1961 Football Season
Devils Bite Bulldogs for Homecoming Treat
After beating the bigger Class AAA Decatur Bulldogs for two years while placed in Class AA, Avondale had the satisfaction of handing its rival a third loss after rising to Class AAA. Thus, the Blue Devils proved that the Bulldogs were still not our football equals. The Homecoming celebration lasted too long, so the game officials penalized Avondale 15 yards for delay of game, but the time devoted to the festivities were worth the penalty and only delayed Decatur’s defeat. Sandra Reiley was crowned homecoming queen while accompanied by candidates Jimmie Gail Davis and Susan Tabor. The freshman class of 1964 won the float contest. The celebration was made complete with Avondale improving its record to 6-0 and boosting its lead in sub region 4-AAA East.
Avondaler’s Pitching Brings 18-6 Victory - Pritchett Teaches Decatur a Lesson
Ed Pritchett, just learning his quarterbacking trade, taught Decatur a lesson in the art of throwing the long pass as unbeaten Avondale High rollicked to its sixth straight football victory, 18-6 in front of 5,000 home fans on October 7th. Pritchett, a non-throwing fullback last year, set up the Devil’s first touchdown in the initial quarter with strikes of 12 and 46 yards to Freddie Guy and Jimmy Thompson. After sophomore Tommy Carlisle had tramped the Imps into a 12-0 scoring bulge with a 35-yard romp in the 3rd quarter, Pritchett looped a 29-yard payoff pitch to Freddie Guy on the first play of the final stanza. The victory gave Coach Calvin Ramsey’s charges undisputed possession of the Region 4-AAA East leadership. The victory kept intact the Devil’s record of never losing a home-coming game or a game in their three-year old stadium in the 16 games they have played there. Sandra Reiley was crowned Homecoming Queen by Captains Mike Herron and Ed Pritchett.
Decatur received the opening kickoff but was forced to punt with a fourth-and-one situation from the 50-yard line. Pritchett returned the kick to the Avondale 31. Tommy Carlisle and Jimmy Thompson moved for a first down on the 42, followed by a jump pass from Pritchett to Freddie Guy on the Decatur 47. Thompson outran Decatur’s secondary and caught a Pritchett pass on the two, then Pritchett plunged over from the score for Avondale’s 6-0 lead on the 7th play of the drive. Decatur had an opportunity handed to them on a fumbled punt recovery at the Avondale 12 at the end of the first quarter. The Devil’s defense put up a stone wall and stopped Hue Rainey just short of the first down on the three, then Avondale took over and kicked out of the hole. Midway into the third quarter Pritchett returned a punt to the Decatur 38. After Thompson hard-nosed his way for two yards, Carlisle slanted over right guard, cut back across-field brilliantly and stormed the last 36 yards with a nifty piece of broken field running. In the fourth quarter Decatur kicked out from their 8-yard line to the 29. On the first play Pritchett faked to both of his halfbacks, turned and hit Guy who was alone on the goal line to give the Devils an 18-0 lead.
Avondale’s rawhide-tough defense, led by end Butch Van Dyke and guards Ronnie Campbell, Bruce Tallant and Mike Herron, held Decatur in a vise until midway in the fourth quarter. Additional help was provided by Bill Mobley who created a fumble that was recovered by tackle Gene Reed. Decatur’s only score was set up by an interception at the Bulldog 35. Then Kenny Ewing directed Charlie Hall’s Bulldogs 65 yards on a 15-play drive for Jeff Hollis to score on a one-yard plunge with only 1:15 left on the clock to make the final score 18-6. Triple-threat Pritchett was the guiding genius all the way—running, directing, punting, kicking off, and passing. Jimmy Thompson slashed for 40 yards on eight carries while Carlisle rushed for 70 yards on nine lugs. Notable support for the Blue Devil’s win was given by Andy Wiley, Calvin Lott, and Bill Mobley.
The AHS vs. Decatur Yardstick: First Downs: 10 vs.7; Rushing: 146 vs. 99; Passing: 87 vs. 31; Penalties: 25 vs. 45
AHS Scoring: TDs—Pritchett (run, 2); Carlisle (run , 36); Guy (29 yard pass from Pritchett, run)
Scores by quarter:
Avondale 6 0 6 6 -- 18
Decatur 0 0 0 6 -- 6