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   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

1964 Fort Payne Wildcats

 1964    Fort Payne Wildcats
 Record: 9-1-0
 Head Coach: Vernon Wells
 The 1964 Fort Payne Wildcats were chosen Class 3A State Champions by the Birmingham News from District 4.


Fort Payne began the 1964 season as the top ranked team by the AP voters and with the exception of week four held on to the ranking throughout the season to win a state championship. They were coming off 9-1, 9-0-1 and 8-2 seasons the past three years so expectations were high for the 1964 season.

They closed out a brilliant season with an impressive 34-6 victory over Cherokee County that solidified their top ranking. The Wildcats fell behind early but came back to command a 206 halftime lead. The win was necessary as Shelby County finished just a single point behind in the final poll on November 26.

The biggest victory may have come in week six when the Wildcats defeated Scottsboro for the first time in 54 years by a slim 7-6 margin. In a 41-13 win over Boaz, quarterback Dwight Brisendine completed 12 of 14 passes for 225 yards and six touchdowns. He also added five PATs for a total of 41 points.

Brisendine would finish the 1964 season completing 72 of 96 passes for 1,220 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also averaged 5.5 yards a carry running the ball. He connected on 18 of 22 PATs and punted for a 38.5 yard average.

The Wildcats would not finish the season undefeated as they fell to a good Gadsden team 14-6 in week four. Four starters did not play in the game. Gadsden was a higher classification and a larger school at the time.

Fort Payne was coached by Vernon Wells with John Holtzclaw serving as his assistant. Coach Wells came to Fort Payne from Butler in 1958 and would remain there through the 1967 season before moving on to Plainview and Albertville. He would finish his career with a record of 210-135-11.

1964 was the first season the Associated Press would produce a poll that included all four classifications. The voters were made up of sports writers from around the state and was the predecessor to the current ASWA. Fort Payne also was selected as champions by the Birmingham Post-Herald.

1964  Season
 Site   PF   Opponent   PA   W/L/T 
   Huntsville W
   Jones Valley W
 19   Pell City W
   Gadsden 14 L
 26   Guntersville W
   Scottsboro W
 33   Albertville 13 W
 33   Talladega 13 W
 41   Boaz 13 W
 34   Cherokee County W
212 9-1-0 72

1964 Fort Payne All-State Players
 Dwight BrisendineB 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Jimmy HarrisE 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Vernon WellsCoach 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Jimmy HarrisE 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Rudy WomackT 3A 2  Birmingham News
 Dwight BrisendineB 3A HM  Birmingham News
 Dwight BrisendineB 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Jimmy HarrisE 3A 1  Birmingham News
 Rudy WomackT 3A HM  Birmingham News
 Gehrig GilesB 3A HM  Birmingham News

1964 Fort Payne All-Star Players
 All Southern   
 Jimmy Harris E 3A  Birmingham News
 AHSAA-University of Alabama All-Star Game   
 Dwight Brisendine S 3A  Birmingham News

1964 Fort Payne Roster
83 Peter Little  
82 Jimmy Harris  
72 Wayne Stephens  
76 Benny Freeman  
60 Jim Keith  
50 Glenn Dilbeck  
61 Dewey Sparks  
78 Rudy Womack  
85 Joe Griggs  
84 James Shankles  
64 Butch Fergusin  
51 Dick Groat  
13 Geno Shirey  
32 Mike Holtzclaw  
30 Robert Purdy  
24 Gehrig Giles  
12 Dwight Brisendine  
25 Dwight Goza  
35 Eugene Prestwood  
63 Terry Reed  
75 Robert Houston  
71 Shelly Powell  
  David Crow  

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