Winnfield Tiger Football

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BEST OF WINNFIELD TIGER FOOTBALL

The Track Meet – Winnfield vs. North Caddo, 1995

     The mark of a good back is a 1,000 yard rushing season. Anthony Thomas got nearly

half that amount in just one game, that being a first round playoff game against North

Caddo in 1995. For the night, Thomas gained 486 yards and rushed for 8 touchdowns. In fact, Thomas gained 398 of those yards on his eight (8) touchdown rushes alone.  That figure was close to 150 more rushing yards than any other player had ever rushed for in a single game Tiger football history. In the first half Thomas gained 220 yards on thirteen (13) carries and scored four of his touchdowns.  His TD runs in the first half covered 68, 67, 29 and 1 yard.  That first half rushing total put Thomas only 60 yards away from his own single game rushing record.  Since the Tigers only led North Caddo 27-21 at the half Thomas was assured more playing time.  In fact, the question that was uppermost in most people's mind was "Who is going to win the game?", rather than "How is Anthony Thomas doing?" It would be in the first fifteen of the second half where Thomas would erase all doubts about the first question and steer attention to the second.  In the third quarter and opening minutes of the fourth quarter Thomas would add four more touchdowns to his total, with the shortest of those being from 40 yards out and the other three being in the 60 yard range. Thomas rushed for 141 yards in the third quarter alone on 8 carries, which gave him 361 rushing yards on 21 carries for the night.  In the fourth quarter Thomas only carried the ball twice, but both of those were touchdown runs, with one being a 61-yarder and the other going 64 yards.  All of that moved the score to

53-27 Winnfield, so Thomas was pulled after his 8th touchdown.  That gave him 486 yards rushing on 23 carries, a 21-yard per carry average. That total bettered his single-game school record by 207 yards.  His first half total of 220 yards would have ranked 11th on the school's all-time record and his second half total of 266 would have ranked 4th. In sum, he averaged 49.75 yards per run on his eight touchdown runs.  On his other 15 carries, he gained 88 yards for a mere mortal 5.9 per carry average.

Trips or Better – Three or More Touchdown Passes

One rarity in Winnfield Tiger football is for a quarterback to throw three or more touchdown passes in a single game. That has only happened thirteen (13) times in the history of the program; with John C. Jones' three passing touchdowns in Winnfield's 2001 playoff game against E. D. White being the only time that feat was accomplished in either the 1990s or 2000s. The first to accomplish that feat was Ray Jenkins in 1936.  What made that so rare was that this was also the first time a player had thrown even two touchdown passes in a single game, as most teams prior to the 1950s rarely threw 3 touchdown passes in a single season.  It would be thirty years before triple touchdown passes would be thrown again, that coming when Ricky Jordan tossed three TD passes against Jena.  Two Tiger quarterbacks account for 9 of the 13 games in which 3 or more TD passes were thrown.  Steve Adams had four games between 1971 and 1972 when

he threw three TD passes.  Matt Machen threw three TD passes in three games of the 1989 season.  Both Adams and Machen had one game where they threw four TD passes, with Adams' coming again Oakdale in 1972 and Machen's coming against Fair Park in 1988.  But, one quarterback topped all of that by throwing six (6) TD passes in a single game.  That came when sophomore quarterback Lyn Bankston faced Tioga in a 1974 match up.  Three of those went to Freddie King on TD's of 25, 15 and 11 yards.  The other three were spread around three different players, including Henry Jones (16 yards), Nathan Johnson (45 yards) and Mike Kimble (34 yards).  For the night, Bankston completed 13 of 27 passes for 207 yards.  That same night King joined David Harper (1936) and John Wayne Williams (1971) and Glen Anderson (1972) as the only players to catch three TD passes in a single game.

Kick Returns - 1971

     Kick returns for a touchdown are not as common as most people would think. In the first fifty (50) years of the Tiger football program (1909 - 1958) only twelve (12) kicks were returned for a touchdown.  That included two in the 1928 and 1948 season.  The decade of the 1930s saw NO kicks returned for a touchdown and the decade of the 1950s only saw three. There were seven (7) kicks returned for scores in the 1940s and seven (7) returned in the 1960s.  The decade with the most kick returns for touchdowns is the 1970s, with a total of 22 kicks returned for scores.  All but two seasons of the 1970s saw kicks returned for scores, but no season before or since the 1971 season matches the feat that team accomplished.  One player, John Wayne Williams, returned five punts and two kickoffs for a touchdown during the 1971 season.  Prior to Williams the most punts returned for score in a single decade came in the 1960s when five were returned.  So, Williams scored as many touchdowns by punt returns in 1971 as the previous highest decade.  Williams two kickoff returns equaled all of the kick returns for the entire decade of the 1940s, the previous high decade for kick returns. Alan Carter, also a member of the 1971 team, returned two punts for scores himself, giving the 1971 team 9 kick returns for a touchdown. That equaled all of the kick returns for the 1950s and 1960s combined and represented nearly 1/3 of all kick returns in the program. That success was continued into the next season where three (3) punts and two (2) kickoffs were returned for scores.  All total, then, the 1971 and 1972 teams returned 10 punts and 4 kickoffs for a TD.  At one point those two teams had combined to return a kick for a touchdown in nine (9) consecutive regular season games, beginning with the Jonesboro game of the 1971 season (the fourth game of the season) and concluding with the Leesville game of the 1972 season (the second game of that season).  There were seven more kicks returned for scores the remainder of the 1970s, with Jeffery Dale getting three of those by punt in the 1979 season.  The only decade that even comes close to matching the success of the 1970s was the 1980s where 19 kicks were brought back all the way.  That is primarily due to the success of first three teams of the 1980s who combined to return 8 punts and 4 kickoffs back for scores for a total of 12 of those 19 kicks. Besides the 1971 team (9), 1972 team (5) and 1979 team (3), the only other teams in the history of the program to return three or more kicks for a touchdown are the 1981 team (2 punts & 2 kickoffs), 1982 (4 punts & 2 kickoffs), 1984 (3 punts and 2 kickoffs) and the 1998 team (4 kickoffs). In the 1990s a total of 13 kicks were returned for scores and though the 2000s is only half way over, this decade has a ways to go to stay on pace with the numbers put up by the 1970s and 1980s, as only four kicks have been returned for scores in the current decade.

1971 – 1973 Pass Defense

     The ultimate goal of any pass defense is simple - keep the opposition from scoring.  In achieving that outcome a secondary goal would be to keep the opposition from gaining ground.  The time period when that was done the best was between 1970 and 1973.  There have only been five teams to go through a regular season and give up less than 500 yards passing (an average of under 50 yards per game).  Four of those five years were the years 1970 to 1973.  The passing yards allowed in those four years are close statistically: 1970 (413), 1971 (431), 1972 (440) and 1973 (472).  The only other season to join the 400-club is the 2001 season where 417 passing yards were allowed. At one stretch of the 1970 through 1972 seasons the program went 24 straight games without giving up a touchdown through the air by the starting defense.  All total (starters and reserves), the 1970, 1971 and 1972 teams only gave up four passing touchdowns.  The 1970 team gave up one of those in a 6-0 loss to Menard.  The only passing touchdown given up by the 1971 team in that 14-game season was given up late in the fourth quarter of the final game of the regular season against Jena when the Tiger reserves were burned by a 77 yard pass.  The only regular season passing touchdown given up by the 1972 team was a 17-yarder to Menard.  The 1972 team also allowed a touchdown through the air in their playoff game. During the four years of 1970 to 1973 there were forty football games played.  In seven (7) of those games the Tigers did not give up a single yard through the air, and in one of those contests (1973 vs. DeRidder) the team set a school record by ending up the night with minus 4 passing yards allowed.  In 19 other games of that four year stretch less than 50 yards passing were allowed, meaning that in nearly two-thirds (650%) of those forty games those teams gave up less than 50 yards passing.  Only seven teams gained over 100 yards passing against a Tiger defense in those four years, but in all but two of those seven games the Tiger defense allowed under 15 yards rushing. The defensive coordinator throughout the bulk of this period was Coach Jerry Bamburg.

1970s Scoring Defense

     In comparing defensive statistics from one season to another the least you can do is use only regular season statistics.  That is because you are basically comparing a like number of games played, though some regular seasons are only 9 games and a few have been as many as 11 games.  On the whole, though, regular seasons are 10 games.  It should be obvious that a good team who played a 10-game regular season and then played in three or more playoff games would give up more points than a decent team who did not make the playoffs or who only played in one playoff game and who thus only has regular season numbers as a total. That being said, there have only been 17 teams in the 98-year history of the program who allowed fewer than 100 points to be scored against them in the regular season.  Five of those team played in the first fifty-year period, while the remaining twelve have played since the 1960 season.  Nearly half (8) of the 17 teams that allowed fewer than 100 points played in one decade, that being the decade of the 1970s. In fact, of the eight (8) teams who allowed fewer than 70 points, more than half (4) played in the 1970s. Only one team, the 1919 squad, did not allow a single point.  Four years later, the 1923 squad only allowed one touchdown.  Since the 1923 season only one team has allowed fewer than 50 points during the regular season, that being the 1971 team who only allowed five touchdowns and 35 points in that regular season. Six of the Top Ten teams for points allowed during the regular season played in the 1970s, with the Top Ten list looking like this: 35 pts. (1971), 61 pts. (1979), 62 points (1972, 64 points (1977), 70 points (1968), 71 points (1961), 74 points (1978), 75 points (1980), 88 points (1976) and 90 points (1962).  The 1973 and 1970 just missed out on the top ten list by allowing 94 and 98 points respectively.

Scoring by Multiple Means

      Most football players will never score a single touchdown.  There are a number of means to score a touchdown, with those generally falling into the categories of rush, reception, return and recovery.  A few players are fortunate to score touchdowns by two means: typically rush and reception or in the case of return men: return and rush/reception.  It is extremely rare for an individual to score touchdowns by three or more means in a career, much less a season and it is downright unheard of to score TDs by three different means in one game.  This category is all about opportunity and versatility.

     These are the players who have scored TDs by three or more means in a game, season or career:

 

Game - Only one player in the history of the program has scored TDs by three or more means in the same game, and he did that twice.  In 1971, vs. Leesville, John Wayne Williams scored TDs by rush, reception and a kickoff return.  Later that season against Pineville, he scored TDs by way of rush, reception and punt return.

 

Season - In the history of the program there have been 25 players who scored TDs by three or more means in the same season.  The first players to do that, accomplished that feat in the same season; that being the 1948 season.  Teammates Bobby Bass and John William Warner turned that feat when Bass scored by way of rush (1), reception (2) and kickoff return (1), while Warner scored TDs by way of rush (4), reception (1) and a pair of interceptions. Prior to the 1960s two other players joined this club, those being Dan Carr in 1949 and Brooks Broussard in 1955. The remainder of the players who have scored TDs in the same season by three or more means and the decade they accomplished that in are as follows: 1960s - Bob Wyatt (1962), Wayne Wood (1966) and Jerky Waters (1960); 1970s - John Wayne Williams (1971), Alan Carter (1971), Mike Lewis (1972), Nathan Johnson (1974), Lester Mills (1976), Mickey Zimmerman (1976), Ricky Chatman (1977) and Jeffery Dale (1979); 1980s - Garlon Powell (1982), Andrew Riggs (1984) and Rod Todd (1986); 1990s - E. J. Smith (1991), Kasey Goff (1991), Anthony Thomas (1993 & 1994), Viron Smith (1994 & 1996), Freddie King (1998, 1999 & 2000); 2000s (Damoin Harrell (2002) and Antonio Robinson (2003). Of the 25 players cited above, 17 accomplished that feat by scoring by exactly three different means. A total of six other players scored by four different means in the same season, with the first to accomplish that being Bob Wyatt in 1962 when he scored by way of rush, reception, int. return and punt return.  The other players to score by four different means are Wayne Wood (1966 by way of reception, int. return, fumble ret. and recovery of blocked punt in end zone), Jerky Waters (1969 -rush, reception, punt ret. and int. return), Viron Smith (1996 - rush, int. return, punt return and kickoff return) and Freddie King (1998 - rush, reception, kickoff return and fumble return, 1999 - rush, reception, int. return and kickoff return, 2000 - rush, reception, punt return and fumble return).  Only two players have scored by five different means in the same season.  Those include Garlon Powell (1982 - rush, kickoff return, int. return, punt return and fumble return) and Andrew Riggs (1984 - rush, reception, punt ret., kickoff return and int. return).  Powell is the only player to score TDs by all four return means (punt, kickoff, int. and fumble) in the same season and only two other players accomplished that feat in a career.  All total Powell returned three kickoffs and one punt, interception and fumble for touchdowns in his career.  He got all of those in 1982 with the exception of one kickoff return which came in 1981.  Viron Smith got all four returns for a touchdown in his three-year career between 1994 and 1996 when he had the following numbers: kickoff (2), punt (2), fumble (3) and interception (1).  Finally, Freddie King returned two kickoffs, three interceptions, two fumbles and two punts in his career.

 

Career - There have been 37 players that have scored TDs by three or more means in a career.

The first player to accomplish that was Teal Calhoun between 1928 and 1929.  In his career he rushed for 10 touchdowns and got one touchdown each by way of interception return and punt return. The other players who have scored by three or more different means in a career are as follows:

 

1940s - Edward Parker, John Glyn Jackson, Bobby Bass, John William Warner, Dan Carr

1950s - Brooks Broussard

1960s - Bob Wyatt, Wayne Wood, Mike Spangler, Robbie Richards, Jerky Waters

1970s - John Wayne Williams, Alan Carter, Mike Lewis, Nathan Johnson, Dennis                         Brown, Lester Mills, Mickey Zimmerman, Terry Joe Ramsey, Ricky Chatman,                 Jeffery Dale, Kevin Poisso

1980s - Benny Mitchell, Garlon Powell, Sampson Collins, Andrew Riggs, Darrell Smith,              Tony Abron, Rod Todd

1990s - E. J. Smith, Kasey Goff, Anthony Thomas, Viron Smith, Freddie King

2000s - Damoin Harrell, Antonio Robinson.

 

     Considering all of the above and taking into consideration all other means of scoring (e.g. PAT, kicking) three players stand out as the most prolific scorers in the history of the program.  Those players, in order of their participation in Winnfield Tiger football are: Garlon Powell (1981-1983) - 62 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD, 5 kickoff returns, 2 punt returns, 2 fumble returns, 2 interception returns, 64 PAT kicks, 1 field goal. Anthony Thomas (1993-1996) - 93 rushing TDs, 11 receiving TDs, 1 kickoff return, 1 recovery of fumble in end zone, 17 PAT kicks, 2 field goals, 4 two pt. conversion by run, 1 two pt. conversion by reception.  Freddie King (1997-2000) 9 rushing TDs, 20 receiving TDs, 3 int. return, 2 kickoff return, 2 fumble return, 2 punt return, 2 two-point conversions by run.  Those three are the career scoring leaders at the school, with Thomas leading the pack with 682 career points, Powell in second place with 337 points and King in third with an even 250 points.

Multiple Kick Returns for Touchdowns

       There have only been two games in the history of Tiger football when two or 

more kicks were returned for a touchdown. One of those came in 1984 when 

the Tigers returned two punts for touchdowns (57 & 55 yards) against Coushatta (Tony

(Abron & Andrew Riggs). In the other contest three (3) kicks were returned for scores.

That game came in 1981 against Many when the Tigers returned two punts

for touchdowns on runs of 85 and 54 yards and got a touchdown on an 82 yard kickoff

return (Benny Mitchell, Greg Powell & Andrew Riggs). There have only been six (6) seasons in the history of Winnfield football when 3 or more kicks were returned for TDs, with those being: 1971, 1972, 1979, 1982, 1996 and 1998

The Longest Touchdowns

     There is no such thing as a 99.5 yard run from scrimmage. Statistically speaking,

the longest a rush from scrimmage can be is 99 yards. The longest a return is counted statistically is 100 yards, as there is no attempt to calculate how far into the end zone a return (punt, kickoff or interception) began. There have been three returns for touchdowns that covered 100 yards, with all three being interception returns.  There has been two touchdown rushes from scrimmage that covered 99 yards.  Fans at the Winnfield vs. Caldwell game of 1984 got to see one of each as Tony Abron raced 99 from scrimmage for one touchdown and Andrew Riggs took an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in a 57-0 Winnfield win. The only other player to record a 99 yard run from scrimmage was Garlon Powell, who got that in a 1983 game against Many.  The other two players who returned an interception 100 yards were Brooks Broussard (1955) vs. Natchitoches and Mike Kelly vs. Mansfield (1965).  Powell, Broussard and Kelly got theirs on Winnfield's home field.

Four Interception Returns for Touchdowns – 2001 vs. Caldwell

     In a 2001 contest against Caldwell Winnfield intercepted 6 passes, which was one shy of the single-game school record.  What made this night so unique it that the Tigers capitalized on those turnovers by returning four for a touchdown.  Those weren't chip shot returns either, as one went 90 yards and another covered 78 yards.  There has been no other game in in Tiger football history when as many as two interceptions were returned for a touchdown.

Coin Toss Success (or lack thereof) – the 1969 season

     In a ten game season there are ten coin tosses.  The law of averages tells you that you

will win five of those and lose five of those.  The 1969 team defied the law of averages by incorrectly guessing 10 of 10 (100%) of the coin tosses in that 10-game season.

1,000-yard Rushers

     In the 81 years of Tiger football prior to the 1990s the Winnfield Tiger football program produced nine (9) 1,000 yard rushing seasons by individual players. The players who achieved that included Randy Poisso (1968), Jerry Keen (1971), Nathan Johnson (1976), Ricky Chatman (1978 & 1979), Perry Myles (1982), Garlon Powell (1982 & 1983) and Lonnie Davis (1985).  In the fourteen years between 1991 and 2004 the program produced thirteen (13) 1,000-yard rushers, including nine (9) straight between 1993 and 2001. Those included Kareem Smith (1991), Anthony Nash (1993), R. C. Williams (1994), Anthony Thomas (1994, 1995, 1996), Cornelius Patterson (1997, 1998, 1999), Zan Johnson (2000 & 2001) and Antonio Robinson (2003 & 2004).

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