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Author Topic: 40th Anniversary of 1973 AIC Champion Reddies  (Read 631 times)

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Offline Busman

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40th Anniversary of 1973 AIC Champion Reddies
« on: August 26, 2013, 08:37:01 pm »
Written by probably the worst football player on the team. Word coming in was Sporty Carpenter had one more year to get it done. Brought in a new assistant coach Bradley Mills who had played at Kentucky for Bear Bryant and Blanton Collier from Texas Tech. A core group of seniors had suffered through some lean times, but the 1972 team had finished strong. Senior db/punter Billy Don Miller anchored a strong secondary including soph Dwaine Cornlius. Linebackers Earnest Rhone, later a Miami Dolphin, and Larry Locke backed a line that featured hometown hero Dennis Parker. Offensively, second year QB Terry Blaylock, who finished his career 36-4, had three tailbacks in Sylvester Henry, Allen Ray, and freshman Joe Smith and fullbacks Pat Campbell and Larry Ray. Freshman receiver Mark Pilcher, who started every game for four years, and NFL draftee Joe Yancey had moved from center to tight end. Jim Morris anchored the line in his first of three years as a starter, with converted hs fullbacks Silas Johnson and Joe Ford leading a pack of pulling guards for Sporty's patented power sweeps.

Opening wins over D2 Austin Peay and Mississippi College started the season off. A pivotal win over AIC rival SAU lead to an undefeated AIC Championship, with one non-conference loss to Livingston the only blemish. Finished ranked #6 in the NAIA, Sporty turned down an invitation to the Poultry Bowl in Texas. Typical Carpenter, told the press "We chickened out."

With the additions of former NFLer Roy Green, All American returner Lewis Pryor and Do everything player Ricky Patton, the 1974 team finished Second in the nation to Texas A&I and extended the AIC win streak to 14 (eventually reaching 20).

Freshman on the 1973 team included former University of Cincinnati head coach Rick Minter, currently lb coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and J. B. Grimes, current Auburn offensive line coach.


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