DREW, Miss. (WDAM) - Paul Pounds can’t remember every detail of every football game he coached over a 31-year career, but there’s one particular contest in 1967 that stands out, for more than one reason.
“The referee came over to the sideline and he says, ‘Coach, I have one official that might be drinking, but I told him to keep his flag in the pocket,’ and I said, ‘Don’t worry about anything.’ I said we’re good,” said Pounds.
Someone else was doing a little stumbling on the field that night but not because he had a hotty toddy. Coach Pounds won’t soon forget Archie Manning’s first football game at quarterback.
The former coach of Drew High School now resides in Columbia with his wife, Brenda, and their bed and breakfast.
As he flips through old yearbooks, those memories of coaching Archie come rushing back.
“He worked with Stanley Brooks and his dad laying bricks,” said Pounds. “In the afternoons we’d go down and throw with the receivers and the quarterbacks, and then I knew we were going to be a passing team. He was 50-60 percent of our offense every time.”
Drew High School was small potatoes – nestled in an agricultural town of 2,000, but it didn’t stop the major schools from coming to watch Archie – whether that was on the track, basketball court, baseball or football field.
“He said, ‘Coach, I want to go where they’re winning. I want to go with Coach Vaught,‘’ said Pounds.
“Peyton asked me the same thing. He said, ‘Wonder why he went to 18? I think he had somebody else that had 14 up there at Ole Miss,’” Pounds said.
I think you know the story of Archie Manning. From Ole Miss to all the rest of it.
But if you want to hear some untold stories about the skinny, gangly Archie – Paul Pounds has the time.
“He would do whatever we talked about and whatever we said,” said Pounds. “There was no playing around ‘Mr. Versatile.’”