Addison coach beat Brantley in #8216;76 finals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005

Randy White is one step closer to seeing his dream become a reality.

Playing in his junior year at Addison High in rural Winston County, White won the Class 2A championship beating Susan Moore 15-7.

Now, 34 years later, White has an opportunity to guide his alma mater to its first state title since 1976.

&#8220I'm just really blessed to be in this position,” White said. &#8220It's every player's dream to come back to your alma mater and coach, but I just happen to be in the right place at the right time.”

White wearing his 1970 state championship ring with pride and said that he would gladly trade it in on a newer model. But White hasn't been wearing that championship ring long.

In fact it took him 25 years before getting a chance to wear that championship ring.

&#8220It wasn't customary to buy rings after winning a state championship back then,” he said. &#8220But about 25 years later my teammates and I got together and bought some championship rings. I had been wearing it around all season. Now I want one as a coach.”

The Bulldogs (13-1) eliminated Wadley in the semifinals last week, 46-7, to earn the trip to Birmingham this Friday to face Brantley, which ironically was the team that Addison beat in 1976 to win the school's second football title.

The irony doesn't stop there.

The two schools share the same mascot, which is the Bulldog.

The two schools come into the championship game with identical records.

The two schools opened the season with a loss before winning 13 in a row.

And the two schools lost to a 2A school in their season opener, and lost by 2 points in those games.

But that's where the similarities end.

Addison has been a ball-controlling and power rushing machine this season, whereas Brantley has been able to mount a balanced offensive attack on the ground and through the air.

The Bulldogs have three 1,000-yard rushers with Caleb Parker leading Addison's attack with 1,315 yards on 69 carries and 18 touchdowns. The senior running back also has 14 catches for 310 yards and six more TDs.

Complimenting Parker is senior fullback Wes Willingham, who has rushed for 1,034 yards on 157 carries and 16 touchdowns. Flanking Parker and Willingham is junior halfback Blake Turner, who has tallied 1,009 yards on 116 carries and 13 touchdowns.

Paving the way for the Bulldog's trio of 1,000-yard rushers is a veteran offensive line that sports five seniors and two juniors.

&#8220We aren't very big across the front. We probably average about 210 pounds across the front, but they get after you. And our backs couldn't do anything without them,” White said.

Throwing the ball seems to be at a premiemum at Addison. Junior quarterback Jake Gilliand has only attempted 64 passes all season, but has connected on 13 of those for touchdowns.

And White believes that his best defense will be his offense this Friday.

&#8220We've got to play ball control to keep the ball away from their offense,” he said. &#8220Every time we get the ball, we need to keep the ball. (Brantley) can score at anytime, so we don't want to see the ball get into their hands.”