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Amazing Seasons 

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          Oneonta tied Abbeville 0-0 to claim a share of the 1971 Class 2A state championship. The Redskins lost 14 lettermen to graduation off that team and half their starting backfield. The Redskins finished with a 12-0-1 record and had high hopes of topping that with an outright title in 1972.

          Tailback Johnny Lowery (165, Sr.) returns along with Steve Whited (140, Jr.) and quarterback Joe Jones (145, Jr.). The schedule is tough and includes six road games in the regular season.

  Oneonta 20   7   6   0   33  
  Locust Fork 0   0   0   0   0  

          The Redskins defeated Locust Fork 33-0 to open the 1972 season with a bang. They jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead behind touchdowns by Rickey Sanders, Jim Patton, Johnny Lowery. Andy Hunt scored the last first half touchdown on a 22-yard interception return.

          The final points came on when Joe Jones returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.

  Hanceville 3   3   6   0   12  
  Oneonta 0   13   13   8   34  

          Following an open date, Oneonta hosted Hanceville and promptly defeated them 34-12. The Redskins led 13-6 at the half and added two third period touchdowns to lift the margin to 26-13. Hanceville jumped out to a 6-0 second quarter lead on two field goal before Oneonta's Johnny Lowery and Joe Jones scored touchdowns to give the Redskins a lead.

          Hanceville tied the game early in the third but Oneonta answered with touchdowns by Jones on a 67-yard scamper and Sanders on a 38-yard run. Jones also accounted for the final tally when he scored from the four. Sanders led all rushers with 164 yards.

  Oneonta             1  
  Pleasant Grove            

          Pleasant Grove decided to not play a rematch with Oneonta after their beat down the previous season. Instead they forfeited the game and it officially went down as a win for the Redskins.

  Susan Moore 0   0   0   0   0  
  Oneonta 0   0   0   3   3  

          Always tough Susan Moore gave Oneonta all they want in week four of the season. The only points came on a 35-yard field goal by Rickey Sanders with 2:28 left to play in the game. Susan Moore drove to the two-yard line with the opening kickoff but came up short on a fourth down play to end the march.

           Again in the second period, Susan Moore drove to the three-yard line and again failed on a fourth down play as time wound down in the first half. The Redskins mounted a drive that reached the nine before a fumble halted the march early in the fourth period. A Patton interception ended the final attempt to score by the Bulldogs after the game winning kick.

  Oneonta 14   13   6   0   33  
  J.B. Pennington 0   0   0   0   0  

           Oneonta built a 27-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 33-0 shutout over J.B. Pennington. Jim Patton score the first touchdown on a 7-yard run and Joe Jones found Steve Phillips on a 18-yard scoring pass in the first quarter. Johnny Lowery scored on a 51-yard scamper and Charles Hambrick got the final first half TD on a one-yard dive. Lowery wrapped up the scoring on a 30-yard run in the third.

  Oneonta 23   7   0   6   36  
  Warrior 0   0   0   6   6  

            Joe Jones scored the first two touchdowns on runs of 5 and 15 yard runs and tossed a 47-yard pass to Jim Patton as the Redskins took a 23-0 first quarter lead. Jones found Patton again in the second for a 4-yard touchdown for a 30-0 halftime lead.

           Steve Whited scored the last touchdown in the fourth on a one-yard run. Warrior's only score came late in the game on a 72-yard run. The offense rolled up 401 yards of offense in the contest.

  Ashville 0   0   0   0   0  
  Oneonta 21   7   7   12   47  

          Joe Jones and Johnny Lowery each scored two touchdowns as the Redskins trounced Ashville 47-0. Rickey Sanders, Steve Whited and Greg Hill added touchdown runs and Jerry Yancy returned a fumble 44 yards for a touchdowns as Ashville was totally outmanned in the game.

           The offense rolled up 319 yards on the ground and the defense produced four turnovers in the contest.

  Pell City 7   0   0   0   7  
  Oneonta 0   14   7   0   21  

          Oneonta improved their record to 8-0 on the season with a 21-7 win over Pell City the next week. The offense racked up 356 yards while the defense held Pell City to 131. Pell City scored first to take an early 7-0 lead but the defense stepped up and shut them down the remainder of the game.

           Rickey Sanders rushed for 127 yards on 13 carries to lead the ground attack and Joe Jones completed 6-of-10 passes for 159 yards. Jones found a wide open Jim Patton for a 81-yard scoring bomb in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

           Following a Pell City fumble, Lowery scored on a two-yard run to give the Redskins a 14-7 lead at the half. Sanders wrapped up the scoring on a two-yard run in the third for the final margin.

  Oneonta 0   14   7   16   37  
  Hokes Bluff 0   0   0   0   0  

          After a surprising scoreless first quarter, the Redskins got going in the second with a three-yard run by Rickey Sanders. Jim Patton added a four-yard run as Oneonta led 14-0 at the half. Sanders added a third quarter scoring run, Joe Jones scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak and Patton scored the final touchdown on a 22-yard run. With five seconds left, Sanders booted a 55-yard field goal.

          The shutout was the fifth in nine games for the Redskins as they pushed their record to 9-0 on the season.

  West End 0   6   6   0   12  
  Oneonta 14   14   14   7   49  

           Jim Patton accounted for four touchdowns as the Redskins rolled past West End 49-12 at home. He ran for one score, caught two touchdown passes and threw for another as Oneonta completed the season with a perfect 10-0 record.

           Oneonta built a 28-6 halftime lead and led 42-12 after three quarters. The final touchdown came on a 14-yard pass from Patton to Whited with just under twelve minutes to play in the game. The Redskins finished the season ranked third in the polls.

  G.P. Austin 0   0   6   0  
  Oneonta 22   21   7   20   70  

           Oneonta racked up 481 yards on the ground as they totally destroyed G.P. Austin 70-6 in the first round of the state playoffs at home. Nine different players scored touchdowns and Mike Peoples registered a safety on a blocked punt that was knocked out of the end zone.

            The defense held Austin to just five first downs and collected three interceptions and recovered a fumble as each set up the offense in scoring position. The reserves played the entire second half as the starters got some time off after the huge 43-0 halftime lead against the outmanned team from Linden. The 70 points were the second highest in playoff history at that time.

  Oneonta 7   7   14   8   36  
  Alexandria 7   7   0   6   20  

           With the two teams tied 14-14 at the half, Oneonta scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away and eventually defeated Alexandria 36-20 in the semi-finals of the state playoffs. The offense outgained the Valley Cubs 356-173 with all but 27 yards coming on the ground.

           Rickey Sanders and Joe Jones scored first half touchdowns. They both scored second half touchdowns along with Jim Patton to wrap up the scoring for the evening. The win sent Oneonta back to the championship game where they were set to meet Cordova for the title.

  Oneonta 0   21   7   14   43  
  Cordova 0   0   7   7   14  

            Rickey Sanders scored two touchdowns as the Redskins rolled over Cordova to claim another state championship in 1972. The ground game rolled up 237 yards rushing while the defense held the Blue Devils to just 113 yards of total offense.

            Sanders scored on a six-yard pass and ran for another score. Joe Jones also threw a touchdown pass to Jim Patton for Oneonta. Mark Hilt ran for a score, Johnny Lowery scored on a one-yard plunge and John Murray recovered a blocked punt for the other Oneonta touchdown. Anthony Harris scored on a two-yard run and a 95-yard kickoff return for Cordova.

           Oneonta led 21-0 at the half and cruised to the victory over a 12-0 Cordova team.

           The Birmingham News named Jim Paton, Mark Hitt and Ricky Sanders to the Class 2A all-state team. Mike Peoples, Gargas and Johnny Lowery were named to the honorable mention team. The thirteen wins were the most in team history and the 457 points scored by the offense topped the old mark set the previous season.


9/1 33 Locust Fork . . . . . . . 0
9/8   OPEN  . . . . . . . . .  
9/15 34 Hanceville . . . . . . . . 12
9/22 12 Pleasant Grove ** . . . . 33
9/29 3 Susan Moore . . . . . . . 0
10/6 33 J.B. Pennington . . . . 0
10/13 36 Warrior . . . . . . . . . . . 6
10/20 47 Ashville . . . . . . . . . . 0
10/30 24 Pell City . . . . . . . . . 7
11/3 37 Hokes Bluff . . . . . . . 0
11/10 49 West End Walnut Grove . 12
11/17 70 G.P. Austin * . . . . . 6
11/24 36 Alexandria * . . . . . . 20
12/1 43 Cordova # . . . . . . . . . 14

457 13-0 110

** Forfeit
* Playoff game
# State championship game

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

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