On November 24, 1967, at Irwin County, Lyons High School’s J.B. Cone returned a punt 60-yards down to the two-yard line which set the Bulldogs up for the only touchdown of the game. Lyons edged Irwin 6-0 in the Bulldogs’ 12th win of the season moving a group of boys who had been playing together for years into the Class B State Championship game in Lyons. 11-1 Washington-Wilkes won the title game 27-0.
“On that particular kick, late in the game, I was back and I remember the punt sailing and going further and it was all I could do to catch up with the ball,” Cone remembered in an interview on Y-101 Radio with coach Randy Callahan. “When I caught it I knew I needed to get to the wall with it because we had a punt return set up. Once I got to it there was excellent blocking. There were missed tackles, a lot of great blocks on my way down to around the two-yard line. I credit all that to my teammates who allowed me to do that.”
Listen to the whole interview with J.B. Cone
The 12-2 Bulldogs roared past Waynesboro 57-2 at home and they defeated Fort Valley 17-7 at Dublin in the region playoffs. Their only regular season loss was at Swainsboro- in week two- by a 12-3 score and they also scored a dozen points in a shutout win at Vidalia for their seventh straight victory in what would be a 10-game winning streak.
Cone will be one of 16 new inductees into the second class of the Toombs County High School Athletic Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be on Sunday, December 9 at 2 p.m. at the Toombs County High School Auditorium.
Other 2018 inductees
Lyons Industrial School
Lyons High School
Lyons Senior High School
Toombs Central High School
Coach Bill Warren
David Bell Jr.
Toombs County High School
Check back for more profiles on members of the Class of 2018
Other highlights in Cone’s athletic career include playing on an elementary school team, coached by Anson Callaway (Toombs County Athletic HOF 2017 inductee), which won the Dixie Bowl. In 1966, while playing for an 8-4 Lyons High team, Cone was named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution All-State team as a running back. Earlier in his career he was an offensive and defensive lineman. In 1968 J.B. earned a letter at Austin Peay State University playing split end, running back and he also was a place kicker. Cone kicked the game-winning field for a Governor team which finished at 5-5.
More recently J.B. was known as coach Cone. He started the Toombs County Middle School soccer program which wound up winning five championships in six seasons. Cone also coach the Toombs County Bulldog soccer team and led them to a Region 2 title in 2017 and back-to-back trips to the Elite 8 in 2013 and 14.