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|No Hill was too big for this Guy|
This is the first of a three-part series on the top athletes ever in Concordia Parish as determined in a poll by the Concordia Sentinel. Hill finished third in the poll.
Guy Hill always wanted to be listed at 5-foot-10 inches when he played football at Ferriday High. But Bulldog coach Johnny "Red" Robertson would only go as far as 5-foot-9 7/8.
"You always wanted to be bigger when they put down your size," said Hill, who weighed about 178 pounds in high school. "I kept pushing for that little bit more."
Hill certainly looked a lot bigger to opponents, many of whom watched the Bulldog bulldozer run right over them.
"I'll never forget when we were playing Winnsboro and they had a lineman who was huge," Robertson said. "I told Guy, 'Now, don't try and run over him, run around him.' Well, sure enough Guy ran right at him and knocked him down. He looked back at me and just smiled."
"That was just the way I ran," Hill said. "I had pretty good balance and I would try to run as low as I could to the ground to get up under some of those big boys so I wouldn't be at a disadvantage."
Hill, who ran a 10.5 in the 100-yard dash, rushed for more than 5,000 yards at Ferriday High from 1952-54, scoring more than 80 touchdowns and totaling almost 500 points, leading the state in scoring for two straight years. He was part of three Ferriday teams which won 39 straight football games
"Guy was a great halfback," Robertson said. "He wasn't the type to slow up against anybody. He was just an outstanding ball player. "
Hill lettered as a freshman, playing mostly on special teams although he went into the game in at halfback when the halfback pass was called because of his strong arm.
"It was a lot of fun and I thought it was just great to get a letter," Hill said. "Just about every boy in the school played football. We practiced real hard and everybody knew they were going to get to play. In 1958, LSU created the Chinese Bandits, letting their third string play first string. We were doing that before then. The thing I remember most, though, is how hard we practiced. It was rough. We didn't really have any water breaks. We would literally suck the sweat from our arms. And we ran a lot of sprints and gassers. We loved football, but we hated those sprints."
Ferriday would go on to post 54 consecutive games without a loss, which still stands as a state record today.
"I wasn't aware until a little while back that the streak was still in tact," Hill said. "I thought it had been broken. It was fun being a part of that. It was certainly a once in a lifetime thing and I don't know if it will happen again."
In 1952, the Bulldogs won the Northeast B championship, advancing to the playoffs where they beat Hanson Memorial, 27-6. Seven Trailway buses filled with Ferriday supporters made the trip.
Ferriday fell to Kenner 21-19 in the Class B semifinals. Kenner would go on to win state.
Even with the loss of Red McNew and Charles Fugler, there were high expectations for the 1953 squad as 13 lettermen returned.
The Bulldogs would open the 1953 season with a 20-19 loss to Westlake, a team that would go on to win the Class A state championship.
That loss would be the last defeat for four years and it would be the only time a team scored on Ferriday's first-string defense the remainder of the year.
The legendary streak began on September 18, 1953 as Ferriday blanked Winnsboro 19-0 on a wet field in Winnsboro.
Hill, who scored 20 touchdowns in 1953, tallied two touchdowns for the Bulldogs, while Bobby Glenn Harmon completed a 35-yard TD pass to Harvey Johnson.
"I always called Guy Hill a 'stomping runner' because he ran so hard and always wanted to run over you," said former Bulldog and LSU standout Max Fugler.
Hill scored four touchdowns in a 34-13 win over Natchez Cathedral.
Ferriday opened Northeast District play with a 39-0 pasting of Wisner, holding the visiting Bulldogs to minus-12 yards rushing. The Bulldogs rushed for 265 yards and had 65 more through the air. Hill tallied three touchdowns in the contest.
No. 1 Ferriday faced No. 4 Waterproof on Thanksgiving Day for the Northeast Louisiana Class A district title.
The Bulldogs won the game 14-0 before 3,200 fans.
"That was a big thing beating Waterproof," Hill said. "I remember there being people everywhere for that game. The town just shut down whenever we played. I remember after that game Waterproof's Dan Chase laying at midfield just disgusted. He was a really good athlete. They also had Doonie Price, who went on to play at Auburn. We won district back then, but it was always tough."
In the playoffs, Ferriday faced Logansport which beat Port Allen 20-13 in a first-round playoff game and had not been scored on until the final regular season game of the year.
Ferriday rolled to an easy 30-6 win on a muddy field inundated by rain most of the week.
Ferriday finished with 300 rushing yards, while holding Logansport to 86.
Fugler recovered a fumble on the first play of the game and Hill took advantage with a short TD run.
Hill would add a 60-yard touchdown run.
Ferriday would face Hanson Memorial for the state championship.
The Bulldogs posted a 20-0 win for its 12th straight win.
Harmon scored on a short run on Ferriday's first drive and James Joplin blocked a punt that led to a 3-yard TD run by Hill.
"That was something else," Hill said of the first state championship. "But we never thought about losing. We had good players, good coaches and we practiced hard. We would carry each other in wheelbarrel exercises for 40 yards and then run gassers. We stayed in shape."
With the LHSAA adding a fourth class in 1954, Ferriday moved up to Class A and won every game by at least 18 points until they beat Gonzales 14-0 for the state championship. Hill, Joplin, guard Frank Brocato and center Max Fugler made All-State. By this time, they were being called the "University of Concordia."
"We had beaten a lot of those Class A teams the year before," Hill said. "We still thought no one could beat us. We weren't really worried about moving up.
Ferriday was without graduated seniors Harmon, Wayne Byles, Kenneth McKnight, Harvey Johnson, Buford Smith, Tom Welch and Gene Taylor.
"We still had a number of players who played together," Hill said.
The Bulldogs opened their season against Winnsboro, which was coming off a 21-0 victory against Lake Providence.
Ferriday blanked Winnsboro 38-0 under threatening skies. It was the 13th straight win for the Bulldogs.
Ferriday defeated Bunkie 40-6 in its second game. Hill raced 32 yards to open the scoring and also had a 26-yard TD run in the third period.
Ferriday faced defending District 2A champion Rayville the following week and rolled to a 33-6 win. The contest was 6-6 after one period.
Rayville lost to Westlake in the 1953 state championship game.
Hill had an 11-yard run and Nelson blocked a kick for a safety.
Ferriday traveled to Shreveport and faced Vivian (which would later change to North Caddo) in conjunction with the Louisiana State Fair.
The Bulldogs won 41-0 as Hill had a 42-yard TD run.
Ferriday then defeated Lake Providence 40-13 to claim the Northeast Louisiana Class A district title.
Nelson recovered a fumble at the Lake Providence 35 and Hill went in from two yards out. Hill also had a 79-yard run for a TD.
Ferriday beat Sicily Island 53-20 for its 20th straight and made the Bulldogs 31-4 over the last 35 games, with all four losses coming by two points or less.
Ferriday won 32-0 as Hill completed a 40-yard scoring pass to Harry Panky.
"I could throw the football a long way," Hill said. "My senior year I kept asking Coach Robertson to let me play quarterback. Jimmy Marks got hurt against Rayville and Bud Huff was the backup, but he was hurt. Coach Robertson sent me in and I called the option and ran the ball every time. We got down to the 2-yard line and Tony Brocato wanted me to pass him the ball. I went to pass and it was intercepted. I did not want to go back to the sideline."
Ferriday defeated Cathedral 32-14 to improve to 10-0.
Ferriday's regular Thanksgiving Day game against Waterproof was canceled because the Bulldogs were starting playoffs in Class A against Many. The contest was set for 2:30 p.m. in Ferriday. Regular Friday night games kicked off at 8 p.m.
The Bulldogs won the game 40-13, but lost Frank Brocato with a broken elbow.
Hill scored on a 22-yard run for his 20th touchdown of the year
Ferriday faced Westlake in the semifinals. Westlake was the only team that could boast two wins over Robertson and the last team to beat Ferriday before the 21 straight wins.
Westlake, which was led by Bennie Ellender, who would go on to coach at Tulane, defeated Oakdale 16-6 to reach the semifinals.
Ferriday defeated the defending Class A champions, 32-14, becoming the first team to play their second string against Westlake.
Hill scored from three yards out in the contest.
Meanwhile, back in Class B, Delhi defeated Sicily Island 32-12 in the semifinals. Delhi would lose in the finals to Donaldsonville.
Ferriday defeated Gonzales 14-0 for the Class A championship, becoming the first high school in the state to win back-to-back championships in different classifications. It was also the second straight year a championship game was held in Ferriday.
Gonzales entered the game with a 24-game winning streak.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Hill, who rushed for 177 yards in the contest, went 45 yards to paydirt. Hill would finish the season with more than 1,500 rushing yards.
With two straight state championships in two different classifications and a 25-game winning streak staring it in the face, the 1955 Ferriday High Bulldogs wore a big ol' bull's eye on their orange and blue jerseys.
"When the streak got to about 30, people started writing about it," Hill said. "It didn't put any extra pressure on us. We just wanted to get to the next one. We were told it was the longest streak in the nation at the time. And everybody wanted to knock off Ferriday."
The year found Robertson starting the season without his trusty sidekick James "Otto" Lancaster, who accepted the job of principal at LaSalle High in Jena.
The Bulldogs beat Redemptorist (Baton Rouge) 14-0 for the state championship.
Fugler was first team All-American and made the All-State team along with Hill, who was also honorable mention on the high school All-American team.
Ferriday defeated Wisner 7-0 in the season opener as Jimmy Marks completed a 15-yard TD pass to Hill.
The Bulldogs made it 26 straight but did not make Robertson any happier with a 26-6 win over Sicily Island, which was led by B. K. Miller and Albert Dampier. Ferriday had three touchdowns called back because of penalties and five fumbles.
Donnie Daye had a 72-yard TD run called back.
Ferriday improved to 3-0 with a 49-20 win over Newellton. Hill had three touchdowns, while Daye scored two.
The Bulldogs blanked Cathedral 33-0 for its 28th straight win as Hill scored four touchdowns.
But it was another event in that game that Hill remembers the most.
Hill said Clyde Ray Webber, who did the punting, had a slight ankle injury that didn't keep him out of the game, but kept him from punting.
"Coach Lancaster told me I was going to punt," Hill said. "I made the stupid mistake of saying I was not going to punt, meaning to say I couldn't punt. He dressed me down real good. Well, the second half there it was. We had to punt and I went in there and kicked it straight up in the air. It hit the ground at the line of scrimmage and had a backspin on it. It bounced back 17 yards. That ended my punting career."
Ferriday defeated Oak Grove 45-12 before continuing to dominate with a 45-7 win over Rayville, which was led by future LSU Tigers Dave McCarty and Billy Hendrix. A Marion Newman interception set up a 68-yard scoring pass from Marks to Hill.
Ferriday won its 33rd straight the hard way, edging Springhill 26-20.
Hill had TD runs of 41 and 7 yards.
"That was the year after John David Crow graduated, but they still had an outstanding team," Hill said. "Max told us in practice to get ready for a tough ballgame. They were leading us going into the fourth quarter."
Ferriday then defeated North Caddo 43-18 as the Bulldogs scored on its first four possession and six of its first seven.
Daye had a 60-yard punt return for a score, but suffered a fractured leg returning an interception and was lost for the season.
Daye and Hill were the top two scoring leaders in the state at the time.
Ferriday blanked Winnsboro 19-0 the following week for its 35th straight as Hill scored on a 5-yard run and Jimmy Marks completed a 12-yard TD pass to Tony Brocato.
Ferriday defeated Tallulah 47-25 on Thanksgiving Day in Tallulah before a near-capacity crowd that endured a steady rain through most of the contest.
Hill scored three TDs in the contest.
The Bulldogs drew undefeated LaSalle team in the first round of the playoffs. LaSalle was led by back Ken Winberry and tackle Thomas Brady. The Bulldogs cruised to a 46-0 win as Hill totaled 331 total yards and scored four touchdowns on a muddy field in Olla. Hill, who was scoring champ for the district in 1954 and '55, rushed the ball 15 times for 158 yards.
Ferriday scored on seven of its 10 possessions.
The win was the 37th straight for Ferriday.
Ferriday met familiar playoff opponent Westlake in the semifinals. The Rams were the last team to beat Ferriday, back in the season-opener in 1953.
The Bulldogs pasted Westlake 53-19 as Hill went over the 2,000-yard mark in rushing and scored his 165th points of the season to put his career total at 416. Hill was responsible for five touchdowns in the contest.
Hill moved to quarterback in the second half as starter Jimmy Marks was rested with the other starters. Back-up quarterback Bud Huff suffered a broken leg earlier in the year.
The Bulldogs faced Redemptorist and end Allen Reine in the finals, having outscored their opponents to date by 1,724 points to 451.
On his weekly television program out of Monroe, Louisiana Tech athletic director Joe Aillet said there was no better football team in the nation than Ferriday.
Ferriday defeated the Wolves 14-0 in Municipal Stadium in Baton Rouge despite losing six fumbles. Hill had a 56-yard run as Ferriday outrushed Redemptorist 224-13.
It was the 39th straight win for Ferriday.
Fulger, Hill, Nelson and Purvis were selected to the North All-Star team and played a South team that included Billy Cannon, Gus Kinchen, Johnny Robinson and Warren Rabb. Roberston and Bill Ruple of Neville were the coaches.
Speakers for the luncheon were Oklahoma head coach Bud Wilkinson and Northwestern head coach Ara Parseghian.
Fugler, Hill and Nelson signed with LSU in front of Tiger head coach Paul Dietzel and assistant Charlie McClendon.
Hill would later transfer to Houston.
"I started for the freshman team," Hill said. "We played about four or five games.
In his sophomore year, Houston coach Harold Lahar told Hill he had two or three 24-year-old players ahead of him and asked Hill to redshirt.
"I didn't want to, but went along," Hill said. "I still practiced and traveled with the team, which you usually did not do if you were red-shirted. After one game of sitting on the bench I quit. That was the biggest mistake I ever made."
Hill said he cannot remember any specific run he made during his playing days, but does remember other unusual events.
"It's not always the good things you remember," he said. "I do remember when we were playing Oak Grove in 1954 and Don Horton was the quarterback. We ran a play where Don went to the left. I was a halfback and was supposed to block on the end, which would be the key block on the play. Well, I kind of brushed my man and didn't block him and Don got smeared. Coach Lancaster pulled me out of the game and ate me up one side and down the other. His face was blood red and he was slobbering all over me. He sent me back in there to tell Don to run that same play again. I put that big guy on the ground and Don went 80 yards for a touchdown. Coach Lancaster called me back over and told me, "That's the way to do it.'"
Hill joined the Army in 1959 and played in the Air Force Football League, playing for a team which won the championship of Europe in a title game in Germany.
"It was great to get back on the field," Hill said. "That was special."
Next week: Jarrett Hoffpauir
|Frank Morris Murder Series|