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LEWIS: Montgomery County Remembers: Who is the best?

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Now that the high school football season is in full swing lets stir the pot.

On Sept. 27, the 1989 Crawfordsville football team will be honored at the football game. Prior to the game the team is meeting at Coach Rick Schavietello’s house for a get together before being honored at halftime.

In case some of you younger readers don’t know anything about this team they were 12-1, still the most wins by an Athenian team in a season (and that have been playing football for more than 100 years). The team won the Montgomery County Championship, the Sagamore Athletic Championship, won the sectional, won the regional and advance to the Final Four where they were defeated by Hammond Noll 32-20 in blizzard-like conditions.

The team was just 5-4 the year before so the turnaround was drastic.

The team averaged 31.5 points a game. Only twice did the offense not score 25 points or more. They were limited to 16 by Tipton in a 16-9 sectional win and 20 in the season-ending loss. In the two county games the Athenians beat Southmont 48-7 and North Montgomery 42-7. In the other three conference games the Athenians beat Frankfort 43-0, Lebanon 28-0 and Western Boone 41-12 as they totally dominated the conference.

While the offense was stellar, the defense may have been even better. 

The team recorded five shutouts. It did not allow more than one touchdown in nine games and in another game an opponent scored just nine points. No team scored more than 10 points in the first seven games of the season. For the season the team allowed just 95 points or a mere 7.3 points a game.

Obviously, Crawfordsville fans think this team was special  — really special. It was, but now for the debate. Was this the BEST team ever in Montgomery County? Of course, there is no right or wrong answer.  Let the debate begin.

Here are a few teams to through into the debate:

- Crawfordsville’s 1968 team that were 8-0-1 (tying Central Catholic 13-13)

- Crawfordsville’s 1972 team which went 9-1 (losing only to West Lafayette 24-21)

- North Montgomery’s 1986 team which went 9-1 (losing only to Zionsville 20-19 in the sectional)

- North Montgomery’s 1995 team which won the state title on its way to 13-1 record (losing only to Crawfordsville 22-8)

- North Montgomery’s 1996 state championship team that went 13-1 (losing only to McCutcheon 22-12)

- North Montgomery’s 2008 team which went 12-1 (losing to Chatard in the regional 42-20)

- Southmont’s 1971 team which went 10-0 and outscored its opponents 402-12

- Southmont’s 1977 team which went 9-1(losing to Crawfordsville 34-0)

- Southmont’s 1981 team which went 10-0 and only allowed 56 points

Are there others? I would be curious to hear your thought? Best team is? How about your Top Five? 

Personally here are my Top Five:

- Crawfordsville’s 1989 team (that hurts since I am a Southmont grad)

- Southmont’s 1971 team

- North Montgomery’s 1996 team

- North Montgomery’s 1995 team

- Crawfordsville’s 1968 team

Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.

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