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Amazing Seasons 

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          The Russellville Golden Tigers were glad to see the 1967 season arrive. After all they had been crowned state champions last year by the Birmingham News and this season they wanted the opportunity to prove it on the football field.

            It was the first year of the AHSAA football playoff system for the lower three classifications. The top four teams in each class would qualify for a playoff spot at the end of the regular season. With just four slots available, there was little margin for error. One loss and a team was likely out of contention.

           Russellville returned 16 lettermen from last years successful team so the prospects to claim one of the playoffs slots looked promising.

  Bradshaw 0   0   0   0     0
  Russellville 0   7   7   7     14

            In the rain, Russellville opened the 1967 season with a 14-0 win over Bradshaw. Quarterback Lanny Norris found Joey Watson on a 17-yard scoring pass with 8:04 remaining in the second quarter to give the Golden Tigers a 7-0 lead.

           Robert Mullins scored the other touchdown on a 4-yard run with 9:41 left in the third for a 14-0 lead. The Russellville defense held Bradshaw to minus-43 yards rushing in the game and a total of 24 yards.

  Colbert County 7   7   0   6     20
  Russellville 7   13   0   0     20

           Russellville and Colbert County fought to a 20-20 tie in week two of the season. The two titans of high school football scored almost at will in the first half before the game turned into a defensive struggle in the second half. Russellville got a 1-yard touchdown run from Terry Pounders to knot the game at 7-7 in the first period.

           After Colbert County came back to take a 14-7 lead, Russellville punted to the Indians. The football was fumbled by the returner and picked up by Ricky Saint who returned it to about the 25-yard line before he too fumbled. Lanny Norris scooped up the loose ball and dashed to the end zone to tie the score at 14-14.

           Colbert County came back again to take the lead 20-14 as the teams went to the half. It stayed that way until Bobby Burcham found Joey Watson on a 15-yard scoring pass to tie the game at 20-20. The Indians blocked the game winning extra point and the two teams settled for the tie.

  Coffee 0   13   0   0     13
  Russellville 13   6   0   7     26

          Russellville defeated Coffee 26-13 for their first win over the Yellow Jackets in ten years. Terry Pounders scored two touchdowns on a 58-yard run and a 51-yard pass play from Lanny Norris. The Golden Tigers led 13-0 after the first period and 19-13 at the half before pulling away for the huge victory at home.

          The offense rolled up 356 yards including 225 on the ground. Jeff Fuller also score twice on runs of 1 and 5 yards in the game.

  Russellville 13   12   6   6     37
  Walker 0   0   0   0     0

          The Golden Tigers had little trouble with Walker County in week four as they rolled to a 37-0 shutout of the Vikings. Jeff Fuller led the way by scoring three touchdowns on short runs of 5, 4 and 9 yards. Russellville led 25-0 at the half and Coach Bill Doty let the reserves play much of the second half.

          The offense racked up 451 yard of total offense as Terry Pounders gained 122 yards on just eleven carries. Fuller added 82 yards on seven attempts.

  Russellville 7   13   6   13     39
  Austin 0   6   0   7     13

          The Russellville Golden Tigers defeated Austin 39-13 to run their season record to 4-0-1 at the midpoint of the regular season. For the second time this season, the defense held an opponent to negative yards rushing as Austin gained minus-39 yards on the ground and a total of 103.

          Norris got things going when he dashed 67 yards for a touchdown on a punt return for a 7-0 first quarter lead. Jeff Fuller added 15 and 36 yard touchdown runs as Russellville built a 20-6 halftime lead. The Golden Tigers cruised in the second half with three more scores by Pounders, Bullington and Burcham.

  Russellville 0   7   27   16     50
  Deshler 7   3   7   0     17

          In week six, Russellville score 43 second half points on their way to a 50-17 dismantling of Deshler. After trailing 7-0 in the first quarter and 10-7 at the half, the Golden Tigers came to life in the second half of the game. Russellville scored 27 points in a wild third period and tacked on 16 in the final stanza.

          Terry Pounders score on a 12-yard run, a 4-yard run, a 50-yard punt return and an 11-yard pass from Lanny Norris. Bob Rogers scored the final points of the evening on a 80-yard interception return for a touchdown as time ran out.

          The defense held Deshler to minus-32 yards on the ground and a total of 100 yard in the game and only five first downs.

  Russellville 13   6   0   13     32
  Haleyville 0   0   7   0     7

           Russellville ran over Haleyville 32-7 behind the running of Terry Pounders. He rushed for 166 yards on 17 carries, caught a 72-yard touchdown pass and scored three times.  Pounders scored on runs of 65 and 15 yards. Jeff Fuller added 92 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.

            The Golden Tigers rushed for 323 yards in the game and gained another 76 through the air.

  Russellville 7   20   7   0     34
  Cherokee 0   0   7   7     14

            The Golden Tigers jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and held on for a 34-14 win over previously undefeated Cherokee. No. 4 ranked Russellville held Cherokee to minus 20 yards rushing in the game making it the fourth time this year they have accomplished that feat.

            Jeff Fuller and Terry Pounders each scored two touchdowns in the game and Lanny Norris got the other score on a 2-yard run. Russellville actually led 34-0 midway through the third quarter before Cherokee got on the scoreboard with two touchdowns long after the final outcome had been decided.

  Russellville 6   7   7   7     27
  Sheffield 0   0   0   6     6

           The No. 2 ranked Russellville Golden Tigers moved to 8-0-1 on the season and 6-0-1 in the Tennessee Valley Conference as the rolled past Sheffield 27-6. Terry Pounders scored two touchdowns on runs of 69 and 36 yards and Lanny Norris scored on a 1-yard run and returned an interception 33 yards for another score.

           Pounders finished the night with 153 yards on 16 carries to lead the offensive attack.

  Hartselle 7   0   0   0     7
  Russellville 13   7   14   6     40

          Russellville moved to the top of the Class 3A high school rankings in week ten. Come Friday night, the Golden Tigers played like the No. 1 team as they defeated Hartselle 40-7 to finish the regular season with a 9-0-1 record.

           Jeff Fuller scored on runs of 53 and 31 yards as Russellville opened up a 20-7 halftime lead. Mike Masingill raced 48 yards for a touchdown on an interception near the end of the first half. Bobby Burcham threw second half scoring passes of 22 yards to Bullington and 54 yards to Ronald Jones.

  Cherokee County 0   0   0   6     6
  Russellville 7   0   6   7     20

          The 1967 season marked the first time the smaller schools in Alabama had an opportunity to decide a state championship on the football field. The top four teams in each classification got the chance to prove which teams were the best in the lower three classes.

           The Golden Tigers took advantage of the new system to defeat Cherokee County in the first round of the playoffs 20-6 to advance to the championship game next weekend. Russellville had not played a game in 15 days but it mattered little as they jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Jeff Fuller.

          Terry Pounders added a 76-yard scoring run in the third period and a 2-yard run to wrap up the scoring in the final quarter. Russellville rolled up 385 yard rushing as the Warriors had no answer for the ground game of the Golden Tigers. Pounders rushed for 232 yards on 21 carries and had runs of 76 and 52 yards in the game.

  Russellville 0   6   7   0     13
  Colbert County 0   6   0   0     6

         It was fitting that these two teams met in the first year of the state playoffs for teams in classifications 1A-3A. Russellville had won a mythical championship the previous season with a perfect 10-0 record. Their undefeated streak had reached twenty games by the time Russellville and Colbert County met in the title game.

          Ironically, the only blemish on the Golden Tigers otherwise perfect record was a 20-20 tie with the Colbert County Indians earlier in the season. Fans expected another high scoring affair from the two teams that are only thirty miles apart in the championship game but somewhere along the way it just did not happen. It was actually the third meeting during the year between the two teams as they also met in the spring jamboree.

          Speedy Terry Pounders, a 140-pound senior halfback, proved to be the hero of the game when he streaked 70 yards in the third quarter on a punt return to break a 6-6 tie. The return was the winning score and propelled the Tigers to the first 3A state championship decided by a playoff.

          Close to 7,000 spectators packed Braly Stadium in Florence for the matchup of two teams that had played each other every year since the 1953 season. Russellville had dominated the series, winning every game except a 14-6 loss during the 1962 season. Colbert County had not beaten the Golden Tigers since 1926.

          The Indians scored first on a five-yard end around run by star flanker Jimmy Isbell with 9:13 remaining in the second quarter. The drive covered 50 yards and took 17 plays. The point after kick sailed wide left but Colbert County led 6-0.

          Late in the first half, Russellville got on the scoreboard after recovering an errant pitchout by Colbert County to take possession on the three-yard line. Roy McCormack was subbing for the injured Colbert County quarterback Dempsey Dickerson on the play and mishandled the pitch that was recovered by Tiger defender Danny Steward.

          Jeff Fuller scored on fourth down from the one with 2:36 left before halftime but the extra point was missed and the game was tied 6-6 at intermission.

          Taking the second half kickoff, Russellville drove 54 yards to the Indians 9-yard line before a failed field goal attempt left the game tied. Colbert County took over and moved the ball before being forced to punt. It was at this time the heroics of Pounders happened with 5:36 remaining in the third stanza.  He caught the punt on his own 30-yard line and weaved through the Indians defense for the go ahead score.

          The Indians came back on the ensuing kickoff and drive the ball to the Tigers' 23-yard line before a sack and incomplete passes stalled the scoring threat. Another Colbert County drive reached the Russellville ten-yard line late in the game but the Tiger's defense again held and returned the football to their offense with just 1:55 remaining in the game. The Tigers ran three plays and punted on fourth down as the clock ran out.

          Russellville celebrated their championship and continued their winning ways in 1968. They repeated with another championship and ran their undefeated streak to a school record 41 games before falling to Muscle Shoals 36-26 in the last game of the 1969 regular season.


9/8 14 Bradshaw . . . . . . . . . . 0
9/15 20 Colbert County . . . . . 20
9/22 26 Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
9/29 37 Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/6 39 Austin . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
10/13 50 Deshler . . . . . . . . . . . 17
10/20 32 Haleyville . . . . . . . . 7
10/27 34 Cherokee . . . . . . . . . . 14
11/3 27 Sheffield . . . . . . . . . 6
11/10 40 Hartselle . . . . . . . . . 7
11/25 20 Cherokee County * . . . 6
12/1 13 Colbert County # . . . 6

352 11-0-1 109

* Playoff game
# State championship game

The 1967 Russellville Golden Tigers
Robert Young Fr. 145 E
Joey Watson Jr. 170 E
Bill Goodwin Sr. 170 E
Rodney Jones Jr. 165 E
Melvin Young Sr. 165 E
Richey Norton So. 145 E
Ricky Saint Jr. 165 E
Bob Newton Sr. 190 T
Doug Allen Jr. 185 T
John Shedd Sr. 175 T
Jerry Skidmore Jr. 195 T
Jimmy Sparks So. 165 T
Jack Harris So. 190 T
Jim Richie So. 175 T
Dennis Steward Jr. 185 G
Danny Doty Sr. 160 G
Orie Vaughn Jr. 160 G
Steve Franks Jr. 160 G
Bob Rogers So. 150 G
Jackie Bradford So. 140 G
Ronald Fretwell Jr. 160 G
Jerry Hawkins So. 170 G
Charles Badgett Jr. 185 C
Byron Willis Sr. 145 C
Tommy Watson So. 155 C
Lanny Norris Sr. 155 QB
Bobby Burcham Sr. 150 QB
Donald Jackson So. 155 QB
Terry Pounders Sr. 140 HB
Cleveland Young Jr. 150 HB
Mike Massingill So. 160 HB
Butch Stidham So. 155 HB
Jeff Fuller Jr. 160 FB
Robert Mullins Jr. 170 FB
Mickey Boyles Jr. 150 FB
Mike Hamilton So. 140 FB
Joe Bullington Sr. 170 WB
Bill Smith Sr. 160 WB
Gene Ellison So. 140 WB

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

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The Alabama High School Athletic Association was first organized in 1921.