Alabama overcomes adversity, Gators

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

After

battling turmoil and adversity over the past couple of months, Mike DuBose finally has a reason to smile. Against long odds, the 21st-ranked Crimson Tide pulled out an improbable victory over the Florida Gators in front of a record crowd of 85,721 at "The Swamp" and a national television audience.

With the win, the Crimson Tide snapped Florida's 30-game home winning streak.

What makes this win over Florida even more phonomenal is that it is only the second time in 65 games under Spurrier that the Gators had lost a lead in the fourth quarter.

After being unfairly criticized by numerous critics, Andrew Zow showed why he should be the starting quarterback, completing 28 of 40 for 336 yards, two touchdowns and just one interception. However, it was the offensive linemen who were the unsung heroes, allowing just one sack as defensive end Alex Brown failed to add to his nation-leading nine sacks.

Defensively, the Tide rose to the occassion by sacking Doug Johnson on the final drive of regulation, forcing overtime.

After Johnson's fourth touchdown pass of the game, it appeared the Tide was doomed. Fortunately, Jeff Chandler's extra point went wide right providing new life for Alabama. After bombing Florida with the pass all day, the Tide offense crossed up the Gator defense as Shaun Alexander busted a counter play for a 25-yard touchdown to setup Chris Kemp's dramatic and

successful second chance at the extra point.

Saturday's victory over Florida proves that the Crimson Tide is closer than many people think to ending Florida and Tennessee's decade long SEC stranglehold. Unlike the last two seasons, Alabama showed it could win under adversity in a hostile environment. With the week off, Alabama is 3-0 and a half game ahead of Mississippi State for first place in the SEC West. The Tide has climbed to No. 12 in the latest Associated Press Poll.

High School notes

After a tough area loss at J.F. Shields, the Georgiana Panthers bounced back with an impressive 33-12 designated win over the Goshen Eagles bringing their record to 3-3. The good sign for Panther fans is the Eagles only loss is to powerhouse Brantley, 14-6. Friday's win shows Georgiana is making progress.

At Fort Dale Academy, the Eagles (3-3, 1-1) are feeling the effects of playing one of the toughest AISA schedules, falling to Morgan Academy 41-8. The Eagles are going through the heart of their schedule as they face their third ranked opponent in four weeks in Mobile Christian in a huge region game.

At Greenville High School, the clock may have already struck midnight on the Tigers (0-6) as they dropped a 20-7 decision to area foe Hillcrest-Evergreen.

At Greenville Academy, the Tornados (1-5) put together another fine effort but were simply overmatched by Dixie Academy, 39-16.

After an outstanding 12-2 record last week, here are this week's picks:

Highland Home (6-0) at Lineville (6-0) This could be a preview of the Class 2A state championship game as the number seven

Squadron travels to east central Alabama to face number one Lineville. While the Squadron defense is much improved, I think Lineville's big game experience will help them prevail. Lineville 14, Highland Home 13

Georgiana (3-3) at Luverne (1-5) For the second straight week, the Panthers win a game that could come in handy for a tie breaker against J.F. Shields and Red Level should they beat the Tigers at home on Oct. 29. Georgiana 19 Luverne 14

Mobile Christian (4-2, 1-1) at Fort Dale Academy (3-3, 1-1) This is a huge game for the Eagles as they try to turn their season around and make the playoffs. MC 28 FDA 12

Calvary Christian at Greenville Academy (1-5): The Tornados hope to celebrate homecoming with a win. GA 20 Calvary 18

Demopolis (4-2) at Greenville High (0-6) The Tigers end an important three game homestand on a low note. DHS 27 GHS 7

Lochapoka (4-2) at McKenzie (1-5) There will plenty of folks from Crenshaw County wearing green that will be keeping an eye on the Indians, who could be a potential 1A playoff opponent. LHS 34 MHS 6

Mississippi State (5-0, 2-0) at Auburn (3-2, 1-2)

Based on what I saw against Tennessee, Auburn will have a hard time against one of the nation's best defenses. Miss. State 20 Auburn 10

Northwestern State (2-2, 1-0) at Troy State (4-0) This game could very well determine the Southland Football League Title. TSU 21 NSU 17

Other scorers: Tennessee 24 Georgia 20, Florida St. 34 Miami 21, Ga. Tech 35 UNC 17, Mississippi 38 Tulane 23, Michigan 24 Michigan St. 19, Texas 31 Oklahoma 27.