Special to the Southern Torch
FYFFE, Ala. – Fyffe High School head football coach Paul Benefield admits there is any fancy about the Red Devils’ style of football. That is, unless, you fancy winning.
Benefield’s teams have done a lot of winning – more than any other high school in the AHSAA in this decade. Fyffe, playing in Class 3A for this season, handed their beloved coach a 49-20 win over DeKalb County rival Sylvania last Friday. The triumph was the 300th in his head coaching career, which is now in its 29th season.
That victory improved the Red Devils to 3-0 this season and earned their coach and team this week’s AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 3 of the 2020 football season. Benefield and Fyffe have been setting tall standards for some time now. His career record is now 300-53, a state-leading an 85% winning rate. He is 255-42 at Fyffe in 24 seasons and was 46-18 at Sylvania in his first five seasons from 1992-1996.
Since 2016, Fyffe has gone 60-1, won its last 33 games in a row, and has three Class 2A state championships and a 17-1 playoff record. Win No. 300 came 28 years to the day after he posted his first victory. Victory No. 1 came on September 11, 1992, when Benefield, coaching at Sylvania, notched his first coaching victory with a 2-0 shutout over Ider. Turn the clock forward to September 11, 2020, and Fyffe beat his old team giving up the Red Devils’ first points of the season in the 49-20 win.
Benefield has proven time and time again his winning ways were no passing fancy. In fact, most years, his running backs score more rushing TDs than passes attempted.
In Friday’s win, Ike Rowell had 12 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Kyle Dukes and Brodie Hicks added two rushing TDs each.
Fyffe has compiled a 122-7 record since 2011 – outscoring opponents 5,502 points to 1,272 during that stretch. Last year’s team went 15-0 and outscored their opponents 639-43. Benefield joins an elite class of 300 winners in the AHSAA. He becomes the fifth coach to win 300 games all in the AHSAA.