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The ECHO Yearbook (Spring 1977)

The "Dirty Dozen" and the "Gold Rush" Put on a Show



Richard Bell

Jackets Playoff-Bound

From The ECHO (Spring 1977):

"The 1976 Yellow Jackets opened their season with a disappointing loss to an improved Campbell team, 28-20.  The statistics show that the wishbone was in control, but the scoreboard proced different.  Ricky Kirk gained 83 yards and scored two touchdowns.

The second game was with cross-town rival Marietta.  The partisan Jacket crowd turned out to see a new stadium and witness the Jackets' worst outing of the year.  The Blue Devils too early control and eased to a 31-7 win.

The season made a sudden turnaround as a hungry squad hit Wheeler with a 22-19 defeat.  The Jackets took an early 14-0 lead, [yet had] to struggle in the late moments to overcome a 19-14 deficit.  Ricky Kirk gained 101 yards [of the] 320 total for the Jackets.

The new 5-AAA opponents, Lithia Springs, entered [the] bout undefeated.  The Yellow Jackets, shooting for .500, took over the game early.  After four quarters of total domination, the [Jackets] took a long ride home with a 23-12 victory.  The offense seemed to have finally come together.  Ricky Kirk gained 123 yards.

The 1976 Homecoming was to be different for the Yellow Jacket fans.  The Jackets played another newcomer to 5-AAA, Walton.  After Coach Paty allowed just about every player to play, the Jacket crew went to the dance with a convincing 39-13 win.  Ricky Kirk gained 111 yards, and Eddie Williamson threw touchdown passes 5 and 6.

Sprayberry faced another major SubRegion rival, Rossville, in a game ranked to be the finest of the season.  The Jackets' wishbone , seemingly in control of the game, rolled for 300 yards.  The game, as expected, went down to the final seconds when a Rossville touchdown resuled in a 20-19 loss [for Sprayberry].

An angry Spraybery squad hit the North Cobb field searching for revenge.  A slow game resulted in a low-scoring contest that was won by a touchdown run by Cliff Nielson and a touchdown pass to Randy Copeland.

The Jackets returned home to meet as tough South Cobb team.  The Jackets opened up a 20-7 lead almost before the crowd [ws] seated, and then held on to win by that score.  Eddie Williamson threw a touchdown pass and the ground game scored two more.

The seemingly Playoff-bound Jackets' next opponent was SubRegion rival McEachern.  The opening kickoff resulted in a Jacket touchdown that showed their superiority.  After total domination by defense and offense, The Jackets returned home with a 23-0 victory... highlighted by a 95-yard run by Eddie Williamson.

As the [Regular] Season ended, the Jackets had a chance to clinch a Playoff spot by beating Wills.  The Jackets opened up with a 17-7 lead and seemed unbeatable.  The second half turned completely opposite.  Wills came back by running back a Jacket punt to win 19-17.

The Jackets, quoted as 'backing into the Playoffs,' went into the Marietta Playoff game with rejunevated enthusiasm.  After the first half, this energy seemed futile.  The game ended uneventfully with the Jackets on the bottom end of a 20-0 score."

1976 Football Season