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September 19, 2012
By Jimmy White of Prattville High School


Prattville’s ninth grade Cubs gave Hoover’s frosh a battle Tuesday night, September 18, at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.  The game was originally scheduled for Monday night, but the inclement weather cause a postponement until Tuesday.

Prattville played well, and had an opportunity to win the game, but two dropped aerials proved to be the different in the game.  The Buccaneers held on to win, 28-20, holding the football the final two minutes of the fourth quarters. Hoover turned the ball over to Prattville with 46.2 seconds at the Lions 30.  Prattville still scored trimming it to the final 28-20.

Prattville rushed for 262 yards and added 45 yards in the air.  However, the Lions defense couldn’t handle Hoover’s quarterback Chris Vacarella.  The elusive Vacarella threw for 91 yards, and added 81 yards rushing, scoring three six pointers.

For football fans, Vacarella is the son of former Auburn quarterback, Chris Vacarella.  Vacarella played at Ramsey High School in Birmingham.  He was an all-state player in 1972 and signed a scholarship to Auburn University.  Vacarella played two years under center (1973, 1974) and his final two seasons (1975 & 1976 he played wide receiver.

After graduation from Auburn he went into the sports medicine business with DePuy Mitek, one of the leaders in the field.  He now owns a sports medicine business in Birmingham.

Hoover wasted very little time in turning on the scoreboard.  The Bucs took an 8-0 lead after only three minutes and 20 seconds.

Hoover’s Jimmie Johnson took A. J. Reed’s kickoff at his 19 and returned to the 37.  The Bucs then put together a four-play drive to take the early lead.  Vacarella hit Johnson with a 19-yard pass on first down.  Johnson picked up nine yard to the 45.  Vacarella hit Austin Harris with an aerial to the 31.  Vacarella then kept with a fake that left the middle open with Vacarella dashing into the end zone untouched.  Vacarella them hit Quincy Cox for two points and 8-0 lead.

The Lions picked up a first down on the ensuing possession to their 49.  It bogged down with two incomplete passes and 2-yard run by Joseph Burke.   Chris Cox’s punt rolled dead to the Bucs’ 11.  On first down Vacarella’s pass was intercepted by C. J. Coleman at the Hoover 46 and returned to the 24.

Burke raced to the 7-yardline and a first down.  Lavelle Winters then raced over to score with 3:08 left.  Reed kicked he first of his two extra points.

Hoover took the ensuing kickoff on a short kick from Cox at its 36.  Hoover scored on the first play of the second quarter.  Vacarella scrambled from 11-yards out to score his second TD.  The attempt at 2-points sailed over Johnson’s head in the end zone.

Bailey Aultman’s kickoff went out of bounds with Prattville taking over at its 35.  Six plays later Prattville knotted the game.  The highlight of the 65-yard drive came on a beautiful executed fake punt play, where punter Cox handed off to Kaleid Jordan.  Jordan raced to the Hoover 5-yardline.  Two running plays from Winters gave the Lion Cubs a 14-14 tie with 4:53 left in the half.

Prattville attempted a “pooch” kick on the kickoff, but Connor Strickland recovered it for Hoover at its 40. 

Hoover added its third touchdown with an 8-play drive.  Twenty yards of the drive came on Prattville penalties, and one first down came on a third and four when Prattville jumped off sides.  Vacarella scored his third TD with a 13-yard scoot around right end.  The Bucs missed the extra point.

The ensuing kickoff was a total disaster for the Lion Cubs.  T. J. Albert took the kick at his 27 and returned it to the 37, where Hoover literally took the ball away from Albert.

Undaunted by the turn of events the Lions held Hoover, aided by two 5-yard penalties against the Bucs.   Tyler Brown finally punted to Tommy Vinson with a fair catch at the 17

Prattville picked up two first downs to Hoover’s 38 with 6.8 seconds left in half.  Two Parker Kelly aerials fell harmless.  Hoover 20 Prattville 14 at halftime.

Prattville took the second half kickoff and motored to the Hoover 13.  Again a magnificent run by Jordan saved the day for the Lions.  A bad snap to punter Cox resulted with Cox handing the ball to Jordan who zipped around right end to the Hoover 13.

Kelly flipped a beautiful pass to Taylor Cain-Courtney in the corner of the end zone on third down, but Cain-Courtney couldn’t hold the ball as it fluttered to the ground.  Reed’s attempt at a 35-yard field goal sailed short of the goal with 3:50 left in quarter.

Hoover took over at its 20 and began a time consuming drive of 80-yards.  The Bucs took a lesson from Prattville.  On fourth down and 3 at its 27, the Bucs faked the punt with Johnson picking up 17-yards to the 44.

Hoover then put together an 11-play drive that milked 8 minutes of clock.  Aaron Lawler scored with a 4-yard plunge over tackle.  Vacarella hit Strickland with a two point conversion, Hoover 28, Prattville 14 with 4:57 remaining.

Prattville picked up one first down to their 36, where the drive fizzled.  Kelly fired an aerial to Jordan behind the Bucs secondary, again he couldn’t handle it.  It could have been a touchdown, or at least a long gainer.

Prattville turned the ball over at its 36 with 2:35 left.  Hoover milked the clock down to 46.2 seconds.

Prattville scored as the clock expired.  Winters picked up six yards on first down.  Then Burke broke free around left end for 39-yards to the Bucs 25 with 8-seconds on the clock.  Kelly dropped back and flipped a pass into the end zone where Jordan grabbed the pigskin for six points.

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