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September 7, 2013

PREP FOOTBALL: Britton overtakes Woodard with 45-27 Bearcat win vs. East Limestone (PHOTO GALLERY)

CULLMAN — There was no drama Friday night during or after the game at Oliver Woodard Stadium, only smiles and celebrations for the Cullman Bearcats.

Cullman jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 45-27 win over East Limestone, giving coach Mark Britton his 107th career victory with the Bearcats, surpassing the legendary Coach Woodard as the winningest coach in Cullman High School history.

“It hasn’t really soaked in to be honest with you,” Britton said after sharing a few minutes with family, friends and former players on the field. “I was running these sidelines when my brothers were playing — Coach Woodard was coaching — as a ballboy. I’ve spent a lot of time in this stadium. It’s truly an honor.

“In my mind, Coach Woodard will always be the guy. He will always be the guy. As a young coach, and just watching him as a young player — I never had the honor to play for him; he had already retired, but he was still teaching when I came through as a student. He would come by practice and share things with us when I was brand new here at Cullman. We just want to do a good job and put a good program in this stadium. I hope he would be proud of what our kids have accomplished in the last few years.”

Friday night couldn’t come soon enough for the Cullman players and coaches. In a week that was filled with uncertainty and suspensions following last week’s post-game fight at Walker, the chance to focus on football was a welcome distraction.

“We were really motivated,” said senior running back Garrett Crider, who rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. “I feel like that was our therapy, to get back on the field.”

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