Tallassee Tigers 1941-1947
The Tallassee Tigers arguably own one of the most prestigious winning streaks in Alabama high school football history. Over the course of seven seasons they pilled up an amazing record of 57-0-1. Beginning in 1941 the Tigers, under the direction of Hall of Fame coach "Hot" O'Brien, would become a legend not only in Alabama but across the nation. The town would support the team and coach during this time like no other school had before.
The closest to defeat the Tigers would come was a scoreless tie with Wetumpka in 1944. It all began on October 10, 1941. The previous week the Tigers had fallen to Central Phenix City in a close game 7-0 and no knew what lay on the horizon for these Tigers from central Alabama. The next week Tallassee would defeat Eufaula and the streak was on. The Tigers would only allow two more touchdowns in 1941 and would dispose of six more foes.
In 1942 Tallassee would finish 8-0 having allowed just one team to cross the goal line and that came against Valley when Askew, for the Rams, would return the second half kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown. No other teams was able to score that season as the Tigers rolled up 252 point. The 1943 season proved to be much of the same as the Tigers rolled over 8 more opponents and outscored them 253-19 shutting out seven foes along the way.
In 1944 Tallassee would suffer the only blemish on their streak when a Wetumpka team came to town on a muddy, sloppy field. A 0-0 tie with their cross-county rival would be enough to keep the undefeated streak alive. The bigger Wetumpka team dressed out 70-80 players while coach O'Brien had 27 boys to chose from that evening.
The years passed and the Tigers continued to win. The biggest game may have been November 15, 1946 when the Tigers traveled to Montgomery to take on the Sidney Lanier Poets. Lanier was the largest school in the state at the time and enrolled six times as many students as did Tallassee. The Tigers walked out of the Cramton Bowl that evening with a 12-0 victory and the streak continued.
The streak would finally come to an end in the Cramton Bowl on November 14, 1947 when the same Poets would defeat the Tigers 21-7.
During the streak Tallassee would average an amazing 30.4 points a game and allowed only 2.7 while shutting out 39 of their 57 opponents.
Coach "Hot" O'Brien would become a legend in this small town. He had gotten his nickname at Birmingham Southern while playing basketball. During a close game with Howard College some fan kept yelling "get hot, O'Brien, get hot!" A sportswriter covering the game when writing the story stated that O'Brien did get hot and the name stuck. He would remain at Tallassee through the 1952 season and finish with a 120-29-7 record.
Spence McCracken won a record 21 Area/Region Championships at Montgomery Academy, Lee Montgomery and Opelika during his coaching career.