25 Days of Champions -- 1995 Amherst


Six-man expert

The year was 1995, and from the get-go, the defending state champions from Amherst were not getting much respect. They weren’t even the highest-ranked Bulldogs in the preseason.

I have to include myself in this statement as well because I was on the Mullin Bulldog Train. Mullin, who had fallen in a close 1994 quarterfinal, 32-30, to Milford, was loaded with not only Petey Salaiz, but also Charlie Smith, Landon Buffe and Bobby Teague. Mullin was also slated to face the top team in Colorado, Weldon Valley early in the season.

I got an early taste of what was to come, however, when I drove to Hermleigh in August for a scrimmage between the two powerhouses, as Amherst steamrolled Mullin.

While Petey Salaiz was a slighter, shifty back, Amherst had the most dominating player of the time, DeWayne Miles. In 1995, Miles turned out to be unstoppable.

Listed at 6-2, 220-pounds, Miles was a beast. You can see him on the main page of the website. He’s number 34, holding the trophy.

Of course Miles wasn’t the only player on the roster. The Bulldogs had solid players in QB Ryan McNabb, RB/K Brandon Pointer and RB Tommy Traylor. Pointer may have been the best kicker in the state. To top it off, they were coached by Jack Shely.

Amherst did not dominate the regular season. In fact, they only 45’d six of their ten opponents. Part of that was due to several players being suspended for a few games mid-season. Part was Coach Shely knew he had the best player in the state, if he could just him healthy.

On the other side of the state, teams like 1994 state runner-up Milford and preseason #1-Mullin weren’t blowing through the competition either. Mullin lost regular season games to Covington in week two and Weldon Valley, CO in week four. Milford also lost Covington, 30-29, in week seven. Covington, who defeated both, didn’t even make the playoffs, having lost in week six to Trinidad, 17-14. They then lost a coin flip to Milford and Trinidad, so one of the best teams in the state watched the playoffs from home that year.

In the playoffs, Amherst dominated with Miles on the ground. They averaged over 70 points a game in wins over Miami, Jayton, Sands and Klondike, en route to the championship game. Their one weakness, however, was defense, as they also gave up an average of 41.5 points a game.

Milford cruised through Strawn and Jonesboro before their eastern ‘Battle of the Bulldogs’ (at Bulldog Stadium in Hamilton, no less) match-up with Mullin. For this round, it was Milford’s defense, behind Henry Coleman, Chris Pendleton and Jackie Winchester that kept the explosive Mullin offense silenced in a 32-27 victory. In the semifinals, the defense again came up big in a 29-6 win over Panther Creek.

So it was deemed the ‘Battle of the Bulldogs II’, when Amherst and Milford played for a second-straight title on Saturday, December 16 at the Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater.

Although defense had been such a key in the last two Milford playoff games, the eastern Bulldogs would have no answer for Miles. The star running back scored on runs of 1, 15, 35, 47 and 68-yards, giving Amherst a 38-0 lead and looking to close the door by halftime.

It was all but over when Milford, facing a third-and-long from their own side of the field came to life. Chris Pendleton was being chased in the backfield. He avoided a sack then found an open Corey Johnson downfield for a 47-yard touchdown.

Milford got the ball back and Pendleton again found Johnson for another 17-yard touchdown, cutting the Amherst lead to 38-16 at the half.

Milford couldn’t really make much more headway and the teams exchanged scores throughout the second half. Along the way, Miles returned a kickoff 54 yards for a touchdown and rushed for scores of 5, 50 and 40-yards.

In the end, Amherst, behind the herculean effort of Miles, won 72-48.

Miles finished with 420 yards on 27 carries. Milford’s Pendleton completed 19-of-38 passes for 366 yards through the air.

A complete box score is in this issue of The Huntress Report, http://sixmanfootball.com/stuff/THR/THR-01191996.pdf.

-- In five playoff games, Miles rushed for 1685 yards and 39 touchdowns. His kickoff return for a touchdown in the championship game gave him an incredible 40 touchdowns for the playoffs.
-- Pointer kicked a 30-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in Amherst’s 12-12 tie over Meadow in the second round of 1994, to keep their title run alive that season. The Bulldogs advanced 6-3 on penetrations. (yes kids, that was a thing back in the days before overtime)
-- Salaiz rushed for 2685 yards during the regular season and surpassed over 10,000 for his career. He was hampered in the playoffs with a sprained ankle.
-- It was a banner year for national media attention in six-man, as Amherst was featured on The Today Show, Mullin was featured in Texas Monthly and Guthrie was filmed for an NFL-films documentary, Football in America that was shown the following year. Petey Salaiz was also featured on the Texas Country Reporter.
-- Ronnie Crumpton was the assistant coach for Leonard Buffe at Mullin that year.
-- If you want to see some current coaches’ names, look at the all-state issue of The Huntress Report from that year, where players like junior QB from Sidney Craig Steele and the junior RB from Blackwell Nathan Hayes are listed, to name a few. http://sixmanfootball.com/stuff/THR/THR-01191996.pdf

WV Backer":268jrbqm said:
Awesome post/article. Love reading about the history of the game... you going to do this for the next 25 days?

This is the 3rd installment. So far we've covered 1972 O'Brien, 1977 May and 1995 Amherst...3 down 22 to go!
Leman Saunders":11op8xsv said:
The 1995 State Game was the first one I attended and for what it's worth I still say Dewayne Miles is the best player in 6man I have ever seen


TE right behind
Leman Saunders":14hirc64 said:
WV Backer":14hirc64 said:
Awesome post/article. Love reading about the history of the game... you going to do this for the next 25 days?

This is the 3rd installment. So far we've covered 1972 O'Brien, 1977 May and 1995 Amherst...3 down 22 to go!
Didn't see the first two but I'm glad you pointed them out. This is good stuff, thanks Oneday.
Great post, I was at both games and you are correct Miles was a beast. Without him, Milford would have beat anyone else those two years as they had remarkable squads in 94-95.
Great article, but I just wanted to add one thing. When you talked about 6 man in the national media there was one more. When we(Sands) played Klondike that year it was covered by The New York Times. And yes Dewayne was unstoppable, we experienced that first hand.
I was at West Texas A&M playing football when Dewayne showed up in the spring of 96, I was a red shirt soph., if memory serves me right. I believe he tried to walk on at Tech or something like that and had no offers to play ball anywhere. I assume Tech didn’t work out, and he ended up trying out in Canyon for the Buffs. I can still remember vividly the first spring scrimmage at Canyon HS practice field in which he played. Everyone new he was a physical specimen but nobody really knew much about him. He ended up really making some noise in that scrimmage and raised the heads of several coaches and players alike with some great runs. Needless to say the rest was history because he eventually became WT’s all time rushing leader, surpassing the great Miami Dolphin in Mercury Morris. Ehhh... pretty good company! My first glimpse of him was at Silverton when I was asked to go to the game on a date. It happened to be a Bi dist playoff game vs Miami in 95 and was the 1st Six Man game I had ever seen. DeWayne went off in that game, and I walked away really enjoying what I had just witnessed and had a much deeper appreciation and respect for 6man football, which at that time new nothing about. Coincidence would strike again as we became teammates. I believe these experiences have had a huge impact on my choice to coach six man football and get out of bigger schools. The six man community has a lot of great talent , coaches and, exceptional small town folks which makes it very special. Coincidence would strike a third time as I got the opportunity to be defensive coordinator at Amherst for two seasons. Thanks to Dewayne Miles for being a Buffalo teammate and giving some great publicity to the game of 6man football!
Outstanding article Leman. I've read a little bit about Mr. Miles on here before and dug a little bit about his career at WTAM as a result. Thanks for detailing a part of it and adding a little personal insight.
Coach Hester your story is also quite insightful as well and much appreciated.
Wish I could have seen him. Sounds like a man among boys in sixman at least.
I too came from 11man and discovered 6man in the very late 90's.
The small towns are great but the speed and excitement of the game hooked me. Been addicted since.
He was a stud no doubt! Funny thing is that Shely ran him at spread back a lot, at least the game I saw, however at WT he probably gained another 20 or so lbs and played tail back at around 240. His running style was downhill similar to a Jerome Bettie style back. If you saw him in college you would of never guessed that he came from a six man program, but that’s what makes this story so great!
Wow, that was an awesome game back in '95. I had been to an Amherst game earlier in the season when my dad and I were visiting my grandma. We got to Amherst early that Friday and decided to make a game. Later on in the year I saw where Amherst had made the state championship, so I told my dad. I took off work early in Texarkana, and we drove all the way to Sweetwater to watch a great game! We turned around and drove back after the game, stopping in South Dallas, for my dad to get coffee at 2am (I told him we didn't need to stop but he insisted) thankfully we didn't get shot, but he did get propped by a hooker, it was FUNNY!

Anyway I will say Miles was an amazing player, and that was a great time. Thanks for bringing the memories back!
Brently.pb":uawhid97 said:
Great article, but I just wanted to add one thing. When you talked about 6 man in the national media there was one more. When we(Sands) played Klondike that year it was covered by The New York Times. And yes Dewayne was unstoppable, we experienced that first hand.

Yes, how could I forget that article? Called The Huntress Report "The Bible of Six-man Football in Texas"....