Bill Clark's Lions too tough to overcome.
It was the home Lions, not the visitors from Baldwin County, that again advanced to the semis, this time by a 38-14 margin, in a contest that was not in doubt the final two and-a-half quarters. And for the second straight year, a 5-foot-7 Prattville cornerback rendered Foley's star receiver ineffective.
LaVance Mitchell went 21 yards up the middle to give Foley an early lead less than four minutes into the contest at Pratt Park's jam-packed Stanley Jensen Stadium.
Julio Jones dropped a punt, and Prattville recovered at Foley's 36-yard line. That set up Jerry Williams's 11-yard jaunt up the middle with 3:13 left in the opening quarter.
Holy Petyon Hillis, Batman! The home Lions struck again with 32 seconds left in the quarter when Casey Weston fired a 49-yard strike to Emmanuel Davis to give PHS the lead. Davis is a 6-2, 196-pound senior.
Playing on a sore ankle, senior Justin Albert capped a 20 play, 88-yard drive with a five-yard run that helped Prattville to a two-touchdown lead at intermission. The march took up 9:04 of the quarter's 12 minutes, and Albert's score 1:12 before the break. Talk about "The Drive!"
The second half began with Prattville taking advantage of another Foley fumble. Casey Weston capped a short 29-yard drive with a quarterback draw from the six, and with 9:56 to go in the third period, the Prattville Lions were pulling away.
They pulled away for good when Weston found Davis again, this time for a 56-yard bomb, a 35-7 lead, and a long ride back down I-65 for the Foley squad.
To the categories:
TOP PROSPECT: Three guesses, and the first two don't count… That'd be Julio, down by the school yard. The name of the game at the school yard Friday was "Keep away." As in, "from Julio."
The multi-talented 6-4, 215-pound Jones finished with this unofficial stat-line: He caught five passes for 26 yards, rushed four times for 29, ran a kick-off back for 18 and was punted away from the entire evening after his initial fumble. He did draw an interference call in the end zone. Jones also makes cameo appearances at free safety on certain passing situations.
SENIORS WHO SHINED: Foley's got a fine safety who is committed to an SEC school (Alabama), and Prattville coach Bill Clark knows a thing or two about Robert Lester.
"The fact that I picked the Alabama/Mississippi (All-Start Game) DBs, and I picked him (shows) I think he's pretty dad gum good," said Prattville coach Bill Clark. "He's a great player. He's physical. He can go play corner, he can run. He's strong, and a hitter. He's got the height. He's a good-looking kid."
L.C. Morris is listed at 5-7, 160, but like William Albert last year, he was charged with guarding Julio.
Greenville transfer Casey Weston (6-2, 185) does a good job running the Prattville offense.
One of Prattville's key cogs on offense for the third straight year is wide receiver DeKendrick Moncrief.
"Very explosive. Quick feet. Good hands, and the ability to stretch the field vertically," said Foley coach Todd Watson.
Moncrief was held by Lester to one catch for minus two yards on the night. He checks in at 6-1,182. Moncrief spent his evening being shadowed by Lester. Like Julio, Moncrief plays deep safety against the certain pass. He served as a decoy that helped Davis get open deep.
JUNIORS TO WATCH: Like his brother, Quaylon Moncrief (5-10, 165) is fast and can catch the rock. He'll draw the eyes of recruiters next year, for sure. He's got plenty of company in the PHS class of 2009.
Translation: The Prattville Lions will be good once again next fall, and it could well be with Quay at QB.
Some examples are safety Zach Brownell (6-0, 182), linebacker LaAngelo Albright (5-11, 194), and defensive lineman Alex Page (6-1, 232). Then there's the afore-mentioned Williams, who is 5-9, 182 and does not often fall on the first lick. Brownell helped Morris out on Julio at times, with a pair of break-ups. He's good on run support, too.
BRIGHTEN MY DAY: Few restaurants make it past one year, but there's a little joint in downtown Bessemer that celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. The Bright Star, owned and run by the Koikos family, serves up fresh seafood, fine steaks and some of the Yellowhammer state's finest salads. And save room for some lemon ice box or homemade coconut pie. Folks, it just don't get any better.
NEXT WEEK: A return to Prattville is in order, what with FNL's first chance to check out Glenn Harbin and the Yellow Jackets of McGill-Toolen. Will I-65 continue to live up to its Hank Williams-inspired nickname of "Lost Highway?"
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