TNL: Woodlawn at Prattville

Nick Gentry

If you're looking for high drama and fourth quarter heroics, Stanley Jensen Stadium at the Prattville City Park is probably not your cup of tea Thursday night. However, if you like prospects, known and sleepers, it may well be that you need to head to Autauga county for the 7:00 p.m. kickoff. TNL, or FNL on a Thursday, if you like, will do just that.

Alabama verbal commitment Nick Gentry continues to anchor the Prattville defensive line, and the Lions' defense is a big reason coach Bill Clark's team is ranked No. 2 in the state. Don't short-sell the attack troops led by Vanderbilt verbal commitment Larry Smith behind center. Smith is capable of putting up the same type numbers current Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson did last week against Kentucky, when the former Pike County star racked up 400 yards of total offense.

One of Smith and Clark's favorite weapons is junior running back Justin Albert, a speedster who sometimes lines up in the backfield, sometimes in the slot, and occasionally out wide. Wherever he is, opposing defenses have to account for them or they will see blinking lights in the direction of the nearest scoreboard in their sleep. He's another reason the Lions are 9-0, 7-0 in Region 4, and have won an eye-popping 45 straight regular season games. He ran for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 10 carries in last week's 41-6 rout of Selma. Smith hit on 16 of 23 passes for 211 yards, including a 10-yard scoring strike to Emmanuel Davis.

Coming in trying to end that streak and start one of their own are the 0-9 Woodlawn Colonels from Birmingham. FNL will try to find a sleeper athlete or two on this squad to tell you about, particularly if he's an underclassman. Look for the Lions to roll 42-6, with reserves in the mix early and often, as they warm up for a home game in round one of the 2006 AHSAA 6A play-offs.

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