Can it get any stranger?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Last weekend was wild and crazy from Friday night high school football action to Saturday's college games and all the way to Sunday's maddening NFL season-openers.

Area high school football teams were all involved in blowouts last Friday night, except for the Straughn Tigers.

Straughn appeared to be on the way to a lopsided victory against the No. 1-ranked T.R. Miller Tigers after building a 20-6 lead.

T.R. Miller Head Coach Jamie Riggs, however, proved why Brewton is home to one of the most storied programs in high school football in South Alabama with a dramatic comeback effort.

In the end, Straughn's defense withstood the rally to earn a one-point victory.

Friday night was also the night Red Level's Antonio "A.J." Harris had a career game with 387 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the Tigers' route of the New Brockton Gamecocks.

The madness continued Saturday when the Alabama Crimson Tide pulled out all the stops in an attempt to upset the highly-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Onside kicks and a fake field goal helped the Tide take the lead, but Oklahoma put together a late drive to score and go back on top. Then, bad luck slammed the Tide when Tyler Watts fumbled the ball on a pump fake.

Sunday was just plain weird.

Former Alabama player Dwayne Rudd basically lost a game for his pro team with a defensive penalty with no time left on the clock. The penalty moved the opposition into field goal range and the ageless Morten Anderson split the uprights for a one-point victory.

Another crazy game was the N.Y. Jets miraculous comeback against the Buffalo Bills and Drew Bledsoe.

The Jets rallied to tie the game and send it into overtime. Then, on the opening kickoff of the extra session, the Jets return man went the distance to win the game with a touchdown.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also had a wild game. The Bucs rallied to knot the score and send it into overtime in Jon Gruden's debut as head coach. Martin Grammatica booted a game-tying field goal as the final second of regulation ticked off the game clock.

The game appeared to be headed for a tie in the overtime period until about the four minute mark when a Bucs' punt turned into a New Orleans' touchdown.

A strong rush by the Saints' defense on the punt attempt forced Bucs punter Tom Tupa to pull the ball down and attempt to get off a pass out of his own end zone.

Tupa, a former quarterback, made it clear why he is no longer a signal caller on the play hitting a wide opener Saints defender in the end zone for a game-losing touchdown.

Yes, last weekend was wild and crazy in the world of football.

The scary thing is that this weekend begins with high school football games on Friday the 13th.

John Wallace is the sports editor of, and columnist for, The Andalusia Star-News.