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October 29, 2012
By Jimmy White of Prattville High School




Prattville ended their Regional Four play Friday night at Stanley-Jensen Stadium. For three quarters the Lions of 2012 played like the Lions of previous playoff teams, building a 40-0 lead over the visiting Chelsea Hornets.

Shortly after the third quarter the news broke that Prattville would not make the 2012 class 6A post season.  The Lions needed Regional Four champions, Spain Park, to defeat Pelham for a spot in the playoffs, although it would have been as the fourth seed and a trip to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl to face the Carver Wolverines for the second time.

Carver bombed the Lions on opening day rather handily, 49-24.

Pelham manhandled Spain Park, 42-17.  With the victory the Panthers secured a second place finish in the final regional standings.  The defeat sent the Lions home for the winter.  Prattville can now begin off season workouts with the goal of returning to the lofty aspirations that Prattville fans have come accustomed.

It also bumped Stanhope Elmore from a home date in the first round into fourth place and a date with Carver in the first round beginning November 9.  Ironically Pelham’s two defeats were from Prattville, 31-14, and Stanhope Elmore, 28-14.

The last time the Lions failed to secure a playoff berth was during Bill Clark’s first year in 1999.

Previously to Clark’s first year the Lions had earned playoff berths from 1993-1998, or 18 of the past 19 years.

Spain Park coach Chip Lindsey told the Birmingham News “They lined up and whipped us on every snap from the beginning to the end.  We were not ready to play.  It’s really disappointing that we didn’t play better.”

Prattville has one more regular season game Friday night November 2 with a trip to face Northview High’s Cougars at Rip Hewes Stadium in Dothan.  The Lions will look across the field and see four familiar faces on the Northview sidelines. Four former Prattville football coaches now guide the Cougars program.

LaBrian Stewart (former offensive line coach) is the head coach; Kevin LeSueur (former Billingsley head coach for 2-years and Prattville defensive line coach for seven years); Brad Lowe (former defensive back coach) and Clayton Harris (former assistant basketball coach and back coach) are current members of the Cougars’ staff.

Northview, like Prattville, will not make the playoffs.  The Cougars have wins over Carroll of Ozark, 40-6; Montgomery’s Sidney Lanier, 16-15, Foley, 41-39; Baldwin County, 37-28; and Robertsdale, 29-6. Northview was defeated by city rival Dothan, 35-12; Daphne, 35-23; Enterprise, 37-27, and last week by Fairhope, 58-23.

Needless to say Prattville coach Chad Anderson was disappointed in the outcome of the regional play.  However, Anderson gave no excuses for the failure to make the playoffs in an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser after learning their fate “That’s not the way we wanted to represent ourselves.  It’s tough, but it is our fault.  We left it up to somebody else, and you can’t do that.”

Friday night at Stanley-Jensen Stadium the Lions motored 51-yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead on their second possession of the game.  Anthony’s Lykes gave Prattville good field position with a 12-yard return of a Chelsea punt.

Kamran Pettway blasted over left tackle for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 4:36 left in the first quarter.  Austin Macginnis kicked the first of his five extra points.  The highlight of the drive was a 23-yard scoot around left end by Pettway.

Three minutes and 20 second later the Lions made it 14-0 with the recovery of Macginnis’ pooch kick by Taylor Yelton at the Hornets’ 31.  This time QB Kalen Whitlow hit Seth Knotts with a short pass for the score with 1:16 remaining.

Prattville added two more touchdowns in the second quarter. Midway of the quarter Prattville took over at the Chelsea 48 after Jarrod Jones blocked Gavin Monegan’s punt with 6:06 left in the first half.

Whitlow hit Cameron Woods with an 8-yard pass and aided by a personal foul penalty Prattville had a first down at the Chelsea three-yard line.  Stanley Mays scored the third touchdown with five minutes left in the half for a 21-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff Macginnis was set for the kickoff, but missed the football giving possession to Chelsea at Prattville’s 40.  Four plays later the Hornets had a first and goal at the Lion 4-yard line.  Prattville turned the Hornets back overcoming a un-sportsman like penalty.   Donta Truss breaking up Danny Napier’s pass in the end zone.

Prattville took possession at its 20 with 2:36 left in the first half. Three running plays and a short pass from Whitlow to Jimmy Stodenmire move the ball to the 34.  On third down and one Pettway zipped around right end, and then cut across midfield to the left sidelines and rambled 66-yards to a score.  Prattville went for a two point conversion, but failed.  Prattville led 27-0 at half time.

The statistics were overwhelming at halftime with Prattville holding 264-yards to 88-yards advantage.

Prattville took the second half kick after a five-yard delay of game penalty because the homecoming activities ran too long.

It didn’t faze the Lions. Whitlow guided Prattville to a fifth touchdown with a 9-play drive.  Stanley Mays zipped around left end from 13-yards out for the score and a 33-0 lead.

Mays had ripped off a 24-yard run to the Hornet 13 to set up the score.

On the ensuing possession a bazaar play took place.  The Hornets picked up a first down to their 39 with a fake punt play where Napier hit George Hill with a 14-yard pass.

The drive bogged down and the Hornets lined up to punt again.  The snap sailed over the kicker’s head.  He attempted a pass which was intercepted by the Lions and return for a touchdown.  However the officials negated the touchdown and awarded the football to Chelsea with a first down.  The penalty was roughing the passer, who was actually the punter trying to punt.

Regardless seven plays later Kendrick Beasley intercepted Napier’s pass at the Lion 10-yard line and returned it 32 yard to the 42.  After a holding penalty moved the ball back to the Lion 32, Mays picked up 4-yards, and then Whitlow kept and zipped around left end 19-yards to the Hornet 45.  Stanley Mays then raced around right end and sped to the end zone for a 40-0 lead with 3:05 left in the third quarter.

Prattville began to substitute freely with majority of the first squad taking a seat on the bench.  Anderson and his staff began to look at the second and third teamers and get an early start on the 2013 season’s off season workouts.

Chelsea picked up one first down on the ensuing possession; however was forced to punt after the drive bogged down.

Prattville took over at its 26 and picked up two first downs with runs from Kingston Davis, Jeremy Goodson and Austin Rolling.   The drive fizzled and Tripp Burnett came in to punt.  Chelsea’s Chris Powe broke thru the Prattville protection and blocked Burnett’s punt.  He picked up the bouncing ball and dashed 47-yards for the Hornets first score with 9:04 left in quarter.

Prattville’s second teamers took the ensuing attempt at an onside kick at its 41.  After a five yard offside penalty the Lions put together a 64-yard drive with senior Jeremy Goodson scoring with a 34-yard dash around left end with 8:06 remaining.

Anderson swept the remaining second, third and fourth stringers into action.  Chelsea tacked on two more touchdowns.  The first came on the ensuing kickoff after Macginnis’ kickoff sailed into the end zone.

Napier kept on first down and then broke free around right end and swiftly outdistanced the Lions team for an 80-yard run with 7:48 left.

The final minutes with the reserves was an exercise in futilely as the reserves gave up an onside kick, had a holding call, reserve quarterback Austin Rolling was sacked for a 12-yard loss, was assessed with a pass interference call that resulted in a Chelsea touchdown with 4:29 left.

With the ensuing kickoff Chelsea executed an onside kick and recovered the ball at the Prattville 47.  Napier then kept five consecutive times to score the final Chelsea touchdown with 3:10 remaining.

Chelsea had the ball at Prattville’s 20-yardline when the final horn mercifully sounded with the Lions’ first string defense back into the fracas to squash the brief Chelsea uprising against the reserves.

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