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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





Amazing Seasons 


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          The Sidney Lanier Poets had been voted state champions in 1957, 1961 and again in 1964. But, the 1966 team did something the others had not done.

          They won a title on the football field by defeating Lee in the first ever playoff state championship game in '66. Now it was time to see if the Poets could pull off a repeat.

          They were also riding an eighteen game unbeaten streak into the season opener. They had tied Lee to end the 1965 season and had not lost since a 21-6 setback in Tallahassee, Florida, against Leon High School in October of 1965.

Head Coach Bobby Wilson


  Parrish 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier             48  

          The Poets started the defense of their title in week one against Parrish High from Selma. Lanier scored the second time they touched the football and routed the Rams 48-0. Senior fullback Jimmy Lowder and halfback Rusty Chumley led the charges as the Poets rushed for 259 yards in the game. The defense held the Rams to just six-yards rushing.


  Tuscaloosa 0   0   0   20   20  
  Lanier 7   14   7    7   35  

          The Tuscaloosa Black Bears paid a visit to Montgomery and left the Cramton Bowl with a 35-20 loss. Quarterback Buddy Mesaris threw for 148 yards and led the Poets to a 28-0 lead at the end of the third quarter before Tuscaloosa attempted a comeback. The defense was stellar once again and held the Bears to seven yards rushing in the first half.


  Ramsay             35  
  Lanier             62  

          Following a week off, the Poets got right back to business as the used an explosive offense to rout the Ramsay Rams 62-35. Lowder scored a touchdown less than a minute into the game and the runaway victory was on.


  Melbourne 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier             63  

          Melbourne High School arrived in Montgomery the next week as the two-time defending Florida state champions and left with a 63-0 loss. Buddy Mesaris got the scoring going on a 43-yard run in the first quarter and the offense never slowed down from that point. The defense held Melbourne to just 28 yards rushing and set up the offense in good field position with turnovers all night.


  Lanier 7   14   21   0   42  
  Vigor 0   0   0   0   0  

          The Vigor Wolves became victim number five as they fell to the Poets 42-0 at Prichard Stadium. Mesaris tossed two touchdown passes, one to Scott Gellerstedt and another to Sonny Cone. Lowder scored on runs of one and three yards. Rusty Chumley got in on the scoring with a great 29-yard run. 


  Murphy 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier             28  

          The Poets shutout the Murphy Panthers 28-0 the next week to retain their No. 1 ranking and run their record to 6-0. The homecoming win over the Panthers was the third consecutive shutout for Lanier.


  Davidson 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier             42  

         Lanier defeated the Davidson Warriors 42-0 without the services of their star running back Jimmy Lowder. He was nursing a separated shoulder and was held out of the game. As it turned out, he was not needed as Rusty Chumley rushed for 92 yards on 14 carries to lead the offense. Mesaris tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Gellerstedt to get the scoring going. Chumley ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another as the Poets built a 21-0 halftime lead.


  Lanier 14   0   0   7   21  
  Dothan 0   0   0   0   0  

          Lanier defeated Dothan 21-0 on the road to improved to 8-0 on the season. They jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and added another touchdown in the fourth quarter for the final margin. Jimmy Lowder, back from his shoulder injury, scored on a one-yard run early in the game. Gellerstedt raced 47 yards on a reverse for the second score and Olen Rogers scored from the one on the first play of the fourth quarter.


  Lee 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier 0   0   7   0   7  

          The Poets closed out the regular season with their sixth consecutive shutout and a hard fought 7-0 victory over arch-rival Robert E. Lee. The Generals held Lanier to just 26 yards rushing in the first half in a defensive struggle. The Generals drove inside the Lanier ten-yard line on three occasions in the first half but came away empty each time.

          Jimmy Lowder scored from the one-yard line on fourth and goal to give the Poets all the points they needed in the third quarter. The drive covered 90 yards and was helped along by the passing of Mesaris and the running of Lowder and Chumley. Randy Moore booted his 37th consecutive extra point and the Poets led 7-0.


  Guntersville 0   0   0   7   7  
  Lanier 7   14   14   14   49  

          Lanier finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record and a streak of 21 consecutive wins. In the first round of the playoffs the Poets faced the Guntersville Wildcats at home in defense of their title.

          The Wildcats left Montgomery on the short end of a 49-7 score as Lanier completely dominated the game from the beginning. Lowder capped a early drive with a 33-yard run for a 7-0 lead. Mesaris threw a touchdown pass to Gellerstedt and junior backup quarterback Jeff Blitz ran for another touchdown and a 21-0 halftime lead.

          The Wildcats ended the string of shutouts with just eight minutes left in the game on a short run to cut the lead to 35-7. But by then the outcome was certain. Seven different players scored touchdowns for the Poets and they rolled up over 500 yards of total offense in the game.


  Butler 0   0   0   0   0  
  Lanier 0   0   14   6   20  

          Sidney Lanier won the Class 4A state title for the second consecutive season by beating Butler 20-0 in Montgomery. Before a crowd estimated to be 9,000 the Poets dominated on defense. Butler's only scoring threat came in the second quarter when they moved the football to the Poet's two-yard line but could not score in four plays.

          Lanier quarterback, Buddy Mesaris threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Scott Gellerstedt for Lanier's first score early in the third period. Mesaris also connect with Sonny Cone for a 5-yard touchdown pass later in the same quarter. Rusty Chumley scored the final points on a 8-yard run in the final stanza to close out the scoring. Randy Moore, who had made 46 extra points in a row missed the final one.

          Jimmy Lowder was named to the Birmingham News first team all-state squad. End Stan Trott made the second team.




1967 Sidney Lanier Poets



Sidney Lanier
1967

9/8 48 Parrish Selma . . . . . 0
9/15 35 Tuscaloosa . . . . . . . . 20
9/22 OPEN . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9/28 62 Ramsay . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
10/6 63 Melbourne FL . . . . . . 0
10/13 42 Vigor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/20 28 Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/27 42 Davidson . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/3 21 Dothan . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
11/10 7 Lee Montgomery . . . . . 0
11/17 47 Guntersville * . . . . . 7
11/24 20 Butler # . . . . . . . . . . 0

415 11-0 62

* Playoff game
# State championship game



1967 Sidney Lanier Poets
10 SE Slade Rhodes     60 G Robert Braughton  
11 QB Withers Davis       G Dan Lowery  
15 QB Jeff Blitz     63 G Greg Carr  
18 QB Buddy Mesaris       C Jeff Suydam  
20 HB Johnny Batts       G John Robertson  
21 HB Hans Hardin       C Ronnie Poole  
23 LB Tres Rogers     64 G Al Campbell  
25 HB Danny Hall     65 G Wiley Richardson  
26 E Norman Barton     66 G Tommy Lowder  
28 HB Rusty Chumley     67 G Steve Dennis  
29 FB Jimmy Lowder     68 G Dan Pate  
30 FB Rae Jabour     69 G Tom Hurst  
31 FB Jerry Leachman       DG Jim Claunch  
33 FB Louie Lincoln       T Dave Campbell  
34 LB Robert Peak     72 T George Jeffcoat  
35 HB Bill Morrison     73 T Bill Schaum  
37 HB Bill Cook       G Al Butler  
40 WB Scott Gellerstedt     75 LB Mike Zeigler  
42 HB Jim Barkley     76 G Robert Crumpton  
  E Kenneth Doane     77 T Charles Saliba  
43 E Alec Spoon     79 T Drew Warren  
45 E Travis Mask     80 E Jack Harrell  
46 E Bruce Witzenburger     81 E Randy Moore  
48 T Frank Stephens       T Jim Seay  
50 C Glenn Bowron   83 E Willie Peak  
  C Pat Raines   84 E Sonny Cone  
53 LB David Huffman     85 E Jim Perkins  
55 C Dow Walker   86 E Raymond Glasscock  
56 C Dan Dubina   87 E Phillip Young  
57 T Dennis Williams       E Mike McKeever  
58 T Bart Wilson     89 E Rodney Waltman  
59 T George Vinson     90 E Don Esco  
  C Mercer Jones     91 E Greg Kuh  
        94 E Larry Norred  




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


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