6 man History

Six Man Allen Eagle Football 1945-1956, a legend in Texas Football History

(Fifirst in a three- part series on the legendary Allen Eagles 1945-1950)

by Tom Keener

Under the astute leadership of Coach W.H. “Pete’ Moseley, the Allen Eagles six man football team soared to legendary status beginning with the 1945 season, winning six consecutive district championships. They remained undefeated at the district level from 1945-48, and after an exciting victory over the predicted winners, Oklaunion Cardinals, the Eagles won the coveted bi-district championship title in Dec. 1948, at Vernon, Texas. The Eagles electrified Allen!

Coach Moseley exclaimed, “Six man football, under proper direction, can mean more to the very high school than any other sport. No other sport, even basketball or baseball, can add the school spirit that six man football does in small schools.” Dallas Cowboy hero Troy Aikmen states, “Six man football players are just as tough and just as dedicated. And nothing can match six-man’s speed and excitement.”

The Allen Eagles became known as the habitual winner of the championship. Surviving team members universally credit Coach W.H. “Pete” Moseley with this magnificent chain of victories. Former full back Frank Dugger states, “Mr. Moseley taught me to never to give up. We were outweighed by about 15 pounds per man.” Former Quarterback Doyle Morrow statesadds, “Mr. Moseley challenged us to be our greatest and created new plays for every game. He was a master strategist, helping us outwit opponents every play.”

James Brazeal concurs, “Coach Moseley was an exceptional coach, talented athlete and brought those talents to the team. He had an impeccable personal life. No one could hit a Frank Dugger pitch, but Coach Moseley hit Frank’s pitch to the left field line.” Brazeal addscontinues, “Frank Dugger was another asset; he excelled in all sports, possessed arm strength and was a very spirited player.. ” Brazeal continued, “Eearlier Allen Eagle football teams established a winning tradition and served as an inspiration for all of us. We were one family and we wanted to win for Allen.”

Former end Perry Orld recalls, “Coach Moseley declaring, “win or lose boys, football is a great game. The knocks and challenges you face in football are going to prepare you for the knocks of life.” Orld addsed, “Doyle was a great quarterback, Mr. Moseley was a great coach, and we pulled together, we knew we had to win, and we got after it.” Orld then sharesfurther added, “When the Eagles were behind at half, we proceeded to the dugout for our halftime talk with Mr. Moseley. Coach did not say much at all. When half was over, Coach Moseley said, “OK girls, let’s go.”

Team members recall Coach Mosley’s winning strategies. Doyle’s talents were noted throughout the district and opponents were absolutely determined to tackle him. Doyle states that “Mr. Moseley had me switch my jersey #24 with Floyd Davidson’s #26 to confuse our opponents and it worked.” In six man football, a clear pass was required to run with the ball. Quarterback Doyle would lateral the ball to full back Frank Dugger who knocked the end and handed the ball back to Doyle who went around end. Another strategy involved utilizing James Doyle Marion, Frank Dugger or Doyle Morrow as passers. Since they were all excellent passers, it kept the opposing team off balance. Robert Harris, cCenter, snapped the ball through the quarterback’s legs but delivered it to the half back. The Eagles and the opponents would go to the right but Doyle remained left and Frank would pass it back to Doyle who ran with it. “Options were the key”, said states Brazeal. ‘Mr. Moseley taught us to look strait ahead, neither left or right.’

Kenneth Bolin saidcomments, “Coach Moseley told us not to hold the ball like a watermelon.” Bolin also recalls recounts a member who received a traumatic hit in front of the bench. Bolin He recalls Coach Moseley exclaiming, “Wwhen you hold your mouth better, you can play, but you won’t play any more this game.”

Memories of the sensational 1948 season still resonate with the Eagle’s’ fans. Lighted ball fields became a reality that year. Before 1948, football games had to be played on Thursday afternoons so there would be enough light to seebecause there were no lighted ball fields. Home games were played on Thursdays, giving football fans an opportunity to travel to McKinney to watch their Friday games. The late Perry Bolin approached Dallas Power and Light about donating used power poles. Mrs. Edna Bolin states “Perry said the power company would donate the used poles if our boys would set them. Perry purchased the light fixtures. During the first game with lighted fields, fans passed a donation hat to help reimburse Perry.” Edna added, “Perry loved sports.” Doyle Morrow states, that “Tteam members were so good at setting poles, the power company did not have to do much else.”

In 1948, the Allen Eagles easily won preseason victories at Rice 55-0 and Cedar Hill, 55 to 13, and Emory, 33-13. The Eagles continued lopsided victories in the conference season, Westminster 49-7, Bland Rural High School , 52-12, Mount Calm 32-12, Emory 32 to 13. In the opening play of the second game with Emory, referee Pat Stimpson suffered a broken ankle. Coach Moseley walked over to Alton Taylor’s house, knocked on the door urging him to substitute for the injured referee. Alton dressed in his uniform and the game continued. The final season game concluded with a colossal victory over Westminster, 59-6, where James Brazeal suffered a broken collar bone, which kept him from the Bi-District game at Vernon. The football team “sponsored a pounding” for Mr. Moseley. A pounding is a celebration to present {WHAT IN HEAVENS NAME DO YOU MEAN BY “SPONSORED A POUNDING?”} Many food items, household articles and gifts, which were given to the Moseleys to show gratitude.

This team’s dedication is evident by the fact that when the practices were over, team members walked home, which was often three or four miles. Perry Orld who lived near Custer and McDermott added, “Dad saved us the chores. After a tiring practice, Dad would have me milk the cow and gather the eggs.” This dedication determination afforded the Eagles a chance for victory. Joyce Moseley Angle said, “Dad was proud of his boys because they gave their very best.”

In the next issue, the sensational Bi-District game at Vernon, TX where the Eagles squared off with the Oklaunion Cardinals.

A documentary of this incredible team will be broadcast on Channel 15 in the winter.

Many thanks to Edna Bolin, Doyle Morrow, Iva Morrow, Perry Orlds, Frank Dugger, Kenneth Bolin, James Brazeal, George and Joyce Angle, Football Historian Joe Wooten, and Carlton Stowers, author of Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town And Its Six-Man Football Team and to all members of this legendary team for valuable input!

Tom Keener is the Cultural Arts Coordinator with the Allen Public Library.
Six Man Allen Eagle Football 1945-1956, a legend in Texas Football History
Allen Battles for the coveted Bi-District Title, Dec. 2, 1948.

By Tom Keener

After the Eagles clinched the 1948 district title, Allen and the surrounding countryside were galvanized with excitement. Eagle fans were eagerly anticipating the Bi-District game in Vernon, Texas, where the Eagles would battle the undefeated and highly respected Oklaunion Cardinals.

The Eagles were a sizzling topic at every breakfast table, Henry Laird’s Barbershop, Cundiff’s Grocery, Bolin’s General Merchandise, Holt’s Garage, Stacy-Lynge and all Allen businesses and churches. Pep squad member Melba Joyce Williams Smith recalls “the joy, honor and excitement that permeated our town. I was an only child and my classmates were my family.”. On December 2, 1948, over 1,500 fans braved near- freezing weather to watch this sensational contest. The entire town closed its doors to travel to Vernon. One Eagle fan asked a shopkeeper, “Whose mindin’ your store? The store owner responded, “Tthe question is whose mindin’ the town?”

The trip to Vernon began Thursday morning, December 2, as the caravan traveled north on the Highway 75 (now SH5) to Highway 24 (now 380) and headed west for the long journey. The game commenced began at 7:30 p.m. The late Perry Bolin, an avid Eagles supporter, arranged for rides for those who did not have transportation.

The Vernon Daily Record predicted an Oklaunion victory:, the “Allen High School Eagles will be outweighed both in the line and in the backfield when they meet the Oklaunion Cardinals.” The Vernon paper did concede: “Robert Harris, weighing 135 pounds, plays the center...and despite his lack of beef, turns in an excellent performance.” Keeping in mind Coach Moseley’s maxim about refusing to give up, the Eagles persevered and were undeterred by the Cardinal’s larger size.

Allen’s starting line was Payton Bridges and Robert Fraze playing ends, Robert Harris as center, James Doyle Marion as halfback, Frank Dugger as full back, and Doyle Morrow as quarterback. Sadly, James Brazeal had suffered a broken collar bone at the game with Westminster and could not play.

The Eagles quickly dominated the game as Frank Dugger flipped the ball to Doyle Morrow, completing 19 and 25 yard passes to lose the ball as the Eagles were close to the goal line. When the Eagles regained the ball, Dugger completed passes to Morrow and Bridges for 30 and 10 yards respectively only losing it to a fumble within a yard from the goal. The Eagles persevered and regained possession. Dugger again flipped the ball to Morrow for a sensational 33 yard advance followed by a 28 yard advance with James Marion making the score. Dugger passed to Morrow for the extra point.

The Cardinals regained possession and scored a touchdown as the Cardinal’s Rowland Bowden plowed his way across from the two yard line. , Bbut the Cards failed to obtain the extra point. The first half closed with the Eagles maintaining a narrow lead, 7-6.

Coach Moseley’s strategy of changing passers was obvious demonstrated in the second half as Morrow tossed to Dugger for 22 yards and scoring, giving a lead of 13-6. After the Eagles gained possession, Dugger threw a 27- yard pass to Marion who galloped 40 paces to the goal. Failing to win the extra point, the Allen Eagles now had a, creating a 19-6 lead, failing to win the extra point.

The Cardinals immediately reboundedbounced back with Ramsey racing 49 yards for a touchdown. The score then leapt to 19-14 when the Cardinals , obtaineding two extra points by drop kicking the ball., bringing the score to close 19-14.

In the final quarter, the Eagles gained possession on the Oklaunion 44. It took three plays to score as Dugger passed to Morrow for 30 yards, Dugger to Harris for 8 yards, and again, Dugger passed to Marion for a score. Dugger dropped kicked the ball, giving the Eagles a 27-14 advantage. With four minutes remaining, Oklaunion traveled a sensational 60 yards for their last score. Upon regaining the ball, the Eagles ran out the clock. The Eagles won 27-20!

The McKinney Courier Gazette reported that when Pete Moseley returned, the citizens provided a fried chicken dinner, built a bonfire in the middle of the main street and stayed up the rest of the night celebrating. Coach Moseley referred to his young men as “streaks of lightning,” and declared, “speed was our great asset.”. Mr. and Mrs. Perry Bolin, along with Mr. and Mrs. Carl Marion, subsequently honored the team at the Spare Rib Café in Dallas where Kyle Rote was in attendance. SMU student James Marion, for whom Marion Elementary is named, arranged for Kyle Rote and Doak Walker to attend, but Mr. Walker could not make it because he was accepting the Heismann Trophy that night.

Although team members credit Mr. Moseley for their huge success, they also credit lavish kudos each other but never themselves. While sharing theirpreparing for this story, theira deep affection for each other was noted obvious and an earnest desire to remember those teammates who had passed on was observed. The legacy of this team remains intact. , James Brazeal’s comment, the “Llet’s win for Allen” spirit still permeates Allen’s soul. Coach Moseley also served as sSuperintendent and teacher. He prepared a generation of Allen’s citizens by providing them with tools to prepare for career and personal challenges. Joyce Moseley Angle, Pete Moseley’s daughter, said the “team created a spirit that helped citizens fight for an independent Allen school district, a lasting legacy.”.

In the next issue, Gene Curtis becomes Head Coach as Pete Moseley resigns to become County Superintendent. The Eagles continue to soar.

Many thanks to Edna Bolin, Doyle Morrow, Iva Morrow, Perry Orlds, Frank Dugger, Kenneth Bolin, James Brazeal, George and Joyce Angle, Frank Dugger, Football Historians Joe Wooten and Granger Huntress, and Carlton Stowers, author of Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town And Its Six-Man Football Team, and to all members of this legendary team for valuable input.
And in 1962, Throckmorton beat Allen 54-0 in a regional playoff game . . . now Allen has a $60 million football palace and Throckmorton plays 6-man football! BTW, I saw my old coach who coached the team to that victory at Homecoming this year, right before he passed away . . . Tommy Boyd, may he RIP.

But since we're on the subject of 6-man football history, somewhere I have my father's old football jersey from McCauley High School from that inaugural season in West Texas . . . if I can find it, will take a picture of it and post it on the site. He played end/guard and remembers catching a pass against Sylvester and getting hit so hard he pulled a "Wrong Way Harrigan".
Can we do a trivia here? What School in Navarro county played 1 six-man game..... they put the team together one day and whipped Streetman the next. Shortly after they decided 6 man wasnt for them and went back to 11 man.

I moved this. Someone delete it.....
Here are some things I gathered last night from The Freeport Facts.

1939: The first ever 6 Man Coaching school was scheduled to take place in Victoria, Tx (Aug 28th to Sep 1st). There were 101 schools within the UIL... All 101 schools were listed as attending. Ill Clip the article and post it tonight.

Asherton, Beasley, Ben Bolt, Big Wells, Byesslng, Blue Ridge, Katarina, Crescent, (Wharton), Dale, D’Hanis, Diboll, Dowdy (Kingsbury), Draw-Redwine (Tahoka), Dripping Springs, Fairview (Thrift), Fairview (Lamesa), Fiveln-One (Vernon), Flat,
Floyd, Geraldine (Holliday), Hancock (Lamesa), Harmony (O'Donnell), Harrold, Hemphill, Hobbs (Rotan), Indian Village (Livingston), Ireland, Josephine, King (Quanah), Kyle, LaPryor, Louise, Lytton Springs, McCarthy (Lamesa), Markham, Martindale, Medicine, Mound, Megargel, Merit, Nevada, Oklaunlon, Pearl, Prairie Lea, Princeton, Prosper, Shelbyville, South Lockett (Vernon), Sparenberg, Thalia, Turnesvllle, Uhland (Kyle), Union (Lamesa), Valley View (Iowa Park), Fayetteville, Flatonia, Garwood, Haletsville, Moulton, Wallis, Weimar, Balmorhea, Buena vista, Ft. Davil, Ft. Hancock, Marthon, Pyote,
Toyah, Van Horn, Valentine, Ackerly, Courtney, Forsan, Garden City, Garner, Klondike, Sterling City, Water Valley, Westbrook, Batson, Colmesnell, China, Devers, Honey Island, Kountze, Nome, Spurger, Warren, Blackwell, Divide (Moan), Dowell (Rotan), McCaulley, Pyron, Sylvester, Trent, Camp Wood, Castroville, Dilley, La Costa, Yancey, North
(Vernon), Woody (Lamesa).

I see 4 schools that I know are in my neck of the woods: Mound, Flat, Ireland and Turnersville are all within 30 miles of Gatesville
As reported by the Free Port Facts Noverber 25, 1937.

I gathered this from a 1939 issue.
This was District 6 - Also maybe known as Brazoria County
Danbury, Sweeny, Pearland, Friendswood
From the 1955 issue of "Six-Man Football Magazine", page 53:

Coaching School
"The Texas Six-Man Football Coaches Association conducts an annual coaching school, which is considered one of the finest in the country

The 1955 Coaching School will be held in Beaumont, Texas, on August 10,11, and 12. The All-Star Basketball game will be played on Thursday nigh, August 11, with the All-Star Six-Man Football game on Friday night, August 12.

For information about the Coaching School, write E. A Works, Executive Secretary, Texas Six-Man Football Coaches Association, Box 192, Goodrich, Texas."
At the 1946 Texas Six-Man Coaching School Toyah coach Norman Craft lectured on Offensive Football.

Information taken fromm the 1946 vol 1 no 1 issue of Six-Man Football Magazine
The picture is in a 1937 issue. good catch oneday. That means we can add New York to the state list if its not already there.
The Coaches Association's 12th annual coaching school was in 1957...so 1946 was the first Coaches Association's clinic.

There were clinics before that and a LOT in 1938, OBK posted a few articles mentioning those...I have articles covering a huge six-man clinic in Denton, TX in 1938, Dallas Morning news ran photo spreads. Most of these demonstration clinics and games involved college players, the Denton game had someone from Roscoe in it!

It is my theory that the long held belief that Prairie Lea and Martindale played the first six-man high school game in Texas came from one of these demenstration games probably the one held in San Marcos which Rodny Kidd and Roy Bedichek attended and helped organize.
If anyone loves this stuff...find and buy an issue of the old magazine American Boy, Feb. 1940 issue...they had an All American six-man team and top teams nation wide, photos and tons of info!

38 schools listed with a team or player in the honors:

New Hampshire
New York
North Dakota
South Dakota
New Jersey
South Carolina
West Virginia
New Mexico
I posted some links to That magazinr for Ebay in the state thread.

What day was the martindale/prarie Lea game?

I see a scrimmage between Uhland and Lypton of Sep 16th 1938
No clue...where are you looking? I could possibly give you the month...It has been a few years since I researched those demonstration game in 1938