skip navigation

The ECHO Yearbook (Spring 1978)


Kenny Cosby

Billy Blaylock

Yellow Jackets Post 8-2 Season

From The ECHO (Spring 1978):

"The [1977] Sprayberry Varsity Football Team had an excellent season this year, compiling a Regular Season record of 8-2 and earning a Post-Season Playoff berth.

The opening game against Campbell not only gave the team a chance to show off their brand new uniforms, but also gave a partisan Jackets crowd a glimpse of their rugged and aggressive style of play.  Behind the running of Jack Hayden, who gained 114 yards, and JD Williams, who gained 83, the Panthers were upended, 13-12.

With the Yellow Jackets flying high, the team invaded Marietta's Northcutt Stadium, defeating the cross-town rival for the first time in 17 years.  Led by an impressive performance by the '7 Blocks of Gold,' Head Coach John Paty's offensive unit produced a total of 245 yards, 158 of which were gained by Jack Hayden.  Kenny Cosby turned in an outstanding performance on defense.

Next it was Wheeler trying to avenge the humilating loss of the year before.  In a brutally physical game, the Wildcats pulled it out, 7-6.  Junior Quarterback Billy Blaylock scored Sprayberry's only touchdown with a 36-yard run.

An angry Sprayberry squad sought and found revenge against Lithia Springs with a high-powered offense sparked by Billy Blaylock's passing and running abilities.  The Jackets dominated the game and coasted to a 28-6 victory.

The next Friday night found the Jackets in Raider territory, taking on a vastly improved Walton team.  In what turned out to be a defensive struggle, the Jackets took it to the buzzer, finally capitalizing on Chris Velon's fumble recovery.  Kicker Rusty Gillespie booted a 28-yard field goal and Sprayberry won, 3-0.

Boarding two Greyhound buses, the Jackets headed north to faraway Rossville.  In a game which was marked by sparkling [defensive] performances, the Jackets handed the Bulldogs a 12-7 defeat.  Sprayberry's first score came when Kenny Cosby blocked a punt, [and was] recovered by Kenny Allen in the end zone.  David Proctor also excelled on defense.

The Jackets returned home to face North Cobb.  The Jackets took a hard fought 6-0 victory in overtime.  Jack Hayden's 1-yard touchdown [run] highlighted [the] SHS offense.

The Jackets looked to take the North SubRegion crown with a win over South Cobb.  In the second overtime game in two weeks, [the Jackets] barely lost 20-19.  Defensive standout Kenny Allen had a superior night.

The 1977 Homecoming game proved to be a fine one, as the Jackets combined offense and defense to turn back the pesky [McEachern] Indians, 15-13.  JD Williams gained 74 tough yards, and Jack Hayden scored on a 32-yard run to lead the offense.  Greg Noojin, Mark Nay, and Derek Starnes each intercepted passes to lead the defense.

On a wet and windy night at Wills, the Yellow Jackets rekindled Playoff hopes by beating the Tigers, 28-0.  Jack Hayden and Billy Blaylock led the offense, while Kenny Cosby and Kenny Allen led the defense.

The Playoff game at Northcutt Stadium pitted the higly ranked Campbell Panthers against the Yellow Jackets.  Using a passing game that kept the defense guessing, Campbell revailed, 23-8."

1977 Football Season



Richard Bell