Toombs County, Georgia- population roughly 26,000- has had a pretty impressive impact on the Super Bowl in it’s first 52 years. Three players who were born in Toombs County have played in the big game and combined they have won six Super Bowl rings.
Mel Blount (Lyons Industrial High School), a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Toombs County Athletic Hall of Fame, played in four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and he won four Super Bowl Rings. Nick Eason (Toombs County High School), who is also a member of the Toombs County Athletic Hall of Fame, played in two Super Bowls with the Steelers and he won one ring. Fred Stokes (Vidalia High School) played in a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins and he won a ring.
Back in 2008 Y-101 Radio aired a one-hour Super Bowl special which featured Blount, Stokes, Travares Tillman and Len Hauss all talking about their Super Bowl experiences. Tillman (Toombs County High School), a member of the Toombs County Athletic Hall of Fame, didn’t play in a Super Bowl. However, he did play for a team that played in the Super Bowl. He was a member of the 2003 Carolina Panther team which lost to the New York Giants 32-29. Hauss, a native of Jesup and a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, played for the Washington Redskins from 1964 to 1977 and was the starting center in the 1973 Super Bowl.
Listen to the Y-101 2008 Super Bowl Show
Super Bowl IX- January 12, 1975- Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans
Blount made two big plays to help the Steelers win their first Super Bowl. With Pittsburgh leading 2-0- with 1:17 to play in the first half- Blount intercepted a Fran Tarkington pass on first down and 10 from the Steeler 25-yard line. Glen Edwards delivered a hard hit on the receiver John Gilliam and the ball popped up in the air. Blount caught the ball at the one-yard line and returned the pick 10-yards allowing the Steelers to run out the clock and take the 2-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half Mel tackled running back Chuck Foreman for no gain on a second and five play from the Viking 29-yard line.
Super Bowl X- January 18, 1976- Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17 in the Orange Bowl in Miami
Mel started at right corner back for the second straight Super Bowl and he was credited with three second half tackles. Two of wide receiver Preston Pearson for 14-yards and no gain. He also tackled Robert Newhouse for an eight-yard gain after a catch.
Blount returned three kicks for 27, 18 and 19-yards.
Super Bowl XIII- January 21, 1979- Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31 in the Orange Bowl in Miami
In an almost similar situation as in Super Bowl IX, Blount intercepted a pass right before halftime. In a 14-all game quarterback Roger Staubach was leading the Cowboys downfield with three straight completions to Pearson for seven-yards, Tony Hill for 10 and Tony Dorsett for 12. With 1:52 remaining in the second quarter it was first down and 10 for Dallas at the Steeler 32 when Staubach, who was trying to complete a fourth straight pass, threw to Blount’s side of the field and Mel picked off a throw intended for Pearson and returned it 13-yards.
Pittsburgh QB Terry Bradshaw completed two passes to Lynn Swann for 29 and 21-yards and then he ended a six-play, 56-yard drive with a seven-yard TD pass to Rocky Bleier to put the Steelers up for good at 21-14.
Blount also had two solo tackles in the game.
Super Bowl XIV- January 18, 1976- Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles Rams 19 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena
Mel had four solo tackles in his fourth Super Bowl victory. The Steelers trailed 13-10 at half and 19-17 in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter Bradshaw threw a 73-yard touchdown pass John Stallworth and Franco Harris scored on a one-yard run with 1:52 to play in the game.
Super Bowl XLIII- February 1, 2009- Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
What little boy playing football at Partin Park or teenager playing for the Toombs County Bulldogs, in the Pit, hasn’t dreamed about playing on a Super Bowl winning team? Nick Eason dreamed those dreams and thanks to an amazing catch by Santonio Holmes, with 42 seconds to play, they came true. The Steelers, who led 20-7 in the third quarter, had to rally at the end to pull out a 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Eason played quite a bit at left defensive end and on special teams.
Nick Eason talks about the Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLV- February 6, 2011- Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington
In their first playoff game the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a 14 points deficit and defeated the Baltimore Ravens. In Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers trailed Green Bay by 11 at half and although they rallied and pulled to within three points with 7:34 to play in the game- the Green Bay Packers drove 70-yards in 10 plays and added a field goal with 2:07 to play to win 31-25.
Eason, who was seeking his second Super Bowl ring, played on the Steelers defensive line in both halves and he also played on special teams.