Alabama's Mr. Football, quarterback Larry Smith, signed with Vanderbilt and other key players such as Nick Gentry (Alabama), and Ricardo Bates (Houston), are large voids to fill. The Lions were a young team overall in 2006, and many returning starters were stat leaders and have a great chance to repeat.
Coach Bill Clark's club played their jamboree game last week against North Gwinnett. Under normal circumstances, those games are little more than a scrimmage, but this had a little more luster. Prattville will be in the national spotlight every time they turn on the lights this season as they begin their run for another state championship and a national championship.
North Gwinnett is ranked seventh in Georgia's Class AAAAA by the Associated Press. The Bulldogs went 11-2 in 2006, and they visited the Cramton Bowl Saturday night.
The much needed rains came to Alabama, and Prattville had to shake off some cobwebs after facing fourth down and a country mile on their first series. Things soon settled down, and the Lions had little trouble with the canines, sending them home yelping 36-3.
The Lions' newly minted quarterback Casey Weston (6-3, 205-pounds) passed the ball 15 times and completed seven for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Weston was also on the receiving end of a 28-yard pass from senior running back Justin Albert (5-8, 175-pounds).
With the weather not conducive to the passing game, Prattville turned to its stable of running backs. Albert had 91 yards on 14 carries, junior Desmond Haley (5-11, 180 pounds) scored a touchdown on one of his two carries for 63 total yards including a 44 yard run making one sit up and take notice.
Senior Lewis Haley (5-9, 165-pounds) also had three runs for 40 yards and a score. Quarterback Casey Weston toted the leather 11 times for 28 yards.
Unfortunately for Prattville's future opponents, when they inevitably get the passing game down pat, the senior receiving core will be mighty tough-- Dekendrick Moncrief (6-1, 170-pounds), Emanuel Davis (6-2, 200-pounds), and Adrian Yelder (6-1, 170-pounds). Moncrief was the leading receiver on the 2006 championship team.
Then there is the defense. This bunch is scary-good and may be better than last year. Junior linebacker La'Angelo Albright (5-11, 195-pounds) led the team with 17 total tackles, eight solos and nine assists against the Georgia invaders. Albright led the state champs in tackles in 2006 with 109, along with his five sacks for a loss of 51 yards. This junior prospect has all the makings of a player who will hit the recruiting board of several schools on the next level.
Look for junior defensive lineman/linebacker Alex Page (6-1, 230-pounds), and senior linebackers Terrance Williams (6-1, 190-pounds) and Terrell Jackson (6-1 170-pounds) to rattle some cages this season.
Albert and Moncrief handled the kick-off return duties with Albert taking the punts exclusively. Weston and junior Brian Egan (5-10, 170-pounds) both showed nice punting ability last week. Weston had a long of 45 (36.67 average) and Egan had a 58 yarder (46.67 average).
Senior Sung Hyun Bae (5-8, 170-pounds) and Egan took care of placekicking duties.
Prattville will open the regular season at 6A Theodore.
8/31 Theodore 6A Away
9/7 Carver Montgomery (R) Home
9/14 Jeff Davis (R) Home
9/21 Wetumpka (R) Away
9/28 Opelika 6A Away
10/5 Sidney Lanier (R) Home
10/11 Lee (R) Away
10/19 Stanhope Elmore (R) Home
10/26 Selma (R) Away
11/1 Woodlawn 5A Home
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