the half as Anthony Morris scored on two runs of 49 and 24 yards. Ellis Freeman score twice in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

  Deshler 19   14   7   0   40  
  Lawrence County 0   0   0   0   0  

          Lawrence County fell 40-0 the next week as the Tigers improved to 2-0 in the Area 15 race. The win also assured the Tigers of a playoff spot. The defense limited the Red Devils to just 138 yards of total offense for their first shutout of the season. Tyrell Goodloe returned two blocked punts for touchdowns and Dorrell Hankins returned a fumble 60 yards for another score.

  Russellville 7   7   0   0   14  
  Deshler 0   14   7   7   28  

          Russellville rolled into Tuscumbia with thoughts of an upset and played the Tigers tough for a half. The two teams were tied 14-14 at the intermission but the Deshler defense shutdown Russellville in the second half by holding them to just 34 yards of total offense.

          The sixth-ranked Tigers used scoring touchdowns by Scott Thompson and Anthony Morris to defeat the Golden Tigers 28-14 for their sixth win of the season.

  Lexington 0   0   0   0   0  
  Deshler 14   21   13   0   48  

          The Tigers piled up 363 yards rushing behind the running of Anthony Morris who ran for 198 yards on only seven carries. He scored of runs of 92, 52 and 21 yards to set the tone for the game as Deshler dominated Lexington 48-0. Deshler led 35-0 at the half and scored on their first two drives of the second half to seal the victory.

  Deshler 0   14   7   7   28  
  Coffee 7   0   0   0   7  

          The Tiger's defense shut down Coffee in the second half of a 28-7 win in week eight. The third-ranked Tigers fell behind 7-0 after Coffee scored on their first drive of the evening. Deshler came right back to score on their initial drive to tie the game and grabbed the lead early in the second quarter on a 55-yard fumble return by Thomas Counts.

  Colbert County 7   0   0   14   21  
  Deshler 14   21   21   0   56  

          Colbert County sported a 7-1 record as the entered Howard Chappell Stadium in early November. The winner of the matchup between Deshler and the Indians would determine the Area 15 champion for 1990. For a while it appeared the game would be as advertised.

          The Tigers scored on five of the six first half possessions to take a 35-7 lead and all but put the game away. They returned after the second half kickoff to score on their first three possessions of the second half to completely blow the Indians away 56-21. The 56 points were the most allowed by Colbert County in over forty years. The offense rolled up 428 yards of total offense during the game. The Indians last two scores came late in the game against the second team Tiger defense.

  Deshler 6   15   14   14   49  
  Sheffield 0   0   0   0   0  

          Deshler put the finishing touches on a perfect season with a 49-0 win over Sheffield on the road. The 10-0 record was the first in school history. Although several Deshler teams in the past had finished undefeated, none had completed a regular season 10-0. A steady rain fell during the game but it did not seem to phase the Tigers as they dominated Sheffield.

          The offense racked up 424 yards while the defense limited Sheffield to just 37 yards of total offense. The Tigers scored on the second play of the game for the only points they needed in the game. A 43-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Hankins as time expired in the first half gave Deshler a 21-0 halftime lead. Morris ran for 173 yards on 13 carries to lead the rushing attack.

  Brooks 0   0   0   0   0  
  Deshler 7   13   20   7   48  

          The Tigers had little problem with Brooks in the first round of the playoffs as they collected their fourth shutout of the season with a 48-0 victory. Deshler score on six straight possessions and took a 20-0 halftime lead in a game that was never in doubt. Dorrell Hankins returned an interception 65 yards for a score early in the second half to pace the defense.

          The Tigers fumbled on their first drive but scored the next six times they touched the football. Deshler did not punt in the game and were not penalized as the fourth-ranked Tigers moved to the second round of the playoffs.

  Deshler 0   21   8   7   36  
  Curry 0   13   0   0   13  

          The Tigers traveled to Curry to face the Yellow Jackets on their road to a state championship. Deshler jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead but surrendered 13 points to Curry before taking a 21-13 halftime lead. Anthony Morris rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

          Corey Donley returned a punt 57-yards for another score and Richie Michael blocked a punt for a safety. In the end, Deshler won 36-13 to advance to the third round.

  North Jackson 7   0   6   0   13  
  Deshler 0   7   7   21   35  

          Deshler face the No. 1 ranked Class 4A team when North Jackson came to Tuscumbia for a quarter-final matchup. The Tigers rolled to a 35-13 win and a chance to play in the semi-finals against Munford the next week. The defense came through for the Tigers as they recovered three second half fumbles by North Jackson and the offense turned each of those miscues into touchdowns.

          The teams were tied 7-7 at the half before North Jackson took a 13-7 lead early in the third quarter. The go ahead score came following a Chiefs' fumble recovered at the one-yard line by Thomas Counts. Patrick Smith scored one play later for a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers tacked on three more scores for the win.

  Deshler 6   7   15   14   42  
  Munford 13   6   0   0   19  

          The Deshler Tigers took their last step toward a state title with a 42-19 win over Munford on a muddy Holcombe Field in Munford. With the victory, Deshler advanced to the state championship game for the first time in school history.

          Munford made a game of it for a while. After falling behind 13-0, the Lions roared back to take a 19-13 lead into the intermission. The Tigers didn't panic as they scored on the the first play of the third quarter to recapture a lead they would not relinquish. Morris raced 63 yards for a touchdown to put Deshler up 20-19. They scored three more times in the second half to break open a close game.

  T.R. Miller 7   7   7   0   6   27  
  Deshler 0   0   7   14   7   28  

          After going 14-0, the Tigers still had one more mountain to climb. They had the defeat the T.R. Miller Tigers in the Class 4A state championship game at Home.

         In the first half it was all T.R. Miller as the defense held Deshler to one first down and 33 total yards. Meanwhile, the Tigers racked up 11 first downs and 182 yards to take a commanding 14-0 halftime lead. The second half proved to be very different as Deshler would comeback to score 28 points and win the game on a missed conversion try in overtime.

          Trailing 21-7, the Tigers scored on an 83-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Donley on the first play of the fourth quarter to pull within 21-13. The defense forced a punt and Deshler drove to the Miller three-yard line before coming up short on a fourth down play with just three minutes remaining on the game.

          The defense held again and Donley returned a short Miller punt to the 22-yard line to set up one last attempt at the win. A pass interference call moved the football to the three-yard line but three straight incomplete passes set up a fourth and goal with just seconds remaining. Thompson found tight end Doug Garrett open for the touchdown to pull within two points at 21-19. Patrick Smith ran for the conversion to tie the game and send it into overtime with just three seconds remaining.

          Garrett scored on the second play of overtime and Kyle McKinney kicked the extra point to give Deshler their first lead of the game. T.R. Miller scored on the first play of their possession but the point after was just wide and the championship belonged to Deshler.

          The fans at Howard Chappell Stadium celebrated the team's first ever state championship.

          Named to the first team all-state squad were receiver Corey Donnelly, quarterback Scott Thompson and linebacker Thomas Counts. Running back Anthony Morris was named to the honorable mention team.

          It was an amazing season for the Deshler Tigers in 1990 as they dominated most opponents on their way to a perfect 15-0 season.


9/7 42 Bradshaw . . . . . . . . . . 14
9/14 34 Muscle Shoals . . . . . 14
9/21 40 Wenonah . . . . . . . . . . . 12
9/28 46 East Lawrence . . . . . 6
10/5 40 Lawrence County . . . . 0
10/12 28 Russellville . . . . . . 14
10/18 48 Lexington TN . . . . . . 0
10/25 28 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
11/2 56 Colbert County . . . . . 21
11/9 49 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 0
11/16 48 Brooks * . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/23 36 Curry * . . . . . . . . . . . 13
11/30 35 North Jackson * . . . . 13
12/7 42 Munford * . . . . . . . . . 19
12/14 28 T.R. Miller # . . . . . 27

600 15-0 160

* Playoff game
# State championship game

1990 Deshler Tigers
QB Scott Thompson 6-5 200 Sr.
QB Thomas Counts 6-1 190 Sr.
QB Kyle McKinney 6-0 160 So.
QB James Smith 5-10 155 So.
E Terrell Goodloe 5-9 140 Jr.
E Ronnie Hawkins 5-8 130 So.
E Bo Johnson 5-10 155 Jr.
E Corey Donley 6-2 175 Sr.
E Theo Johnson 5-9 165 Jr.
TE Jeff McCormack 6-1 175 Jr.
TE Joey Elliott 6-0 165 So.
TE Morris Abernathy 6-1 170 So.
TE Doug Garrett 5-9 165 Jr.
B Rusty Pate 5-8 135 Jr.
B Chad Gann 5-10 165 Jr.
B Ellis Freeman 5-8 160 Sr.
B Kip Perkins 5-9 175 Sr.
B Anthony Morris 6-1 175 Sr.
B Patrick Smith 5-10 170 Sr.
B Dorrell Hankins 5-10 170 Sr.
B Bruce Ingram 5-11 155 So.
B Terrell Goodloe 5-9 145 Fr.
L Shug Russell 5-11 180 Jr.
L Matt Allen 5-11 185 Jr.
L Eric Mullins 6-0 195 Sr.
L Eric Hannon 5-9 175 Jr.
L Bryan Stone 5-9 165 Jr.
L Ike Long 6-0 195 Sr.
L Cedric Whiteside 5-9 165 So.
L Ritchie Michael 5-7 160 So.
L Bill Parker 5-10 200 So.
L Thomas Newsome 5-9 195 Fr.
L Derrick Cooper 6-2 250 Jr.
L Mike Kyle 5-9 180 Jr.
L Kenny Soder 6-1 175 So.
L Joe Shirley 6-2 265 Jr.
L Tim Gautney 5-10 195 Sr.
L Daniel Pate 5-11 185 Sr.
L Omar Smith 5-7 170 So.

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

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Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

The first night game played between high school teams in the state occurred on September 23, 1927 when Pike Road and Cloverdale met in the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.