By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Glynn Academy and Brunswick High will renew their football rivalry once again Friday night in the 2020 City Championship at Glynn County Stadium.
Friday’s game set for 7:30 p.m. will be the 77th meeting between the Pirates and Red Terrors who met for the first time back in 1968 after Brunswick High opened as the new public high school in Glynn County.
The BHS-GA series is among the longest-running series in the state, and going into this 2020 contest, the two teams are tied at 37-37-2 with the same number of wins and losses and also two deadlocked scores on their all-time records in the rivalry.
There have been plenty of memorable moments and important victories for both sides throughout the many gridiron battles staged between the two schools. Both teams have experienced their fair share of highs and lows that are to be expected any time you get two rival teams clashing in a sporting activity that brings with it an assortment of emotions.
As we await another kickoff between the Terrors and the Pirates on the football field, Glynn County Athletics takes a look at six games that you could say are in a significant anniversary year in relation to the 2020 season.
Here, we look back at those games – three that ended with Brunswick as the winning team and three that ended with the Terrors as the victors – while also including quotes taken from media accounts of those games or perspective obtained this week from several people involved or associated with these selected games as they recall what transpired between the Terrors and Pirates in these past confrontations.
1974-75 Games – Pirates Emerge
Brunswick took its lumps in the early years of the series with the Terrors, losing eight of the first 10 between the 1968 and ‘73 seasons. The only games the Pirates didn’t lose were the two in the overall series that have finished in a tie. That was the first meeting in 1971 when the teams finished tied at 6-6 and also the first game in 1972 when the teams battled to a scoreless deadlock.
But when the 1974 season rolled around, the Pirates’ fortunes began to change. Brunswick, coached by Jonathan Williams, decked Glynn 40-19 to open that season and post its first-ever triumph over the Terrors. The Pirates would finish out the year with a 20-14 win over Glynn to close out a 6-4 season – their second winning season in their short history – while claiming their first city crown which was sponsored for the first time that season by Interstate Paint Corporation.
The Pirates would return in 1975 to sweep the Terrors again, winning 39-0 and 13-7 to give the program four straight victories over the rival school which equaled Glynn’s string of four in a row to kick start the series.
Ironically, two transfers from Glynn named Kenny Dawson and Gary Shavers would help the Pirates turn the tide against GA.
In the 1974 finale, Dawson, then a junior, carried for 155 yards and two touchdowns while also raising his season rushing total to 1,016 yards, making him the first local running back since Glynn’s Johnny Tullos in 1964 to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
“He was powerful and fast,” said Burnett Rooks, a senior that year for the Pirates who became a teacher and coach at Glynn Academy. “He was really elusive.”
BHS only used Dawson in the first half of the 39-0 win in 1975. He ran eight times for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Shavers, a senior receiver, also scored a rushing touchdown in that game, and had a 85-yard punt return wiped out by a penalty.
“Shavers was really good also,”Rooks said. “I thought I was going to be the starting running back in 1974 when they came over, but I knew Kenny Dawson was better than me and I didn’t mind those guys coming over. I knew they were going to make our team better, and of course they did.”
Ernest Culbreath scored twice for BHS, Willie Johnson returned a fumble 85 yards for a TD and Mike Couch threw a TD pass.
The Brunswick defense played lights out, holding Glynn to 113 total yards while the Terrors also lost five fumbles.
1985 Game – BHS in a Shocker
The headline atop the next day’s game story in the Brunswick News read “Pirates Jolt GA From Unbeaten Ranks.”
Yes, in one of the biggest and most surprising upsets in the history of the series, Brunswick stunned the Terrors 28-15 at Lanier Field to spoil a perfect regular season for the Terrors who entered the season finale 9-0 and ranked No. 3 in the state.
Glynn had not had a perfect season since 1958 and figured to be four quarters away from the accomplishment especially considering it had knocked off the Pirates 28-14 in the first game between the teams that fall.
It wasn’t meant to be for Glynn, however. The Pirates took ownership of this night.
BHS grabbed a 15-0 lead before halftime while an inspired Brunswick defense held Glynn’s high-powered offense to minus-1 yard from scrimmage and no first downs in the first two quarters.
The Pirates would build their lead to 22-0 early in the fourth quarter, and yes this improbable result was about to become reality.
Glynn, averaging 32 points a game, managed only 32 yards rushing and 131 passing for 163 total yards. The Pirates picked off four Glynn passes. BHS sophomore cornerback Shannon Flowers returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown and also had another interception return to set up a BHS touchdown.
BHS finished with 296 yards – all on the ground. The Pirates did not complete a pass and they only attempted two. That meant their game plan was working, actually.
The Pirates ran the wishbone, which was customary, but they changed up their personnel in the formation late in the week. Senior Alvin Allen normally played quarterback, but BHS head coach John Willis moved him to running back for this game. Willis also put defensive back Billy Alford at running back while inserting backup quarterback Terrance Weston into the starting lineup and keeping fullback Daniel Wynn in his spot.
The Pirates ran power plays at the Terrors all game, and Glynn stayed on its collective heels for most of the game.
“We had been running more option,” Allen said this week, recalling the game. “We ran the ball right down their throat.”
Allen rushed for 121 yards on 18 carries while scoring on a 73-yard run. Alford led the Pirates with 134 yards on 20 attempts while scoring on a short run.
“I was getting two and three yards a clip a lot of times, and Billy was getting 10 yards, 15 yards,” Allen said. “I asked him at halftime what he was doing. He said, ‘Man, I’m not running up in that hole.’
“I was running the play as it was designed. He was going outside. He wasn’t going inside. He wasn’t going to get hit.”
The Pirates outplayed Glynn between the lines that night. But still today, they believe what fueled their win now 35 years ago was a pregame ploy orchestrated by Allen and Craig Campbell that was approved by Coach Willis.
The Pirates warmed up for the game on their practice field on the BHS campus and made the short drive to Lanier Field in time to get off the bus and make the opening kick. A Brunswick coach arrived ahead of the team to make GCS athletic director Frank Inman aware of the Pirates’ plans to show up just before the kickoff.
Ironically, those closely associated with the BHS program recall the Terrors getting a delay of game penalty to start the night because GA head coach David McKnight refused to send out his captains for the pregame coin toss.
“We talked to Coach Willis that morning,” Allen says. “Glynn was having a pep rally at the field before the game, and we didn’t want to see that. We wanted to make them think we weren’t coming. We played mind games with them, and some of their players told us years later they wondered if we were coming.”
Allen truly believes the Terrors were out of sync from the start as they warmed up for the ballgame while looking over their collective shoulder to see if the Pirates’ buses were pulling in.
“Usually in pregame warmups, there aren’t many people there,” Allen said. “When we came off L Street and pulled our buses behind the baseball field and saw all those people in that stadium, our adrenaline started flowing, I guess. Something just came over us.”
Also, something that perhaps only the BHS seniors that year remember now is that Glynn’s seniors ruined the Pirates’ perfect season in freshman ball with a victory in the final game of the season for both teams. Four years later, the Pirates got their payback.
“That played a part in it, also,” Allen said. “From the opening kick, we jumped on them.”
1995 Game -Pirate Power Prevails
This game came during the middle of the 1990s when the Pirates were taking over the series with some of the best teams in the history of BHS program.
In the opening game of the 1995 campaign, which was the first and only season for new Glynn head coach Steve Shankweiler, the Pirates pounded the Terrors 34-0.
Armis Stokes led a powerful ground attack for the Pirates as he ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 16 touches. His first score covered 80 yards.
“Armis had a super game. He has the capability to do that every night,” said BHS coach John Willis after the game.
BHS totaled 356 yards with all but 26 coming via the run game.
The Pirates overwhelmed the GA offense, holding the Terrors to 13 net yards. They had 62 passing, but finished with minus-49 rushing yards.
“We got beat pretty good by a pretty good football team,” Shankweiler said in his first postgame interview as Glynn’s coach. “They’re confident, they’re quick. We’re just not to that level yet.”
The win was actually the third in a row on the field for the Pirates over the Terrors , but BHS had to vacate 11 wins that year including two over Glynn and also its region title after the season when deemed to played an ineligible player.
This season-opening win in ‘95 would become the first of six in a row in the rivalry for the Pirates to close the decade.
Glynn gave the Pirates all they wanted in 1996, flirting with victory before falling tough by a final 9-6 count.
The Pirates would win by 29-0, 36-3 and 42-0 over the next three seasons with that last win in the trio coming in 1999 when Brunswick finished as the state runner-up in Class AAAA. BHS ended the decade drawing even in the overall series, tying it at 27-27-2.
2000 Game – All Hail Red and White
When the Terrors pulled away from campus to make the quick ride to the home stadium to open the season against the Pirates, they knew this was a moment they needed to seize.
And with a more experienced team, Glynn rolled to a 44-12 victory over a rebuilding BHS team that lost that talented senior class which took the program to a school-record 14 wins and the state final the previous fall.
“It was just our time. We knew what we had to do,” said then-GA head coach Terry Tuley this week. He came here with Shankweiler and took over after his departure.
GA also had to move on without Antwan Andrews – one of the top running backs in local history who also graduated after the 1999-20 school year.
The Terrors asked senior John Moody to fill his running shoes, and he did. Moody who had major knee surgery as a sophomore, carried 27 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns to lead the GA win. He rushed for 161 yards before halftime as Glynn took a 28-6 advantage into the break.
Glynn ended the night with 466 total yards. Franco Johnson, the GA quarterback, threw for 130 yards and two TDS while also rushing for 60 yards and a score.
“We felt like their defense had taken a major hit (with graduation), and Moody was hard to tackle,” Tuley said. “We just kept feeding him, and they couldn’t stop him.”
Franco Johnson’s brother, Brandon Johnson, was a member of the Glynn defense that allowed BHS 111 rushing yards and 125 passing.
The Pirates were ranked No. 6 in the Class AAAA poll to open the season. They committed six turnovers, and Glynn turned four into points.
“They just beat us up and down the field,” said BHS coach John Willis after the game.
The victory was the first for Tuley as Glynn’s head coach in the series. It also was the first on the field for Glynn since 1993 and gave the Terrors their first city title since 1994.
2005 Game – Terrors Again, Huh?
Glynn Academy prevailed for the second straight year under Rob Ridings who led Glynn to a 42-14 win in 2004 in his GA-BHS debut to stop a three-game win string by the Pirates.
This 2005 game was another one that figured to turn out differently. Murray Poole, who covered the GA-BHS series every for the Brunswick News over four decades, was covering this game in his role with the newspaper for the final time before retiring in December 2005.
Poole tells the story his way from here in this lead-in and look at the 2005 game.
By Murray Poole
In my 40 years (1965-2005) as sports editor and senior sports editor of The Brunswick News, I was fortunate enough to cover countless high school football playoff games and a state championship game featuring the Brunswick High Pirates vs. Lowndes County in 1999.
You sports history buffs in the Golden Isles can see that I missed Glynn Academy’s 1964 state championship run by one year as I joined The News in September of 1965.
Up to the 1968 football season, the only high school teams I covered here were Glynn Academy and Risley High School but, in the fall of 1968, a new prep team came into existence in Glynn County … the Brunswick High Pirates.
And thus began what has emerged into one of the fiercest high school football rivalries in the state of Georgia. As the Red Terrors and Pirates make ready to clash for the 77th time Friday night at Glynn County Stadium, each team has notched 37 wins and there were two ties in the early years of the crosstown rivals’ series. Can’t get any more even than that!
Sure, there have been streaks of domination by one team or the other. With the Pirates a brand-new fledgling program in 1968, one simply trying to get its feet on the ground, or gridiron in this case, the Terrors went unbeaten in their first 10 games against BHS. In that stretch from ’68 to 1973 and with the two teams meeting twice from ’70 to ’73, the Red and White won eight times against the Blue and Gold — usually by lop-sided scores — with two ties coming in the opening meetings in 1971 and 1972 … a 6-6 deadlock in ’71 and an inexplicable scoreless tie in the ’72 opener.
But, ah, in the 1974 opening-season meeting of Brunswick High and Glynn Academy came the dawning of a new day for the football program on the north side of town. Indeed, Sept. 6, 1974 will always be a historic mark on the Pirates’ calendar. Led by running backs Kenny Dawson and Gary Shavers and quarterback Mike Couch along with a ball-hawking defense, the Pirates of Jonathan Williams laid the wood to the Terrors … to the tune of 40-19. For the first time ever, a Brunswick High football team walked out of old Lanier Field with a victory over the long-entrenched power from the south end of town, the Glynn Academy Red Terrors!
And that BHS landmark win ignited Williams’ Pirates into a four-game winning streak against the Terrors … Brunswick also winning the second meeting in 1974 as well as the two games against Glynn in 1975.
The Pirates of then new BHS head coach John Willis, anchored by all-state center Ray Lloyd, would post another three-game streak against the Terrors — with the teams still playing twice a year — in 1981 and ’82 — but beginning with the final game of 1982, the Terrors of David McKnight would regain city superiority by reeling off a four-game win string against the Pirates … state record-setting passer Bobby Wilkes and dynamic wide receiver Randy Fisher playing a big part in several of those GA victories.
But pretty much in the rest of the 1980s and 1990s, there were a whole lot of celebrations on the Brunswick High School side of town.
From the first game in 1987 until the 1989 opener the Pirates captured four of five outings against the Terrors as two guys named Billy McCoy and Carwin Pinkney were making things tough for opposing defenses. And after Glynn won the second game in ’89 the two teams would collide again in the region playoffs and the Pirates’ 16-14 win that night was the start of five consecutive victories for BHS over the Terrors.
The Terrors bounced back with three consecutive decisions over the Pirates in ’93 and ’94 but two of those wins came via forfeit after the Pirates had won one-sided games on the playing field itself.
Then came the BHS program buildup that would lead to the 1999 campaign and Brunswick High’s greatest team ever under Willis. From the first game in 1995 until the 1999 meeting — the two rivals went back to playing once a season in ’96 — the Pirates compiled their longest win string of the series, taking down the Terrors in six consecutive contests. Armis Stokes was a standout RB on several of those teams and then as all Brunswick High fans know, the powerful 1999 Pirate edition, led by the likes of quarterback Reshard Lee, exceptional wide receiver James Fuller and tailback Earnest Palmer, the only prep back in history here to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season … although Palmer’s total was certainly aided by the Pirates playing 15 football games. Of course, John Willis’ charges rolled to a perfect 14-0 record before being ousted by the Lowndes Vikings in the state championship game in Valdosta.
As it was, the Pirates would defeat the Terrors an unprecedented nine times in 10 confrontations from ’95 through the 2003 season, only a 44-12 romp by Terry Tuley’s Terrors in 2000 preventing BHS from going 10-for-10.
Under new head coach Rob Ridings, Glynn Academy would snap the Brunswick win string with a 42-14 rout of the Pirates in 2004 and then a 17-12 upset of BHS in the 2005 meeting, which marked my final time covering this game as I retired from The News in December of that year before then writing for Bulldawg Illustrated the next 14 years.
Even when one team or the other would fashion multi-year win streaks in this series, there would still be upsets in the Glynn-Brunswick confrontations. Like Georgia vs. Florida, Georgia vs. Auburn, etc., you could always expect the unexpected when the Pirates and Terrors got together.
Take that final battle I covered in ’05. All signs pointed to BHS rolling past Glynn as, during the regular season, the Terrors lost 13-2 to a Savannah High team that the Pirates blew out by 38-0. And also, Glynn was edged by Windsor Forest 27-25, the same Knights team that Brunswick pummeled 30-0.
That game on Oct. 28, 2005 began like it was going to be an offensive shootout. The Pirates’ Robert Thomas hauled the opening kickoff back 86 yards for a touchdown to hand BHS a quick 6-0 lead.
However, after Nick Sasser’s point-after kick struck the left upright, the Terrors came right back and marched 67 yards on just five plays to take the lead. And the lead would see-saw a bit after that before the Glynn defense stood tall down the stretch and preserved the 17-12 GA win. That defense would block two Pirate field goal attempts down the stretch while Greg Peacock sparked the Terror offense with 120 yards on 24 carries.
“This is a great feeling,” said Ridings. “This was our vision — getting back to the playoffs — and our job was to get the kids to buy into that vision.
“A 7-3 season, the City Championship, a region runner-up finish, and getting to host the state playoffs — those are great accomplishments, and I’m so proud of our kids and coaching staff,” he said.
“This was real big for us tonight,” said Peacock. “We knew we had a chance to be in the playoffs, and it’s good that we’re having it here now. Our offensive line really opened up the holes tonight and, really, I didn’t have to do that much.”
With the win, Glynn would go to 7-3 and nail down second place in the region behind Camden County, with a 6-3 league mark. The Terrors, earning their first state playoff berth since Tuley’s Terrors in 1998, would host Union Grove of McDonough in the opening round. The Pirates, at 6-4 and also 6-3 region, would slip to fourth place and have to travel to Starr’s Mill in Fayetteville for the playoff first round.
“We just made too many mistakes tonight and hurt ourselves,” said the Pirates’ Thomas, whose 70 yards rushing pushed his season total to 1,022. “We loosened up in the second half, and they came out and really played hard.”
“We missed tackles, had field goals blocked and just made mistakes you can’t make and beat a good football team,” BHS head coach Maurice Freeman said. “But even though we backed in, we’re in the playoffs.”
But Freeman’s Pirates would snap back to stymie Glynn Academy in both 2006 and 2007 and three consecutive BHS wins under Victor Floyd over the Terrors in 2008, ’09 and ’10 would make for another 5-game win streak for the Pirates in this series.
But I’m still in the press box at Glynn County Stadium and I don’t believe I’ve missed a Glynn-BHS football game since I left the newspaper here. These city shootout games — always thrilling and certainly difficult to predict as to whether the Terrors or Pirates are going to come out on top.
2015 Game – Glynn Rock Solid
The Terrors won their second in a row under head coach Rocky Hidalgo who took over the Glynn program in time for the 2014 season when GA won 28-21.
Garrison Hurd, Glynn’s senior running back, won the first-ever Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame Player of the Game Award, as he ran for 98 yards and two scores and caught two passes for 59 yards and a touchdown to help the Terrors to the win.
“I’ve been doing this 20 years, and I’ve coached very few guys who are as good as he is. He’s a really good football player,” Hidalgo said.
Glynn ended the game with 238 yards of offense.
Jnior Deejay Dallas was the team’s quarterback, but he also played some defense in the game and intercepted a pass, returning it 77 yards for a touchdown.
The Dallas pick was one of three Brunswick turnovers.
Of course, Glynn would proceed to also win the next four games in the series to run its winning streak to six over the Pirates. That streak matches the longest official win string in the series by either side when you exclude on-field victories by the Pirates during the 1990s. Brunswick actually won eight in a row from 1994 through 1999 but had to give up two wins in the ‘94 season by forfeit.
Glynn went on to play for the state title in Class AAAA,
The Terrors will try for a seventh straight victory in the 2020 City Championship game Friday which would set a new official record for most consecutive victories by either team in the rivalry which is now in its 53rd season.