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CARVER DEFENSE STYMIE LION OFFENSE
September 3, 2013By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
LIONS OFFENSE FAIL TO SCORE AGAINST TOUGH CARVER DEFENSE; TWO LOST FUMBLES BY OFFENSE LEADS TO TWO CARVER TOUCHDOWNS
The big buildup for the 2013 Carver-Prattville football game Friday night August 30 went for naught for the Prattville Lion fans and supporters. It was a real bummer especially for Lions’ offense which had received pre-season accolades to be the Lions strong point.
Carver won 20-7 for the second consecutive season. The score doesn’t tell the story of Prattville’s offensive letdown.
Carver’s defense kept Prattville’s offense bottled up in its territory most of the night. Prattville crossed the midfield stripe into Carver territory only three times.
Once in the first half with 5:19 left and trailing, 7-0. After a 13-yard punt return by Denzel Jones, Kamryn Pettway had his best run of the long afternoon, when he raced 17-yards to the Carver 44. The Lions picked up another first down with three yards from Joseph Burke and an 8-yard dash by Kingston Davis to the 33.
Three running plays netted one yard and Burnett was called to punt, hoping to pin the Wolverines deep in their territory. The punt was shanked and traveled only eleven yards.
Ironically the Wolverines then put together a quick strike to score again driving the 78-yards in only four plays. The big play came on a 45-yard run from junior running back Eddie McQueen. McQueen scored the touchdown with a 5-yard blast behind left tackle for a 14-0 lead with 2:16 left in the half.
The second excursion into Carver territory came with 6:18 left in the third quarter. Lion QB Kalen Whitlow flipped an 11-yard aerial to wide receiver Ty Moore at the Wolverine 48 for a first down.
Prattville was trailing, 20-0. The Lions kept the drive alive and drove to a first down at the Carver 17. The drive fizzled with a five yard sack of Whitlow, two rushing plays from Kamryn Pettway that netted only three yards. On fourth down Whitlow was picked in the end zone.
Prattville got a big break early in the fourth quarter. Tripp Burnett was attempting to punt. Carver’s Antonio Dunn ran into Burnett and was guilty of roughing the kicker. Prattville was given a first down at the Lion 48. The drive also fizzled with two five yard penalties against Prattville and an 8-yard loss when Pettway fumbled the handoff from Whitlow, forcing Prattville to punt.
With 1:10 left in the fourth quarter Prattville reached Carver’s 30 yard line courtesy of a 15-yard penalty against the Wolverines for a late hit, but it was too little too late as time ran out with a Whitlow to Kingston Davis aerial at the Carver 21.
It wasn’t pretty, and at times it was downright ugly, especially the offense. Ryan Wilson’s defense gave an excellent performance. Carver only had the one long sustained drive against Prattville’s defense. But it was all they needed on this long and frustrating night for the Lions. It is difficult to win with costly turnovers especially deep in one’s territory.
Carver scored three touchdowns –
1. The first touchdown came with 10:59 left in the second quarter. Carver had recovered a Pettway fumble at Prattville’s 15 with 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
Carver QB Draequan Murphy kept to the Lion 9-yard line, threw two incomplete passes then plowed over for a 7-0 lead. A 15-yard drive set up by the fumble.
2. The second touchdown came with 2:16 left tin the half. Prattville had picked up two first downs to Carver’s 33-yard line, but three running plays picked up only one yard. Burnett came into to punt hoping to pin the Wolverines deep in their territory. However the punt traveled only eleven yards to the Carver 22.
Carver then put together a 78-yard drive in only five plays to take a 14-0 lead.
3. The third Carver touchdown came with 8:56 left in the third quarter, again courtesy a Prattville bobble, this time Kalen Whitlow lost the handle and Ricky Scott recovered the fumble at the Lion 9-yard line
It took three plays but Carver scored as Murphy hit Antonio Dunn with a 9-yard aerial. Nagee Clay’s extra point attempt was blocked by Prattville’s Blake Baker. It’s 20-0. A 9-yard drive set up by a fumble.
After the three touchdown lead, Carver threw one pass, incomplete, and stuck to the ground, running out the clock.
Carver coach Billy Gresham was content with the score. The Wolverines went plain vanilla for the rest of the game and played defense. After the game he told a Montgomery Advertiser reporter, “Yes we are stealing Prattville’s thunder. We want to let people know that we play great football in Montgomery and they don’t have to go across the river to play ball.”
Carver has now won two in a row over Prattville. The last time a Montgomery school won back to back over Prattville came a long long time ago. Robert E. Lee won three straight from 1997-1999.
For the record Carver won three straight from 1977-1979, Sidney Lanier won three straight from 1985-1987, and Jeff Davis won five straight from 1994-1997
As the game was dwindling down with 4:57 left to play, it appeared the Wolverines were going to hold the Lions scoreless. Prattville linebacker Jarrod Jones ended the scenario when he grabbed a Carver fumble at the Wolverine 29-yard line and raced into the end zone.
Prattville has not been shut out since November 21, 2003, when Vigor thumped the Lions 19-0 in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
Prattville will host Spain Park in their first Regional game Friday night, September 6 with a 7 PM kickoff.
The Jaguars defeated Prattville last fall 27-20. Spain Park won their opener over Decatur’s Austin High, 23-14.
Since the state championship game of 2011, Prattville’s record is 5-5.