squads that stand tall
above the rest
throuGhout More thAn A Cen- tury of Texas high school football there have been great teams, great dynas- ties, great traditions and great games.
With offensive showcases dominating the landscape in the last decade, defense is starting to
reverse the trend. defense certainly isn’t new
to Texas. There have been transcendent players, coaches and schemes across generations.
shutouts, including the final 13 games. Even
under the scrutiny of time, head coach dennis
Alexander is regarded as one of the state’s best
technical and motivational coaches with a team
which could have competed well outside its
enrollment classification. The defense, which
was one of several dominating daingerfield defenses of the 1980s, had a secondary featuring
a 4 x 400 meter state champion relay team.
As always there are myths and legends to
separate. daingerfield alum Thomas Everett had
already graduated when the ’ 83 team became
dominant, but Thomas’ younger brother, Eric, was
a Tiger that season. Thomas etched his way into
Baylor lore and is remembered for a standout NFL
career which included two interceptions for the
dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl xx Vii.
Back in ’ 83, daingerfield’s defense scored
76 points and held opponents to less than a
foot per play. daingerfield’s defense allowed
one touchdown all season.
Houston Yates, 1985
there Is no ArGuInG the dIstInCtIon
between classifications with the 1985 Class
5A state champion yates Lions. yates rolled up
an Odessa Permian in its mojo heyday, 37-0, at
Texas Stadium in the 1985 state final for yates’
eighth shutout of the season. yates coach Luther
Booker (who died in 1994) is credited with building a play-by-play intensity and conditioning level
which led to yates giving up just 4. 8 points per
game. yates is considered by some as Texas’s
all-time best team with future NFL players in
defensive tackle Santana dotson, running back
Johnny Bailey and receiver Quentin Smith.
dallas carter, 1988
All the Controversy surroundInG
Carter should not overshadow that it was one of
the state’s most talented and effective defenses.
With a “Spaghetti” alignment which included 11
defenders crowding the line and involving blitzes,
zone-blitzes and multiple players able to play
man-to-man bump and run coverage, Carter had
a star-studded roster including Clifton Abraham
(Florida State/NFL), gary Edwards (houston),
Jessie Armstead (miami/NFL), derric Evans (
Tennessee) and LeShai maston (Baylor/NFL). Carter
defeated highly regarded perennial powers Permian, in the semifinals, and Converse Judson, in the
final. But it was a 22-18 quarterfinal victory over a
similarly talented marshall which adds to Carter’s
status as one of Texas’ all-time best defenses.
the lAte 1980s And eArly 1990s were
arguably the tipping point for Texas leaping
BIG sAndy, 1975 Jim
Norman’s Wildcats set a
national high school scoring
record with 824 points in 14
games, but allowed only 15
points for the season with
sAn AntonIo ChurChIll,
Jerry Comlander’s Chargers
captured the 4A state
championship in 1976 with a
perfect 15-0 record.
The 16-0 State Champion
Pittsburg Pirates gave up a grand
total of 23 points the entire
season and held all opponents
scoreless from week five through
the State Semi-Finals.
odessA PerMIAn, 1989
The Panthers went 16-0 and
claimed the 5A State title the
school’s third state champion-
ship of the 1980s. ESPN named
the gary gaines’ Panthers
mythical national champions
after their undefeated season.
southl Ake CArroll,
1992 Todd dodge’s dragons
over California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida
as the cultural, emotional and physical mecca
for high school football. The three most promi-
nent teams were Odessa Permian, Carter and
Aldine, which for several reasons never got the
attention of the first two. But Aldine’s 1990
Class 5A dii state champ had a defense which
shut down a high-powered Arlington Lamar in
the state final a week after beating a record-
setting and innovative mission team coached
by Sonny detmer in the state semifinals.
finished that season at 16-0 and
outscored opponents 803-122
and many consider them to be
the best 3A team of all time.
Converse Judson, 1993
under d. W. Rutledge the
Rockets made it to six state
championship games in the
90’s winning three with this
squad dominating on defense.
k Aty, 2000 under
mike Johnston, the Tigers
dominated the houston area
during the 90’s and the 2000
title confirmed katy as a state
power. Behind a great defense
only one of their 16 games
was decided by less than two