Prattville Meets Foley

Emmanuel Davis

Prattville advanced to the quarter-finals of the state class 6A playoffs Friday night in Auburn's Duck Samford Stadium with a 24-14 win over an inspired Auburn High team. However the win may prove costly for the Lions. Three star Lion players left the game with injuries, and all-state running back Justin Albert did not dress for the game.

Strong safety Zach Brownell was hobbling on crutches, defensive lineman Anthony Holland was limping, and linebacker Brady Sutley was on crutches.

The status for Brownell, Holland and Albert for Friday night's battle with No.2 ranked Foley is questionable. Sutley is definitely out with a possible torn ACL.

Playing before a packed house of over 7,000 on a soggy and wet field, that cause running backs for both teams to slip and slid on the nappy grass, Prattville over came two costly penalties that wiped out long gains, as well as a successful onside kick to open the game by Auburn and still survived to advance in their attempt to defend their state title.

Auburn opened the game with a little trickery that caught the Lions off guard. Braxton Hunsberger's onside kickoff was recovered by the Tigers at the Lions 46. The Tigers quickly moved to a first down at the Prattville 29.

Quarterback Calvin Jenkins hit Richard Ross with a 16-yard pass and Brandon Ross picked up one yard on first down. That was all the Tigers would muster with this golden opportunity as the Lions defense rose to the occasion and took over on downs at the 27.

The Lions took over and on first down Jerodis Williams ripped off a 16 yard gain to the Lion 43. Disaster befell the Lions on the next play as the snap sailed over Casey Weston's head and Rodney Thomas recovered for the Tigers at the Prattville 28.

The Lion's defense came up strong again and held, three running plays netted four yards and Jenkins' pass was incomplete in the end zone.

Prattville took over on downs at its 22 with 7:45 left in the first quarter. The Lions drove 78-yards in 11-plays to take a 7-0 lead on a seven-yard blast by Williams with 3:36 left in the first quarter. Brian Egan kicked the first of his three extra points.

The highlights of the drive came with a Weston to Emmanuel Davis aerial good for 19-yards, and one to Dekendrick Moncrief good for 15 yards.

Auburn came to play and took the ensuing kickoff and marched 60 yards in seven-plays to knot the game at seven-all with 17 seconds left in the quarter.

Crede Simpson gave the Tigers great field position by taking Sung Hyun Bae's kickoff at the two-yard line and returning it to the 40.

Forsaking the infantry, the Tigers took to the air with Jenkins firing five passes, completing four with the final pass connection with Brandon Ross good for 32 yards and a six-pointer. Jenkins unloaded the pass withstanding a huge all-out blitz by the Lions. A. J. Harris kicked the first of his two extra points.

Lewis Haley returned Hunsberger's kickoff 14 yards to the 27. Prattville went to work, keeping the ball for five minutes and 43 seconds but getting only a 23-yard field goal for their efforts from Egan giving the Lions a 10-7 lead with 6:34 left in the first half.

The 63-yard march was highlighted by Casey Weston's 21-yard scramble and a 26-yard pass to Williams coming out of the backfield. With a first down at the seven-yard line, Prattville found the Tigers' defense tough, and runs by Williams, Randy Ellis and an incomplete pass netted only one yard forcing the field goal.

The two teams traded punts twice to end the half. At half time Prattville led in the total offense performance with 168 yards to 96 yards. The Tigers had 36 yards rushing at halftime, Prattville 70-yards.

The Lions kicked off to start the second half. Richard Ross returned Bae's kickoff to the Tiger 13. After one incomplete pass Jenkins' pass was completed to Michael King, but he was striped of the ball and Terrell Jackson recovered the pigskin at the 25 for the Lions.

Prattville took advantage of the golden opportunity quickly. Lewis Haley got five on second down, and on third down Weston hit Dekendrick Moncrief for a first down to the 15. Williams broke free off right tackle for the touchdown and a 17-7 lead with 10:09 left.

Auburn went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and King punted dead to the Lion 47. In three plays Prattville was knocking on the door again with a 31-yard scamper from Williams to the Auburn 19-yard line.

Auburn's defense again stuffed the Lions forcing another field goal attempt. This time Egan's attempt sailed wide right of the uprights after a bad snap.

The Tigers went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and punted back to the Lions where Moncrief fair caught the ball at the Prattville 34. Three running plays netted a first down at the Auburn 45.

Auburn held for three downs. However on fourth Prattville decided to gamble. Weston tossed a late pitch to Williams who scooted around right end down to the Tiger nine-yard line only to have it call back for an illegal procedure penalty.

Egan's punt was fair caught by Frank Buchanan at the Tiger 29.

On the final play of the third quarter L. C. Morris picked off Jenkins' pass at the Lion 36. On the second play of the fourth quarter Prattville made one first down, but the drive bogged down and Egan punted out of bounds at the Tiger 18.

Auburn couldn't move the ball and again was forced to punt. King's punt was partially blocked by Morris as the Lions took over at the Tigers' 37.

This time Prattville took advantage of the opportunity. Williams added his third touchdown with a run off tackle for a four-yard score and a 24-7 lead with 4:58 left in the game.

Following Bae's kickoff to Simpson at the one-yard line, which he returned to the 19, the Tigers kept the ball for four minutes. The Tigers scored with 1:09 left. Jenkins blasted over the pylon from the seven. The extra point attempt was blocked by Alex Page.

Dekendrick Moncrief recovered Hunsberger's attempted onside kick. Prattville ran out the clock with Weston taking a knee.

Prattville will play host to the No.2 ranked Foley Lions (12-0) Friday night at Stanley-Jensen Stadium. Foley defeated Murphy High 35-14 last Thursday night at Ladd Stadium in Mobile. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

The long range weather forecast calls for thunderstorms on Thursday with a 70-percent chance of rain. The rain probability will decrease early Friday morning with only a slight chance of light rain. By kickoff Friday there is noble a 10-percent change of slight rain with 53 degrees under cloudy skies dropping to 42 degrees by 10 p.m. source for Alabama high school football.

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