History of the Backyard Brawl

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1992: The largest crowd to view a high school football game at Garrett Stadium showed up for Game 1 of the series between Central High and Smiths Station High, an estimated 9,000 plus. Central won the game 10-0 as Ricky Dewberry scored on a 4-yard run and Tab Barber kicked a 30-yard field goal for the Red Devils.

1993: Jonathan Taylor put the Panthers ahead just 15 seconds into the game with a 94-yard kickoff return, but Central would lead 12-7 at the half as Ike Parham scored on a 4-yard run and Griff Gordy scored on a 1-yard dive. Smiths Station regained the lead at 13-12 when Chris Cowels scored on a 2-yard run. But, an 11-play 90-yard drive by the Red Devils decided the contest with Calvin Crowell scoring on a 3-yard run to make the score 18-13. The Red Devils went on to win the Class 6A state championship that season.

1994: Smiths Station got its first win of the series, 7-6, over the Red Devils. The loss ended a 10-game winning streak for Central. The game was scoreless until Central’s Daniel Kirkland scored in the third quarter to give the Red Devils a 6-0 lead. The missed extra point would prove costly as Smiths Station drove 87 yards in the final two minutes to win. Shane Clay threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Rechard Jones with 20 seconds remaining in the contest to tie the score. Tripp Henderson kicked the extra point to give the Panthers the victory.

1995: Central’s defense dominated the fourth game of the series to lead the Red Devils to a 21-7 victory. Central’s defense picked off two passes and returned them for touchdowns and recovered a fumble to set up the other Red Devil touchdown. Quincy Hayes gave Central a 7-0 lead with a 61-yard interception return with 49 seconds left in the first half. Scotty King recovered a fumble at the Panthers’ 9-yard line to set up a TD run by Keon Allen with 8:23 left in the game. After Smiths Station cut the margin to 13-7, Central’s Chris Lee intercepted a pass and returned it 58 yards for a TD. Earnest Trotman scored the two-point conversion to make the final score 21-7.

1996: Smiths Station got its second victory of the series with a 7-6 decision over the Red Devils. The Panthers’ Chevy Green broke a scoreless tie with a 34-yard run in the third quarter. With 11:51 left to play, Central’s Zack Berklin scored on a 4-yard run, but the extra point attempt failed and Smiths Station held on to win 7-6 for the second time.

1997: Central claimed its fourth victory of the series with another 21-7 win over the Panthers. Central’s Cedric “Doc” Brooks scored all three touchdowns for the Red Devils. Brooks caught a 52-yard pass from Randy Dixon for the game’s first points. He scored on a 3-yard run after Zack Berklin had a 42-yard run to set up the TD run. Smiths Station’s Travis Davis scored on a 1-yard run with 11:21 left in the game to cut the margin to 14-7, but Brooks scored his third TD on a 7-yard run with 5:41 left to put the victory away for the Red Devils.

1998: In the first-ever game of the series to be played at Panther Stadium, Central won 10-0 as the Panthers entered Class 6A play. Jake Roberts kicked a 20-yard field goal to give Central a 3-0 lead with 6:06 left in the first half. Larry Moore intercepted a Smiths Station pass to set up the game’s only touchdown, a 2-yard run by Terrance Stallion with 6:47 left in the fourth quarter.

1999: Smiths Station upset No. 4 ranked Central with a 17-13 victory and spoiled Central’s homecoming night as well. Beau Torbert threw an 8-yard pass to Triandos Luke to put Central in the lead at 7-0. Brandon Miles booted an 18-yard field goal for the Panthers to make the score 7-3. Jake Roberts kicked a 25-yard field goal to up Central’s lead to 10-3, but the game would be tied 10-10 at halftime with Jeffery Clark’s 56-yard fumble return. Roberts kicked a 22-yard field goal to give Central a 13-10 lead that would not hold. Leviticus Arnold scored on a 2-yard run to give Smiths Station the win.

2000: After leading just 7-3 at the half, Central scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter to claim a 31-3 victory over the Panthers. Central’s Fred Sumbry caught a 4-yard pass from Kelcy Luke in the first half and Gartrell Williams kicked a 25-yard field goal for the Panthers. In the third quarter, Bobby Coleman scored on an 11-yard pass from Luke. Nic Luke scored on a 15-yard run after Chris Hammond intercepted a Smiths Station pass. Coleman scored on a 6-yard run and Jake Roberts kicked a 44-yard field goal for the other Central points in the third quarter.

2001: Central won this one 45-13. The Red Devils ran out to a 31-0 lead in the first half as Nic Luke scored on a 5-yard run, Terrance Tarver caught a 2-yard pass from Kelcy Luke, the Luke brothers teamed up on a 55-yard scoring pass, Don Hill ran 20 yards for a TD and Jake Roberts kicked a 31-yard field goal. Hill scored on a 41-yard run and Brandon Averett ran six yards for a touchdown in the second half. The victory gave Central the region title.

2002: Central’s offense rolled up 582 total yards in a 55-0 rout of the Panthers. Terrance Tarver scored on a 1-yard run and Don Hill ran 27 yards for another in the first quarter. Jonathan Lowe caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kelcy Luke and Brandon Atkins scored on a 2-yard run to give Central a 28-0 halftime lead. Luke found Vonclifton Mathews on a 45-yard scoring strike and hit Ryan Nelson on a 56-yard TD pass in the third quarter to up the lead to 41-0. The final two touchdowns were scored on a 14-yard run by Biondi Rolle and a 13-yard run by Brandon Thomas.

2003: Central got its second consecutive shutout of the Panthers in this game, a 26-0 victory for the Red Devils. Jonathan Lowe ran 17 times for 147 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 33 and 28 yards. He also returned a punt 58 yards for a third touchdown. Brandon Thomas scored on a 36-yard run for the Red Devils.

2004: Central won its fifth game in a row of the series with a 28-6 victory. Down 3-0, Central exploded for 21 points in the second quarter to put the game out of reach for the Panthers. Earl Alexander was 6-of-7 passing for 171 yards in the second quarter, tossing TD passes to Chris Word for 47 yards, Brandon Long for 18 yards and Word for 54 yards. He threw one more TD pass in the second half, a 3-yard toss to Long, to end the night with four.

2005: Central won its sixth consecutive game against Smiths Station with a 30-15 victory. Earl Alexander had another big night for the Red Devils, passing for 112 yards and running for 95 as he led the Central offense to 419 total yards. Alexander scored twice running the football and threw for a TD.

2006: The Smiths Station Panthers ended Central’s winning streak in the series at six with a 14-7 victory over the Red Devils in a game marred by 36 penalty flags, of which 27 were accepted by the two teams and that prevented either team from gaining much momentum. When the night was over, neither team had as many yards of offense as the number of yards negated by penalties – 230 yards. Central was flagged 14 times for 114 yards while Smiths Station had 116 yards assessed on 13 penalties. Smiths Station’s Antwan Doughty scored on a 2-yard run with 6:55 left in the first half to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Central’s David Ray tied the game as the half ended with a 23-yard catch of a pass from Geoffrey James. Kyle Barr connected with Dominique Thomas on a 34-yard pass with 4:29 left in the third quarter for what would prove to be the winning touchdown.

2007: Orwin Smith ran for 158 yards on 28 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 10 and 11 yards to lead Central to a 21-13 victory over Smiths Station. Deon Hill scored the Red Devils’ other TD on a seven-yard pass from Darren Daniel. The Panthers got a pair of field goals from Jeff Carrero and a one-yard TD run by Kyle Barr, who completed 22-of-32 passes for 210 yards, but had three of his attempts picked off by the Red Devils. Rico Porch had two of the interceptions and Taurance Bass had one for Central.

2008: Central’s Orwin Smith had one of the best nights of his career, but it was not enough as Smiths Station rallied to take a 27-24 victory in the 17thgame of the series. Smith had 164 yards rushing on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also caught a pair of passes for 34 yards to total 198 all-purpose yards for the contest. But, Smiths Station’s Robert Frinks scored on an 11-yard run with 4:48 left in the game to secure the win and a playoff berth for the Panthers. The loss eliminated Central from the playoffs.

2009: Central won the most lopsided game of the series by a 61-0 margin. The Red Devils scored nine touchdowns in the game – five off Smiths Station turnovers. Cordary Clark-Allen scored three TDs for Central while Darren Daniel, T.J. Rice, J.D. McKissic, Dante Devouse, Trent Miles and Jerald Walker each scored once.

2010: Central’s two Jonathans – Jonathan Wallace and Jonathan Curry – had outstanding performances for the Red Devils in a 34-7 victory. Wallace ran 15 times for 144 yards and scored three touchdowns. Curry caught four passes for 112 yards. Lorenzo Betties scored the Panthers’ lone TD on a 4-yard run.

2011: With a region title on the line for the Red Devils, Central routed Smiths Station 59-14. Central scored twice in the game’s first 3 minutes and 52 seconds thanks to a pair of Smiths Station fumbles caused by jarring hits from Zach Dean. Central running backs Jerald Walker and Trent Miles were the leaders in the Red Devils’ ground game that rolled up 304 yards. Walker ran 13 times for 130 yards with a pair of TDs. Miles had seven carries for 115 yards and one TD.

2012: Central’s Traveon Samuel, a sophomore, made his name known to the fans of both teams as he scored all four of the Red Devils’ touchdowns in a 28-22 victory. Samuel had three touchdowns in the first half on runs of 5, 5 and 1 yards. But, it was a 12-yard touchdown reception on the first drive of the second half that proved to be the winning points of the contest. The victory gave Central the final spot in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 6A playoffs from Region 3.

2013: In the last game Central High would play on the grass turf of Trawick Field in Garrett-Harrison Stadium, the Red Devils avoided a losing season and prevented Smiths Station from winning its first Region 3 title with a 27-15 victory. The Panthers scored the game’s first nine points on a 101-yard interception return by Nigel Lawrence and a field goal by Harrison Jones. But, Central scored the next 20 points to go ahead 20-9. Zion Webb scored on a 50-yard run, Khaled Berklin scored on a pass from Webb and Traveon Samuel scored on a 4-yard run before Smiths Station could get back on the scoreboard. The Panthers scored on an 18-yard pass from Jerrell Gilmore to Johnny Woods to make the score 20-15. Central’s final points came on a 32-yard TD run by Kenny Thomas. Thomas finished the night with 110 yards on 16 carries. Samuel had 96 yards on 11 carries and Webb added 81 yards on 10 attempts for the Red Devils. It was Central’s fifth consecutive victory in the series.

2014: In the Red Devils’ 500th victory in school history, with the score tied at 21-21 with 4.4 seconds to play in the first half, the Smiths Station Panthers were headed for the locker room only to be told to return to the field as Central Coach Jamey DuBose called a timeout for one final play of the half. Zion Webb tossed a pass towards the end zone that was either batted by Justyn Ross or a Smiths Station defender around the 2-yard-line into the hands of Traveon Samuel, who slipped into the end zone to give the Red Devils a 28-21 advantage. Central then scored on its first drive of the second half to put the game out of reach. The Red Devils outscored Smiths Station 28-7 in the second half to win 49-28. The victory tied the record for most consecutive wins in the series at six – both streaks owned by Central.

2015: Central fell behind early 14-7, but scored 34 unanswered points to win 41-14 – the seventh consecutive victory for the Red Devils in the annual brawl. Quan Weaver gave Central a 7-0 lead with a two-yard touchdown run. Smiths Station scored on a 26-yard run by Dalton Sinquefield and a 41-yard pass from Sinquefield to Tyson Tolliver to lead 14-7. Jaxton Carson tied the game with a one-yard run and then Justyn Ross hauled in a 60-yard TD toss from Weaver to give Central the lead for good at 21-14. Central’s defense was relentless in the second half, holding the Panthers to 79 total yards – 29 rushing and 50 passing – while recording a team record eight sacks. Walter Pritchett made four of the eight sacks for the Red Devils.

2016: In the 25th Backyard Brawl, the Central High Red Devils won easily 51-14 and gained a 20-5 advantage in the series with the Smiths Station High Panthers. It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Red Devils in the series. Central opened the game with an 86-yard kickoff return by Karon Delince to set up the Red Devils’ first touchdown, an 8-yard run by Jaxton Carson. Central went up 14-0 on a 24-yard run by Carson following a muffed punt by the Pathers. It was 21-0 after a 23-yard pass from Zion Webb to Justyn Ross before Smiths Station got on the scoreboard with an 8-yard TD pass from Jay Roberts to Airen Brooks. Then things got ugly for the Panthers as Central scored 20 points in a span of 21 seconds. Central’s DJ Rias started the onslaught with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Red Devils then recovered a pooch kick at the Smiths Station 6-yard line to set up a touchdown run by Jamaar Spivey on the next play. Then on the first play following the ensuing kickoff, Central’s Nate Jones intercepted a Panther pass and returned it 34 yards for the third touchdown of the span which began at 7:32 and ended at 7:11. Central led 41-7. Before the halftime intermission, Central kicker Alvin Rentaria added a 29-yard field goal to make the score 44-7. Central scored its final touchdown on an 8-yard pass from Peter Parrish to Ross in the third quarter to make the Red Devils’ final point tally 51. Smiths Station scored its final points on a 72-yard interception return by DJ Moffett with 2:20 left in the game.

2017: Central had no problems disposing of the Panthers in the 26th Backyard Brawl 62-7. While the Red Devils have always relied on their run game to control the game’s tempo and grind out yardage, they took another path in this contest as they turned to the passing game to secure the victory. Central ran just 22 times for 190 yards with the leading rusher being Joseph McKay with two carries for 67 yards. The running game produced enough points to win the contest with three touchdowns – two by Dominic Scott and one by Tucker Melton – but got five touchdowns through the air as the Red Devil quarterbacks teamed up for a 12-of-17 night with no interceptions for 222 yards. Peter Parrish completed 7-of-10 passes for 143 yards with three touchdowns and Melton completed 5-of-7 passes for 79 yards with two touchdowns. Derrick Moore and Will Clanton each had two touchdown receptions and Justyn Ross had one. Ross also had a punt return for a touchdown in this rout which gave the Red Devils a 21-5 lead over the Panthers in the series. Overall, Central had 412 total yards to Smiths Station’s 133. The Panthers did not gain a single yard through the air.