BREWTON, Ala. (WKRG) — The creek that divides Brewton and East Brewton is a battle line. It represents the divide between W.S. Neal High School from T.R. Miller High School, just 4 miles apart. Hereabouts, there’s a whole week devoted their annual rivalry game, one of the biggest football showdowns in the state of Alabama. On both sides of the line, fans mark it on their calendar: the Battle of Murder Creek.

JoJo Booker is a T.R. Miller offensive coach and this is his very first year coaching the team. Booker grew up in Brewton and attended T.R. Miller High School and played for the football team he now coaches. The Battle of Murder Creek means a lot to him.

“It’s just right across the creek, so, everybody knows everybody, all the fans and everybody, so it’s pretty intense,” Booker said.

Head Coach of W.S. Neal Hugh Fountain was born and raised in East Brewton. Like Booker, Fountain now coaches for the same high school team he once played for.

“The Battle of Murder Creek has always been huge in this community because you know, we divided by the creek,” Fountain said.

Geography is important. But there would be no rivalry without some history.

The creek takes its name from a massacre that happened there in 1788. The story goes that Colonel Joseph Kirkland and his companions, bound for Louisiana, were traveling down the creek when they encountered another group of people who pretended to be traders but were really outlaws. When Kirkland and his men camped near the creek, the outlaws attacked. They murdered Kirkland and his entire party and took everything they could run off with.

Not so bloody as the terrible episode that gave the creek its name, the long-standing football rivalry is a high-point, especially for seniors in their final season of high school football.

Adam White, T.R. Miller senior, says he grew up knowing and learning the rivalry, and being able to play in it for four years is a dream come true.

“I’m not too nervous, I am nervous before every game, but just for it being the last time of something I have always dreamed of and now it’s my last time, so it’s a big game for me” White said.

David Peace, T.R. Miller Senior, told News 5 that he grew up going to the Battle of Murder Creek each year. Being a senior and playing in the game one final time is emotional.

“Shoot, I remember me crying when we’d lose when I was younger, losing the Battle of Murder creek,” Peace said.

And as night falls, it all comes down to kick off.

Fans filled both sides of the bleachers on October 28, 2022, as T.R. Miller hosted W.S. Neal in this years’ Battle of Murder Creek. Fans and alumni’s came from all over the southeast to come and watch their alma maters play in a legendary tradition.

And only one team walks out of the Battle of Murder Creek with a victory. T.R. Miller defeated W.S. Neal 29 to 0. But there’s always next season. The tradition lives on.

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