Winnfield Tiger Football

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1955 - The Greatest Upset

Class A Winnfield opened the 1955 season against Class AA Neville.  Coming into the 1955 season Neville had not won (or even played in) a single state championship game in football, but the Neville Dynasty began in the 1955 season when Neville claimed their first state championship.  Between 1955 and 1999 Neville would win a total of eight state titles, with the combined win-loss total of those eight teams being 98-3-2. One of those three losses came against Winnfield in the 1955 season opener. 

     Winnfield took the opening kickoff and drove the length of the field to take an early 6-0 lead and then held Neville on a goal line stand on the visitors first possession. Over the course of the first three quarters Neville scored two unanswered touchdowns to take a 12-6 lead and appeared to have the game won as they had the lead and the ball with three minutes to go in the contest.

     Winnfield got the ball back and were in a race against the clock, but time didn’t seem to be as big of a hurdle as did the Neville defense did when Winnfield made short gains on their first series of plays. Desperation set in when Winnfield was 80 yards away from the Neville goal line with time for only one more play. On that final play Coach Bill Davis called for a flea-flicker play. On the final play of the game QB Brooks Broussard took the snap, handed the ball off to fullback Dale Reeves, who ran several steps, stopped and threw the ball back to Broussard who was circling out of the backfield in the opposite direction. Broussard caught the pass and took off down the sideline. Time ran out in the game as Broussard worked his way down the field, but he did the improbable by weaving his way through the entire Neville defense to tie the score at 12-all.  With no time on the clock, Tiger back Mickey Frazier was called on to score the decisive extra point and he did just that on a line plunge which enabled Winnfield to escape with a 13-12 win. Broussard’s run is one of the most decisive plays in the history of Tiger football, Fraizier’s extra point is one of the most decisive PATs and the win is arguably the biggest upset in school history.”

1961 - The Streak Ends

Coming into the 1961 season Ruston High School had won four state titles and had

been one of the premier high school football programs in the state in the 1940s and

1950s.  Winnfield had played Ruston 24 straight years heading into the 1961 season

without a win, though the season before (1960) Winnfield had managed a tie against

Ruston.  That broke an 18-year losing streak to Ruston.  In 1961 Winnfield would

post the schools second undefeated regular season record, with one of those wins

being a 21-6 win over Ruston.  The Bearcats jumped to a 6-0 lead, but Winnfield

posted a first half touchdown on a 7-yard pass from QB Mike Tinnerello to Billy

Barton to give Winnfield a 7-6 lead.  Winnfield then got two late fourth quarter

touchdowns to account for all of the scoring.  Those TDs came on runs by James

Lloyd Collins and Rusty Melton. Carroll Long booted  all three extra point tries.

 
 

1968 vs. Winnboro

Winnfield faced Winnsboro in the final district contest of

the 1968 season.  Winnsboro had been the Class AA runner-up the

season before and were not only leading District 2-AA but

they were the No. 1 ranked team in Class AA as they

had gone undefeated in the first eight weeks of the 1968

season.  In fact,  Winnsboro had not lost a regular season

game in two years as they had they gone through the 1967 season

without a regular season loss.  The district crown was on

the line, but Winnfield needed a win to even make the playoffs

as they had one loss in district play. Winnfield posted a

7-0 first half lead and then Randy Poisso returned the

second half kickoff back for a touchdown to up the Tiger

lead to 14-0.  The two teams exchanged touchdowns

the rest of the way as Winnfield won 21-7. Winnboro only

gained 83 yards rushing and made only 6 first downs.

1971 vs. Natchitoches and Haughton

Two of the most memorable games in the history of the

Tiger football program occurred during the 1971 season.  On the

way to a 13-1-0 record (with the loss coming in the Class AAA

title game) the 1971 team posted two of the most dramatic

wins in the history of the program.  The first of those came in

Week Five when No. 3 ranked Winnfield faced No. 6 ranked

Natchitoches, with the Dist. 3-AAA crown on the line.

The contest was defensive battle in the first half, but Winnfield

got on the scoreboard just before intermission on an 82-yard

punt return by Alan Carter.  Both teams posted goal line stands

in the second half, but Winnfield got one more touchdown on

78 run from scrimmage by halfback John Wayne Williams.

Winnfield went on to post a 10-0-0 regular season record and

won their first round playoff game. In the second round of the

playoffs Winnfield faced Haughton and were attempting to become

the school's first team to win one than one playoff game.  A

win would also advance the team to the semi-final round of the

playoffs. Winnfield scored first, but Haughton took a 7-6 lead

in the second quarter, marking the first time the Tigers had

trailed all year. At the start of the third quarter Winnfield

regained the lead, but Haughton moved back in front at 13-12

with a late third quarter score.  The Tigers moved to a first and

goal from the Haughton four with minutes to go in the game

but the Bucs held the Tigers out of the end zone.  The Winnfield

defense then shut Haughton down in three plays, forced a punt

and got a good punt return (after Haughton accepted a penalty

after stopping Winnfield near mid-field on punt return on the

previous play.)  Taking over with 1:24 showing on the clock,

Winnfield moved to the Haughton 14 yard line in two plays,

where Quarterback Steve Adams hit fullback Randy Parker

coming out of the backfield.  Parker bowled over two defenders

at the goal line to give Winnfield an 18-13 lead.  A two-point

conversion gave Winnfield their final 20-13 margin.

1976 vs. The Bad News Bears

In 1976 the Tigers posted an 8-2-0 regular season record and

then got on a roll in the playoffs. After posting a 13-6 win over

Jennings, the Tigers moved past Haughton in the quarterfinals

by a score of 29-3 to face Catholic High School of Baton Rouge

in the semis.  Catholic was the 9th ranked team in Class AAA

and they were led by arguably one of the strongest defensive

units in the Class AAA.  That defense which had earned the

nickname "Bad News Bears", had posted six shutouts during the

season and had been unscored on in the first two rounds of the

playoffs. Against Catholic, Winnfield posted 16 points in the first quarter

in route to a 30-7 halftime lead.  In the end, Winnfield prevailed in a 37-13

victory that was a testimony to team play.  The Tigers riddled

the Bad News Bears for 220 yards rushing and 118 yards passing.

It was the Winnfield defense that was the most stifling, as they

held the Bears to only 6 yards rushing.

1979 vs.St. Louis

Winnfield has knocked off a No. 1 ranked team twice.  The first

came in 1968 (see vs. Winnsboro) and the second came in the

second round of the 1979 playoffs.  The year before, St. Louis

had come to Stokes-Walker Stadium and ended the Tigers

playoffs hopes in what would be the only loss of the 12-1-0 1978

season.  So, the program wanted another shot at St. Louis and

they got that in the the 1979 playoffs. St. Louis came to town

with an 11-0-0 record and this time it was Winnfield (9-1-0) who

ruined the perfect record. St. Louis moved to a 9-0 halftime lead

with one first half touchdown and a safety.  But, Winnfield won

the game with a third quarter offense and a second half defense

that kept St. Louis out of the end zone. Jeffery Dale got the Tigers

on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 44-yard punt return.

On the next Tiger possession Ricky Chatman capped an 84-yard

drive with a two-yard run.  In the end Winnfield prevailed 14-7.

1981 vs. Jonesboro - The Greatest Comeback

Between 1980 and 1983 Winnfield and Jonesboro-Hodge squared

off in the regular season finale with the district title on the line in

each of those game.  Winnfield won all four of those contests, with

the 1981 win being one of the most improbable wins in the history

of the program.  The win was not surprising because Jonesboro

was better than Winnfield.  The win was surprising because

Winnfield was behind 29-0 with four minutes to go in the first

half.  Winnfield had practically handed the game to Jonesboro-

Hodge on a silver platter up to that point, as Winnfield had fumbled

the ball away on all but two of their first half possessions.  Winnfield

turned four of those fumble recoveries into touchdowns.  After the only

Winnfield punt of the half, Jonesboro got a field goal.  The only other

possession that Winnfield held the ball came right before the half.

On that drive Winnfield moved 70 yards and got on the scoreboard

to make the score 29-8 at the half. That momentum continued

into the second half where Winnfield scored the first two times

they had the ball to move the score to 29-20 Jonesboro. Winnfield

narrowed that margin to 29-27 early in the fourth quarter, but

Jonesboro played keep away during the middle part of the final

period.  Trailing by two points, Winnfield got the ball back with 3:25

showing on the game clock, with the ball resting on the Winnfield

40 yard line. Winnfield had a field goal kicker in senior Tommy

Latham (he had already booted four 40+ yarders in his career), but

they wouldn't need his services as QB Greg Powell took matters

into his own hands from 28 yards out as he weaved his way through

the Jonesboro-Hodge defense for the final touchdown of the game.

In the end Winnfield prevailed in a 34-29 win.

1982 Class AA State Championship vs. John Curtis

John Curtis came into the 1982 title game as the three-time defending

Class AA State Champions. A state title in 1982 would thus give

John Curtis four straight state titles, a state record. Curtis had also

won titles in 1975 and 1977 to give the school five titles overall. In

short, they were the preeminent small-class football program in the

state at the time. Winnfield was coming off a 1981 season that saw

the program reach the semi-finals.  Coming into the title game

Winnfield had posted 13-straight wins in 1982, including a 50-8 shellacking of

E. D. White in the semifinals. For the second year, all title games

would be contested in the Louisiana Superdome.  Playing the first

game of the day (10:00 start time) Winnfield woke up the crowd with

three first quarter touchdowns to take 20-0 lead.  Those scores were

a testimony to the Tiger speed and the proficiency of the Tiger Veer

offense.  Winnfield used a 29-yard fumble return by halfback

Garlon Powell to get their first touchdown, but their next two scores

were pure execution.  Scoring on the first play of their next two

series, the Tigers got one touchdown on a 74 yard keeper by QB

Thomas King and then Powell got his second touchdown of the

quarter on a 55 yard run.  The Curtis defense shut down the Tiger

offense from there and the Patriots posted two touchdowns to narrow the

margin to 20-14.  However, Garlon Powell kicked the first field goal of his

career in the fourth quarter to give Winnfield a more comfortable

23-14 lead, which is where the score stayed the rest of the game. The

win gave the program it's second state title, but this would be the first

title won on the playing field as the earlier title (1919) came when

Winnfield was declared the state champions.  John Curtis went on to

win titles in 1983, 1984 and 1985.  Therefore, Winnfield stood in the

way of John Curtis winning seven straight titles.

1995 - The A Train Express vs. North Caddo

Not many football teams have gained 400+ yards rushing in a single

game. Anthony "A Train" Thomas did that alone in a first round

playoff game against North Caddo in the 1995 season.

In the first half Thomas gained 220 yard on thirteen carries and scored

four touchdowns; two from 60+ yards away. North Caddo had made

a game of it in the first half as they had answered all but one of

Thomas' Tds.  Thus, at the half Winnfield held on to a slim 27-21 lead.

Thomas scored on Winnfield's first possession of the third quarter, this

run covering 47 yards.  Then, in the final half of the third quarter and

the opening minutes of the 4th quarter Thomas broke the game open

with three touchdown runs.  Those covered 68, 64 and 61 yards.

That moved the score to 53-21 and relegated Thomas to the bench. In

the third quarter alone Thomas rushed for 141 yards to up his total to 361

yards for the game.  He thus became the first Tiger back to gain 300

rushing yards in a single contest, and he did that through three quarters.

His two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter gave him 125 additional

rushing yards, for a total of 486 yards on 23 carries.  Thomas gained

398 of those yards on his eight touchdown runs and added 88 yards on

his fifteen other carries.

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