EAGLES CLAW LIONS, 21-17
October 22, 2012By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
OAK MOUNTAIN GROUND ATTACK ROLL UP HUGE YARDAGE IN WIN OVER PRATTVILLE
The Oak Mountain Eagles were very rude hosts Friday night, October 19 to the visiting Prattville Lions. The Eagles kept the football away from the Lions en route to a 21-17 spanking. It was a tough defeat for Prattville.
With the defeat Prattville now face the reality of not making the playoffs. The Lions face a must win Friday night October 26 at home against the Chelsea Hornets. In addition to having to defeat Chelsea, Prattville also must keep an eye on the scoreboard in Shelby County for the outcome of the Pelham-Spain Park game. Spain Park needs to defeat Pelham.
With a Prattville win and a Pelham defeat, Prattville and Pelham would be tied for fourth place in the final standings of Region Four. By virtue of Prattville’s win over Pelham earlier in the season Prattville would claim the final spot sending the Lions to Cramton Bowl to face Carver, November 2 for the second time this season barring a miracle of Lanier upsetting the Wolverines October 26.
Recall Prattville’s season opening game was with Carver. The Wolverines ran roughshod over the Lions at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.
However earning a spot in the playoffs would keep the 12-year consecutive streak of making the playoffs.
Friday night in Oak Mountain, Prattville’s defense couldn’t handle the Eagles' version of the flexbone triple option. The Eagles are strictly a ground oriented team. They threw the ball nine times, all during the first half. Quarterback Jack Adams completed three of those for 20-yards.
Oak Mountain ran the ball 56 times piling up 263-yards, but more important controlling the clock during all four quarters, especially during the second half. The Eagles kept the football, 29 minutes to Prattville’s 19 minutes.
The Lions had the ball for 2:53 in the first quarter and in the critical fourth quarter the Lions only ran two possessions for 3:15.
Despite the time differential during the game, Prattville had golden opportunity to snatch the victory and earn a third place finish and avoid facing Carver in the first round of the playoffs.
After the Eagles took the lead with 4:49 left in the game Prattville took over at its 38 following Michael Cole’s short kickoff. On first down Stanley Mays ripped off a 20-yard run around left end to the Oak Mountain 42 and a first down.
Kalin Whitlow got 2-yards on first down, and then Mays was tackled behind the line of scrimmage for a two yard loss. Kamryn Pettway ripped off a 9-yard run to the 33.
Prattville gave the ball to Pettway on fourth and one. Give credit to Oak Mountain, Pettway was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The Lions turned the ball over to Oak Mountain with 2:36 left to play.
Oak Mountain put the game in the hands of their big senior fullback Scott Hester (6-2-225). Hester carried four straight times up the middle, nothing fancy just power football, ripping off one first down to Prattville’s 44, where quarterback Jake Adams took a knee.
With the victory, Oak Mountain’s first year coach, Chris Bell, certainly endeared his status with the Eagles’ fans. Oak Mountain, improved to 6-2 on the season with two games remaining. The first game Friday October 26 with Thompson in Alabaster, and then will close their 2012 season at home with a battle with Clay-Chalkville, the number two ranked team in class 6A.
Clay-Chalkville will drop when the new polls come out as they were upset by Robert E. Lee of Huntsville last week.
Still regardless of the outcome of the final two games the Eagles have produced the best season for an Oak Mountain team since the 2007 team went 6-4. With a win over Thompson the 2012 Eagles would have the best record since 2004 when Oak Mountain (10-4) advanced to the class 6A semifinals falling to Hoover.
The first quarter began badly for the Lions. Oak Mountain kept the ball for nine minutes en route to a 7-0 lead. Prattville had one possession and went three and out and a Tripp Burnett punt.
Oak Mountain scored with a 15-play 63-yard drive all on the ground except one pass play good for one yard. Adams scored the touchdown with 11-seconds left on the clock to end the first quarter.
Prattville answered with an impressive drive following the ensuing kickoff. Taking over at its 31, Prattville drove 69-yards in 9-plays. The highlights of the drive came on a 16-yard run from Pettway, and a 21-yard dart by Mays around right end. The Lions also were aided by a 15-yard penalty against the Eagles.
Mays’ run ended at the Eagles’ 9-yard line, where Pettway carried to the one. Mays then barreled over. Austin Macginnis kicked the first of his two extra points to knot the game at 7-all.
The teams exchanged two possessions. With 7:10 remaining in the first half Patrick Parks recovered Adams’ fumble at the Eagle 40.
Quickly Prattville was on top 14-7 with a 60-yard drive that took only two minutes. Whitlow scrambled for six yards, then hit Mays coming out of the backfield for 13-yards to the Oak Mountain 46.
Whitlow picked up five yards to the 41 and then connected with Mays in the right flat. Mays raced into the end zone for a 14-7 lead with 5:16 left in the half.
Prattville held Oak Mountain on the next possession following Macginnis’ kickoff. The Lions took over at their 44, and picked up one first down to the Eagles' 41. There the drive fizzled when John Michael Miller intercepted Whitlow’s aerial at the Eagles 31 and returned it 17-yards to the 48 with only 58.3 seconds left in the half.
As difficult as it is to believe Oak Mountain put six points on the scoreboard driving 52 yards in 58 seconds. The drive was aided by a late pass interference call that carried to the Lion 19. Hester carried 11-yards on first down to the 8 with 18.4 seconds left. Two pass plays were incomplete, on third down Adams carried to the two yard line with six seconds left.
On fourth down it appeared that Prattville had stuffed Adams at the one yard line. However the line judge, on a late call, gave Adams the touchdown and a 14-14 deadlock at half time.
The second half was tough for Prattville. The Lions had six possessions for a total of 9 minutes and 49 seconds, and only four first downs.
Prattville took the second half kickoff with great field position with a 23-yard return from Anthony Lykes to the Lion 42. Mays carried seven consecutive trips to the Oak Mountain 35 for a first down. The drive ended at the Eagles’ 30, two incomplete passes a five yard run by Pettway and a no gain trip by Mays.
Oak Mountain gave the ball back to the Lions two minutes later as Astin McQueen recovered Hester’s bobble at the Lion 41. Prattville went three and out and Macginnis' punt rolled dead at the Eagles 19. The Lions was penalized five yards for encroachment, setting up another fumble by Oak Mountain, with McQueen grabbing his second fumble recovery at the Eagle 31.
Mays got six yards on first down, and then lost a yard back to the 26. Prattville was off sides and the penalty left the ball at the original line of scrimmage. After an incomplete pass Macginnis kicked a 48-yard field goal with 3:43 left in the third quarter.
Prattville led 17-14.
Before the quarter was over, Prattville let another opportunity slip away. Kiwane Pinard recovered Adams fumble at the Lion 40 with 1:44 left. Four running plays moved the ball to Oak Mountain’s 38 and a first down. Pettway carried twice for seven yard to the 31 as the third quarter ended.
First play of the fourth quarter Mays rambled to the Eagles’ 27-yard line. On fourth and six, a horrible snap sailed back to the Lion 46. With 10:58 remaining Oak Mountain took over at Prattville’s 46.
It would be nothing but the artillery for the Eagles now, all on the ground for Oak Mountain. Seven trips by Mr. Hester and three by Mr. Adams, sandwiched around one four-yard gallop by Josh Gaines resulted with Adams barreling over from the four yard line with 4:49 left.
Still the Lions had plenty of time and great field position, especially after Mays 20-yard run TO the Eagles’ 40. It wasn’t to be, as Mays’ run set up the final four plays that could net only nine yards confirming that it is indeed a game of inches.