Flashback: Tiger Football vs. Bryan Station
One game is down, nine more to go. Bryan Station is borrowing Lexington Catholic’s field tomorrow to host us in Lexington for the Bluegrass Bowl. It has been quite some time since we last saw the Defenders, so it is important to take a trip down memory lane and remember that we were carrying a state championship trophy to the bus after the last time we played them.
A big shiny football is not the prize tomorrow night, but a repeat performance in the result of a win would be nice.
In the archives of the KHSAA.org scoreboard, there is only one meeting between the Tigers and Defenders since 1998 and that was the 1999 State Championship game at Old Cardinal Stadium. St. Xavier narrowly escaped Hopkinsville in the semifinals with a one point victory and in the state championship, it was another close ballgame. In overtime, the Tigers took home their 10th state championship title and win for the ages. They closed out the 20th century with a 34-31 win over the Bryan Station Defenders.
Offensive Line coach Adam Billings was a senior offensive linemen during this game and won his second state championship as a result.
1999- St. Xavier 34 Bryan Station 31
Will Wolford (St. Xavier 1977-1981) – Lettered four years in both football and basketball, as well as three years in track. After high school, he accepted an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University where he graduated in 1987. A four-year starter for the Commodores, he was a unanimous First Team All-SEC pick after his senior season, and the first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1986 NFL draft. During his 13-year NFL career, Will played with the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started in three Super Bowls and three Pro Bowls and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in September of 1994.
Dermontti Dawson (Bryan Station 1979-1983) – Dawson was a nationally ranked high school track and field performer in the discus and shot put at Bryan Station, but his real calling was football. He was an all-state offensive tackle in high school and eventually accepted a football scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky. Among his high school teammates were future NFL players Marc Logan and Cornell Burbage. Dawson played center and guard at Kentucky. He lettered in each of his four years. In his freshman year in 1984 the team defeated Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl. As a senior in 1987 Dawson was named second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC). Dawson was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. In his rookie season he played guard alongside Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. When Webster left the team following that season, Dawson succeeded him as the starting center. He soon became one of the most respected players among the Steelers, and one of the best in the league at his position. He earned the name “Dirt” for the way he would try to grind defenders into the ground. In contrast, his friendly off-field demeanor led to a second nickname, Ned Flanders, after the annoyingly cheerful character from The Simpsons.
Eric Shelton (Bryan Station 1997-2001) – Eric was a first team USA Today and Parade All-American, a SuperPrep Elite 50 member and was selected as an All-America by Reebok/ESPN during his playing days as a Defender. BorderWars.com selected him among their Top 100 prospects and he also made Rivals.com’s Top 100 list. He continued to get national recognition as the Atlanta Constitution made him a Super Southern selection. Shelton scored 32 touchdowns and averaged over 10 yards per carry while rushing for 4,970 yards and 59 TD’s over his career. He was a two-time state class 4A Player of the Year and also played a little defense totaling 129 tackles, 41 tackles for losses and 11 QB sacks during his prep career at linebacker. Eric also was an all-state track performer competing in the high hurdles, triple jump and 4×100 relay.
We rarely ever see the Defenders so this is a nice changeup in the regular season schedule. They are a strong team with lots of rich football tradition, but this is 2014 and the Tigers are rolling after a big week one win. The offense looks as in-sync as it has been since 2009… and that was a state championship season. Good luck to the Bryan Station defense as they try to defend (pun intended) Noah Houk and the Tigers.