|The Toughest Coach There Ever Was by Frank Deford|
Page 5 of 20
This isn't to say that Bull Cyclone was above taking the rules as far as they could go. At least one time, in the rain, he taped thumbtacks to his quarterbacks' fingers so they could get a better grip on the ball. That worked just fine until the tacks started scratching up the pigskin better than a Don Sutton belt buckle. Another time, Bull Cyclone got to thinking about how his linemen pulled out to block. He was using the split T then, and most of the plays came off the quarterback rolling right. So Coach thought, "Well now, if my guard and tackle are going to pull on just about every play and everybody figures this, I might as well get them headed in the right direction to start with." So he had them come up to the line of scrimmage and take their three-point stances facing the other way, with their rear ends staring the opposing linemen in the face.
And on a most memorable occasion, just as Scooba was about to score against Southwest, the officials called a holding penalty, citing the number of a player who wasn't in the game. Enraged by this breach, Bull Cyclone ran onto the field to get his point across better. That's an automatic 15 on top of the 15 for holding. First-and-40. Potter, the referee, said, "You gotta go back, Corch," but Bull Cyclone kept on coming. Another 15. First-and-55. "C'mon, Bull," Potter pleaded. He liked him. "Go on back, or I gotta give you 15 more."
"I don't give a damn!" Bull Cyclone thundered. "You're wrong!" Potter stepped off 15 more. First-and70. Then, as soon as Potter placed the ball down once again, Bull Cyclone went into his patented kicking phase. He booted the bejesus out of the ball. By the time they retrieved it, it was first-and-85.
Because they had nearly run out of acreage and he had made his point, Bull Cyclone returned to the sideline, pausing only to tell his quarterback to call a Z-out, Z-in. This was one play, mind you. Southwest was still laughing and, needless to say, wasn't looking for Bull Cyclone to try to get the whole 85 back on one play. But he was. Z-out, Z-in, TD.
"Wooo, that did it," Poole says.
Bull Cyclone enjoyed matching wits with other coaches. Dobie Holden down at Pearl River was his favorite rival. Pearl River was often the top team in the conference. It was a much larger school than Scooba and always well coached. One year Pearl River was an overwhelming favorite against Scooba and was at home, to boot. This brought out the best in Bull Cyclone. He really put on his thinking cap. Scooba would normally arrive for a Saturday night game around 4 p.m., after stopping along the way for a typical training meal that the players referred to as "the four Ts": tea, taters, toast and tough meat. This time, however, as old Night Train rattled through Hattiesburg on the way to Pearl River, Bull Cyclone had the bus pull up to one of the fanciest restaurants in all of Mississippi and treated the boys to the finest of repasts. Then, as Night Train rolled into the Poplarsville area, where Pearl River is located, Bull Cyclone diverted it to a roadside park. Everybody in Pearl River was wondering what was up as game time approached. Where were Bull Cyclone and the Scooba team? Finally, just in time for the players to dress, Night Train arrived.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 March 2008 )|
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