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   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

Amazing Seasons 

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          The Gordo Green Wave returned 18 lettermen in 1968 to a team that finished the past season with an 8-2 record. Coach Harold Avinger was entering his third season as the head football coach at Gordo with expectations of competing for a playoff spot.

  Tuscaloosa County 0   0   0   6   6  
  Gordo 13   6   6   7   32  

          Gordo opened the season with a convincing 32-6 win over Tuscaloosa County. It was only the fourth win for the Green Wave in 25 games against the Wildcats. It was also the first time Gordo defeated Tuscaloosa County in back to back seasons. The defense limited the Wildcats to just 12 yards rushing and took a 19-0 lead by halftime.

          Senior Mike Driver completed 7-of-9 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns from his tailback position in the single wing offense. Tuscaloosa County did not get on the scoreboard until the outcome was assured by scoring with just four seconds left in the game.

  Gordo 9   7   6   0   22  
  West Blocton 0   0   0   0   0  

          Gordo faced West Blocton in week two on the road and came home with a 22-0 shutout of the Tigers. The Greenies led 16-0 at the half and coasted to victory behind a fine defensive effort. They held the Indians to just 2 first downs and 26 yards of total offense while forcing three interceptions.

  Gordo 13   7   7   0   27  
  Aliceville 7   0   0   0   7  

          The Green Wave captured win number three with a 27-7 thumping of Aliceville on the road. Once again the defense did their job, holding Aliceville to 37 yards rushing while the offense rolled up just under 300 yards in the contest. The defense also picked off four Aliceville passes, two by Driver. After being tied at 7-7 in the first quarter, Gordo came back to take a 20-7 halftime lead and the defense took it from there.

  Holt 6   0   0   6   12  
  Gordo 0   0   20   7   27  

          In week four, Gordo ripped Holt 27-12 for win number four. The Green Wave actually trailed 6-0 at the half before the offense got untracked in the second half. They scored 27 unanswered point to take a 27-6 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game. Holt managed just 15 yards rushing on the evening. In four games the Green Wave defense allowed a total of 84 yards rushing.

  Gordo 7   14   7   9   37  
  Bibb County 0   7   0   7   14  

          Gordo traveled to Centreville and spoiled the Choctaw's homecoming events with a 37-14 win the next week. Bibb County fell behind 20-0 before halftime and could never recover. After a Bibb County touchdown in the second quarter, Don Shepherd raced 43 yards untouched for a touchdown on an intercepted pass to put Gordo up 28-7 in the third.

          Dwain Harris caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Driver and Rex Abrams added a 40-yard field goal for the final points of the night. The defense intercepted five Choctaw passes and held the opponents to just 41 yards rushing.

  Fayette County 0   7   0   0   7  
  Gordo 7   14   0   0   21  

          The Green Wave beat Class 3A Fayette County 21-7. The Tigers entered the game undefeated but could not keep up with the Green Wave. The victory also propelled Gordo to the top of the Class 2A rankings with a 6-0 mark. Once again, the defense limited their opponents to 47 yards on the ground and just over 100 total yards.

          Gordo scored on three consecutive possessions in the first half to take a 21-0 lead before Fayette County got their lone touchdown just before halftime. Driver completed 9-of-14 passes for 185 yards in the game to lead the offense.

  Brookwood 0   0   0   7   7  
  Gordo 14   6   7   7   34  

          Next up were the Brookwood Panthers. Gordo celebrated homecoming with a 34-7 victory marred by penalties, an ejection and tackles made from the bench. The Green Wave took a 20-0 halftime lead before driving 73 yards with the second half kickoff for a 27-0 lead. The defense did its part by holding Brookwood to 66 yards rushing and 128 total yards.

  Gordo 0   14   0   6   20  
  Demopolis 0   0   0   0   0  

          Gordo defeated Demopolis 20-0 in an important Warrior Athletic Conference game in week eight to keep their perfect record and No. 1 ranking intact. Mike Fair rushed for 115 yards on 21 carries to lead the offense. The defense collected their second shutout of the season.

  Pickens County 0   0   0   6   6  
  Gordo 20   7   0   6   33  

          Driver ran for a touchdown and tossed a scoring pass as Gordo jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead and held on for a 33-6 win over Pickens County. The defense did a great job of shutting down the team from Reform by holding them to just 56 yards rushing and 133 total yards while the offense racked up 406 yards. Harris rushed for 94 yards and Driver added 77 more on the ground.

  Gordo 14   10   7   6   37  
  Carrollton 0   0   0   0   0  

          After a week off, Gordo rolled to a 37-0 shutout of the Carrollton Indians in the final regular season game of 1968 to close the season with a perfect 10-0 record. Fair led all rushers with 122 yards on 18 carries as the offense amassed 375 yards rushing on the night. The ten wins were the most in school history and the first 10-0 season for the team. It also propelled them into the playoffs as the favorite to win a championship.

  Smiths Station 0   0   0   0   0  
  Gordo 21   21   7   0   49  

          The Green Wave faced undefeated Smiths Station in the first round at home. The visiting team went home disappointed with a 49-0 beat down. Gordo jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead in the first quarter and made it 42-0 by halftime in the rout. Driver completed 12-of-16 passes for 163 yards while Fair carried the football six times for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Gordo won convincingly and moved on tot eh championship game the following week.

  St. Jude 0   6   0   0   6  
  Gordo 20   0   7   0   27  

          St. Jude entered the title matchup having allowed only 19 points during the regular season. Gordo topped that by putting up twenty-seven in a 27-6 win over the Pirates.

Gordo started quick and then became conservative to preserve the Class 2A state championship. Gordo scored on their fourth play from scrimmage on a nine yard run and two minutes later, after an interception, the Green Wave scored again on a 40-yard run by Rex Abrams.

          On a strange play four minutes later Gordo's Dwain Harris scooped up a towering four yard punt as other players stood around watching and dash 46 yards to the St. Jude four-yard line. Mike Fair got the touchdown a few plays later.

          The final score for Gordo came in the third period on a 29-yard run. St. Jude got on the score board on a 30-yard fumble and return late in the first half. The defense held the Pirates to minus three yards rushing on the night. In the end, Gordo walked away with the first playoff state championship in the school's history.

          Tailback Mike Driver completed 81-of-113 passes on the season for 1,213 yards to lead the offense. Other starters included ends Wayne Sanders and Ricky Sullivan, tackles Don Shepherd and Mike O'Steen, guards Rex Abrams and Rodney Roberts center Johnny Hartley, fullback Dwain Harris and halfback Bill Shepherd. The defense also included Jack Trimm, Larry Boyd, Ronnie Junkin and Randy Watkins among it's starters.

          Guard Rex Abrams was named to the Birmingham News first team all-state squad. Players selected to the honorable mention team were tackle Don Shepherd, end Jerrell Holley, back Mike Driver and guard Mike O'Steen.

         The 1968 Gordo Green Wave finished with a school best 12-0 record and the Class 2A title in a season in which they only trailed once, at Aliceville, briefly before winning that game 27-7.

          The team also set a new standard for points scored in a season with 366. The defense allowed just 72 points in 12 games. It was truly an amazing season for the Green Wave as they captured their first state championship in their initial trip to the playoffs.


9/6 32 Tuscaloosa County . . . 6
9/13 22 West Blocton . . . . . . 0
9/20 27 Aliceville . . . . . . . . 7
9/27 27 Holt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
10/4 37 Bibb County . . . . . . . 14
10/11 21 Fayette County . . . . . 7
10/18 34 Brookwood . . . . . . . . . 7
10/25 20 Demopolis . . . . . . . . . 0
11/1 33 Pickens County . . . . . 6
11/15 37 Carrollton . . . . . . . . 0
11/22 49 Smiths Station * . . . 0
11/29 27 St. Jude # . . . . . . . . 6

366 12-0 72

* Playoff game
# State championship game

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

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