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Amazing Seasons 


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          The Millport Junior Tide were ranked No. 9 in the 1983 ASWA Class 1A preseason poll. Millport had finished the 1982 season with an 8-2 record and hoped to build that into a playoff team. The 1980 team had finished the season with a perfect 10-0 record but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

          Over the past three seasons the Junior Tide went 26-4 but had failed to reach the playoffs. Things were about to change in Lamar County. Coach Jack Hankins Sr. was entering his third season at the helm in Millport.


  Lamar County 0   6   0   0   6  
  Millport 13   6   15   0   34  

          Millport opened the 1983 season by defeating the Lamar County Bulldogs 34-6. The Junior Tide rolled up 436 yards of total offense in the game. Quarterback Danny Brock accounted for 264 of those yards and four touchdowns. He ran for two scores and threw for the other two. The only score by Lamar County came on a kickoff return in the second quarter.


  Millport 0   6   0   8   14  
  Pickens County 0   0   0   0   0  

          The Tide shutout Pickens County 14-0 in week two as the defense limited the Tornados to just 55 yards of total offense. Pollard scored in the second quarter on a 19 yard return of a blocked punt. Spraggins got the other touchdown in the fourth period on a two-yard run. Millport turned the football over six times to keep the closer than it really was.


  Millport 9   14   7   2   32  
  Northside 0   0   0   10   10  

          Northside fell in week three by a score of 32-10 as the Millport offense racked up 367 yards of offense. The Tide jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead and extended it to 30-0 in the third quarter before Northside got on the scoreboard. Curtis Davis ran for two touchdowns and passes for another in the win.


  Millport 0   7   3   0   10  
  Carrollton 3   0   0   6   9  

          Millport traveled to Carrollton to face the Indians in week four of the 1983 season. The defense limited Carrollton to just 12 yards rushing and 76 total yards to assist with the win. Carrollton scored a touchdown with 10:44 left in the game but failed on the two-point try to come up on the short end of a 10-9 score.


  Hale County 0   0   0   0   0  
  Millport 10   0   0   14   24  

          The Junior Tide returned home in week five and shutout Hale County 24-0 in front of the home crowd. Led by Joe Billingsley on defense, the Tide took a 10-0 first quarter lead and made it stand up until they added two fourth quarter touchdowns to seal the victory.


  Millport 0   8   7   6   21  
  Oakman 14   0   0   3   17  

          The Junior Tide fell behind Oakman 14-0 before rallying for a 21-17 win the next week. Oakman score twice in the opening quarter to take a 14-0 lead before Millport came back with a couple of scores and a two-point conversion to take a 15-14 lead in the third. Oakman regained the lead on a 20-yard field goal and a 17-15 lead with just 5:41 left in the game.

          Danny Brock scored on a great 49-yard run just minutes later to get the winning touchdown. The Junior Tide improved their record to 6-0 after averting a loss.


  Millport 6   6   0   0   12  
  Akron 0   0   7   0   7  

          The next week, Millport used two first half touchdowns to defeat Akron 12-7 on the road. The defense was superb as they held Akron scoreless. The only Akron score came on a fumble return. They also set up the first Millport touchdown with an interception. The offense held the football the final five minutes of the game, converting two critical fourth down conversion to keep the ball away from the Akron offense.


  John Essex 0   0   0   0   0  
  Millport 20   14   8   6   48  

          Millport improved their record to 8-0 with a 48-0 shutout of John Essex the next week. The win assured the Junior Tide of a playoff spot. Millport never punted in the game and scored on their first three possessions of the contest as they totally dominated the Hornets. Danny Brock scored on a 30-yard run to open the scoring and added a 55-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Pollard for Millport's second touchdown.


  Kennedy 0   0   0   0   0  
  Millport 7   12   8   19   46  

          Kennedy came to Millport in week nine and left with a 46-0 defeat. The game was scheduled for Friday but was delayed until Monday because of a fire at the Kennedy high school. Danny Brock accounted for four touchdowns in the game. His first score came on an 81-yard run in the first quarter.

          Darrell Bridges returned an interception 51 yards for a second period touchdown as the Junior Tide rolled to a 19-0 halftime lead. Pollard raced 89 yard with another interception and Brock ran 30 yards for the final score of the evening.


  Sulligent             15  
  Millport 0   14   14   8   36  

          Millport rolled up 354 yards of offense on their way to a 36-15 victory over Sulligent. Brock ran for one score and tossed a 52-yard touchdown pass to Bridges in the second quarter. The Junior Tide finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in school history.


  Millport 0   0   0   7   7  
  Hackleburg 0   6   0   0   6  

          The Millport Junior Tide defeated Hackleburg 7-6 in a thrilling game to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Darrell Bridges caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Danny Brock with just 43 seconds remaining in the game for the winning score. Hackleburg rushed for over 200 yards and dominated much of the game but only managed to score one touchdown in the second quarter for a 6-0 lead that held up most of the game.

          The Junior Tide marched 78 yards in 18 plays for the game winning score in the fourth quarter. They converted twice on fourth down plays to keep the drive alive. Following the game tying touchdown by Bridges, Dale Brock calmly booted the all important extra point for the victory.


  Millport 0   0   0   0   8   8  
  Parrish 0   0   0   0   7   7  

          Once again the Junior Tide came from behind to win in the second round. They pulled out a 8-7 win over Parrish in overtime. Quarterback Danny Brock scrambled for a two-point conversion after a touchdown for the win.

          Neither team scored during regulation so the teams went to overtime to settle the game. Parrish got the football first and scored when Andrew Tucker picked up a teammate's fumble and raced 10 yards to a touchdown to give Parrish a 7-0 lead. After a five-yard loss on first down, Millport quarterback Danny Brock tossed a 15-yard touchdown strike to Darrell Bridges to pull the Tide within one point.

          Coach Hankins decided to go for the two-point conversion after a timeout and the move paid dividends as Brock was able to elude tacklers as he scrambled on his way to the end zone. It was the second week in a row that Junior Tide had pulled out a win in the closing moments of the game.


  Collinsville 0   0   6   0   6  
  Millport 0   8   0   0   8  

          Millport face a tough Collinsville team in the semi-finals the next week. The Panthers fell behind at Millport Stadium 8-0 when the Junior Tide took advantage of one of Danny Brock's three interceptions in the second quarter. He returned the miscue 30 yards to the Collinsville 13-yard line setting up the first score of the evening.

          Danny Brock carried the final three yards of the short drive. Kenny Pollard picked up a bobbled snap from center on the extra point and ran into the end zone for an 8-0 lead. Collinsville came back to cut the lead to 8-6 later. They attempted a 40-yard field goal with two minutes to play but the try was blocked by linebacker Bruce Willis and the Junior Tide ran out the clock to advance to the championship game.


  Brantley 0   0   0   0   0   0  
  Millport 0   0   0   0   0   3  

          Dale Brock booted a 25-yard field goal in overtime to lead the Junior Tide to their first ever state championship capping off a perfect 14-0 season for Millport. The game was played in a torrential downpour that made the field more like a swamp than a football field.

          Much of regulation play was spent with both teams simply trying to hang onto the football and gain some sort of field position. The closest either team came to scoring was midway through the last quarter. Brantley drove to the Millport fifteen yard line before a snap was fumbled by Brantley quarterback Todd Johnson.

          In overtime, Millport won the toss and decided to play defense first. Brantley was unable to score. Millport stuck to their running game on the first three down, getting the ball as close as possible, setting up the winning field goal. All that was left to do was to celebrate the victory.

          Named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association first team all-state squad were quarterback Danny Brock, linemen Jeff McKee and Joe Billingsley.

          The 1983 season marked the first state championship of any kind for the Millport Junior Tide. It was also the most wins in a season for the school as they posted a 14-0 record. The team won seven games by a total of seventeen point. They won four playoff games by a combined seven point. It was undoubtedly a remarkable season for the Junior Tide.



Millport
1983

8/26 34 Lamar County . . . . . . 6
9/2 14 Pickens County . . . . . 0
9/9 32 Northside . . . . . . . . . 10
9/16 10 Carrollton . . . . . . . . 9
9/23 24 Hale County . . . . . . . 0
9/30 21 Oakman . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
10/7 12 Akron . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
10/14 48 John Essex . . . . . . . . 0
10/25 46 Kennedy . . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/28 36 Sulligent . . . . . . . . . 15
11/11 7 Hackleburg * . . . . . . 6
11/18 8 Parrish * . . . . . . . . . 7
11/25 8 Collinsville * . . . . . 6
12/2 3 Brantley # . . . . . . . . 0

303 14-0 83

* Playoff game
# State championship game




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


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