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  School Football over the past 100 seasons.





Amazing Seasons 


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          The Vigor Wolves returned 10 starters to the team as fall practice began in 2008. Everyone knew the main weapon on offense would be running back Ken Houston. Houston rushed for 1,203 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in 2007 so he was not going to be sneaking up on opponents this season. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound senior would be counted on to lead the running attack for the Wolves.

          Other key players for Vigor included QB Keith Ray, RB/LB Jalston Fowler, WR Jeremy Lewis, C Fletcher Robinson, OL/DT Steven Grandison, OL/DT Stanley Howze, LB Jamal Kidd, DE Wykeith Toppins and CB George Williams. If the Wolves hoped to compete for a state championship these were the players they looked to to lead them.

           A strong linebacking crew and some experience at quarterback would need to overcome a tough schedule.


  Vigor 0   20   8   0   8   36  
  Williamson 0   7   13   8   0   28  

          Quarterback Keith Ray exploded as the full time starter for the Wolves by tossing five touchdown passes as Vigor defeated Williamson 36-28 in overtime to open the season. The Lions rallied to tie the game in the final minutes, but Ray threw his fifth scoring pass of the night to seal the victory.

          The Wolves jumped out to a 20-7 lead by halftime mostly on five turnovers by Williamson. Ray found Jalston Fowler open for the game winning touchdown from seven yards out in overtime for a touchdown and the defense held the Lions on fourth down for the win. Ray completed 14-of-27 passes for 176 yards, tossing touchdown passes to five different receivers.


  Vigor 14   22   12   6   54  
  Escambia County 7   8   0   7   22  

          In week two, Vigor defeated Escambia County 54-22 behind the running of Ken Houston who rushed for 135 yards in the first half and finished the night with 165 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns.

          Vigor scored 22 points in the span of just two minutes in the second quarter on their way to a 36-15 halftime lead. The defense registered four fumble recoveries to assist in the lopsided victory. Jalston Fowler also score on runs of 8 and 2 yards.


  Citronelle 6   0   8   8   22  
  Vigor 7   6   12   0   25  

          Jalston Fowler scored three touchdowns on just four carries, picked up 67 yards rushing and caught four passes for 91 yards and two scores as the Wolves held on the defeat Citronelle 25-22 in week three. Keith Ray completed 8-of-11 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns.

          Vigor led just 13-6 at the half and used touchdown passes from ray to Marvin Shinn (57 yards) and Fowler (60 yards) to pushed the lead to 25-14 before the Wildcats scored late touchdown to make the score close. Following Citronelle's final score, the Wolves ran out the clock for the win.


  Vigor 13   13   12   8   46  
  Gulf Shores 0   6   12   8   26  

          Ken Houston rushed for 352 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns as the No. 6 Vigor Wolves dominated Gulf Shores 46-26 on the road. Vigor finished the evening with 410 yards rushing as Houston broke free on scoring runs of 68 and 53 yards.

        Vigor led 26-6 at the half but could never seem to put the Dolphins completely away in the second half. The win pushed the Wolves record to 4-0 on the season.


  Vigor          6   34  
  Opelika          0   28  

          Vigor defeated No. 5 ranked Opelika 34-28 behind the running of Ken Houston in week five. The fourth ranked Wolves gained 495 yards in the contest as Houston rushed for 249 yards on 28 carries. With the score tied 28-28, Houston broke off a 59-yard run down to the Opelika 12 yard line. Two plays later Jalston Fowler scored the go ahead touchdown from 10 yards out.

          Fowler, playing defensive end, intercepted an Opelika pass in the finals seconds to assure the victory.


  St. Paul's 0   0   0   0   0  
  Vigor 7   7   7   13   34  

          Once again the Wolves used the running of Houston and the quarterback play of Ray to shutout the St. Paul's Saints in week six. Houston ran for 158 yards on 19 carries while Ray completed 7-of-15 passes for 164 yards and three scores. Marvin Shinn caught two touchdown passes of 11 yards from Ray and an 14 yarder from Houston on a halfback pass late in the fourth quarter.

          The defense pitched a shutout against the Saints and their star quarterback A.J. McCarron who managed only 141 yards passing.


  Vigor 12   14   14   13   53  
  Faith Academy 6   0   0   0   6  

          In week seven it was more of the same. Ray tossed three touchdown passes and Houston ran for two more as the No. 3 Wolves dominated Faith Academy 53-6. Vigor finished the night with 571 yards of offense including 358 yards rushing. The defense held Faith to just 117 yards of offense.

          Ray completed 9-of-12 passes for 213 yards while Houston ran for 150 yards on 14 carries and scored twice in the contest. He also caught two passes for another 95 yards. The Rams only score came on a first quarter kickoff return. 


  Spanish Fort 6   9   7   0   22  
  Vigor 0   0   22   13   35  

          The Wolves trailed 22-0 in the third quarter before the offense woke up and scored 35 unanswered points as Vigor defeated No. 9 Spanish Fort 35-22. After the Toros scored in the third, the Wolves drove 77 yards in nine plays to cut the lead to 22-8. Vigor scored on their next four possessions to run away from the Toros. 

          The win gave the Wolves control of their region and in place to claim the championship. Ray finished 8-of-13 for 109 yards and two touchdowns.


  Vigor 0   22   12   6   40  
  LeFlore 0   0   0   12   12  

          Jalston Fowler ran for 113 yards on just 10 carries including scoring runs of 23 and 46 yards as the No. 3 Vigor Wolves dumped LeFlore 40-12. The win gave Vigor the Region One championship at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The defense held the Rattlers to just 111 yards of offense and did not allow a point until the game was practically over in the fourth quarter. They also recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes.


  Blount 0   0   6   0   6  
  Vigor 9   6    7   7   29  

          The Vigor Wolves capped off a perfect 10-0 regular season with a 29-6 win over arch-rival Blount at Prichard Stadium. Ray found Marvin Shinn open for a 66-yard touchdown on the first play of the game and the Wolves had all the points they need for the victory. Shinn scored the first three touchdowns in the game on catches of 66, 13 and 12 yards and finished with four receptions for 99 yards.
     
          Houston finished with 96 yards on 22 carries to pace the offense. The Wolves led 15-0 at the half and 22-0 late in the third quarter before Blount (5-5) scored their lone touchdown.



  Eufaula 7   0   0   0   7  
  Vigor 6   12   6   6   30  

          Vigor fell behind early 7-0 but recovered nicely to take a 30-7 win over Eufaula (6-5) at Prichard Stadium to open the playoffs. Houston rushed for 115 yards and scored three times while Ray tossed two touchdowns in the game. The No. 2 ranked Wolves opened up an 18-7 led by halftime and added two more scores in the second half to put the game out of reach.

          The defense collected three interceptions and recovered a fumble to assist the offense.


  Citronelle 7   0   0   14   21  
  Vigor 0   13   13   13   39  

          Vigor ran over and around the Citronelle Wildcats in the second round of the playoffs and claimed a 39-21 victory and a chance to advance to the third round. The Wolves led 13-7 at the half and 26-7 at the end of three quarters. The increased the lead to 33-7 before Citronelle mounted any sort of comeback attempt.
 
          Tremendous Campbell-Scott returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown in the third period to make it 26-7. Houston finished with 143 yards on 20 carries and Fowler gained 79 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns.


  Spanish Fort 3   0   7   6   16  
  Vigor 7   8   0   13   28  

          No big comeback was need this time as the Wolves defeated Spanish Fort 28-16 in the quarter-finals of the playoffs at Prichard Stadium. Keith Ray completed 12-of-19 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a run. Houston rushed for 98 yards on 20 carries and Fowler added 53 yards on seven attempts. 

          The Wolves led 15-3 at the half and 15-10 after three periods. Leading 21-16 in the fourth quarter, Vigor sealed the deal with a 10-play, 82-yard drive that culminated with a 11-yard scoring pass from Ray to Marvin Shinn with 2:13 remaining in the game.


  Carver 6   20   8   7   41  
  Vigor 27   6   6   6   45  

           The Wolves jumped out to a 27-6 lead and held on the beat Carver of Montgomery 45-41 in the semi-finals of the playoffs. Houston ran for 172 yards on 19 carries to lead the offense and Ray scored twice and gained 64 yards on 10 attempts.

          Jalston Fowler returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and scored what turned out to be the game winning touchdown on a one-yard run.

          The Wolverines scored twice in the final minutes of the first half to cut the lead to 33-26 at the half. They scored on their first possession of the second half to take a 34-33 lead before Vigor came back to retake the lead on a 8-yard run. The Wolves extended the margin to 45-33 on the score by Fowler before Carver scored to cut the final score to 45-41.


  Russellville 3   14   6   7   30  
  Vigor 6   15   16   13   50  

          Vigor piled up 606 yards of offense as the Wolves defeated Russellville 50-30 to claim another state championship. Ken Houston and Jalston Fowler each scored three touchdowns as Russellville had no answer for the Wolves running game. It was the first title for the Wolves since they won the Class 6A championship in 1988.

          As the temperature fell below freezing, the defense rose up to hold the Golden Tigers to minus eleven yards rushing at Legion Field in Birmingham. MVP Houston ran for 180 yards on 26 carries and Fowler added 163 on 17 carries.

          Vigor led 21-3 midway through the second quarter before Russellville scored three times to take a 23-21 lead early in the third period. But Vigor stormed back to score four straight times for a 50-23 lead and held on for the victory.

          Jalston Fowler, Jamaal Kidd, Ken Houston and Josh Lawson were named to the first team all-state squad by the Alabama Sports Writers. Marvin Shinn, Quinterrius Eatmon and Tremendous Scott-Campbell were selected to the honorable mention team.




Vigor
2008

8/29 35 Williamson . . . . . . . . 28
9/5 54 Escambia County . . . . 22
9/12 25 Citronelle . . . . . . . . 22
9/19 46 Gulf Shores . . . . . . . 26
9/26 34 Opelika . . . . . . . . . . . 28
10/3 34 St. Paul's . . . . . . . . . 0
10/10 53 Faith Academy . . . . . 6
10/17 35 Spanish Fort . . . . . . 22
10/23 40 LeFlore . . . . . . . . . . . 12
10/31 29 Blount . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
11/7 30 Eufaula * . . . . . . . . . 7
11/14 39 Citronelle * . . . . . . 21
11/21 28 Spanish Fort * . . . . . 16
11/28 45 Carver Montgomery * . . 41
12/5 50 Russellville # . . . . . 30

577 15-0 287

* Playoff game
# State championship game




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


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