LIONS RALLY TO DEFEAT STANHOPE ELMORE, 36-26
September 1, 2014By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
SETH KNOTTS, KINGSTON DAVIS, KEITH WASHINGTON LEAD LIONS TO FOURTH QUARTER RALLY
The 36th annual meeting of the Prattville Lions and Stanhope Elmore Mustangs unfolded like the majority of the previous meetings, it went down to the fourth quarter.
Prattville had to come from behind to win the annual battle for Bragging rights of I-65, 36-26.
Much of the credit for Prattville’s win has to go to defensive coordinator Ryan Wilson. Prattville trailed at halftime 20-6 with Stanhope Elmore’s loud and boisterous home crowd giving the Mustangs a standing ovation.
Stanhope Elmore was poised for the knockout blow as the second half began. The Mustangs would receive the second half kickoff. It did not happen. Wilson’s defense manned up and forced Stanhope Elmore to a three and out and a punt.
Prattville answered with as seven play 57-yard drive. The comeback was on with 7:18 left in the third quarter. Quarterback Keith Washington blasted over the middle from the one yard line to trim the lead to 20-14 with AJ Reed’s extra point.
Stanhope Elmore retaliated quickly. Kareem Jackson took Reed’s kickoff and returned it to the Mustang 46. On first down BJ Smith ripped off a 28-yard run to the Lion 26. Prattville was guilty of a personal foul which moved the ball to the 13.
Prattville’s defense held as Anthony Brown sacked QB Tanner Anderson for an 11-yard loss back to the 24 on third down. However on fourth down and 21, Anderson hit Willie Ezelle in the corner of the end zone for a Mustang TD and a 26-14 lead with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.
The touchdown would be the last hooray for the Mustangs. Prattville’s defense flexed its muscle turning Stanhope Elmore away on their next five possessions surrendering only 65 yards. Thirty-one of those yards came on the last two plays of the game deep in Mustang territory.
The Mustangs’ five possessions ended at their 40, 34, Prattville’s 47, lost a kickoff fumble at its 21, ending the game at its 37. During the fourth quarter Prattville’s Seth Knotts striped a punt return away from Marcel Watson at the Mustang 15 and dashed in to the end zone to score a touchdown that put Prattville ahead, 29-26, after Washington added a 2-point conversion.
Prattville had closed the gap to 26-21 with 1:52 left in the third quarter with an 8-play drive that covered 55-yards set up by Christian Mays 25-yard return of the kickoff following Stanhope Elmore’s fourth and final touchdown.
Washington’s touchdown run thru the middle of the Mustangs’ secondary for 31-yards cut the lead to five points. The Lions overcame a 10-yard holding penalty.
Prattville’s final score again game via the running game. Stanhope Elmore had a fourth and three at Prattville’s 46 when Anthony Brown dropped Anderson for seven-yard loss.
It took only four plays to score the final six-pointer. Kingston Davis barreled over from the two-yard line with 2:32 left and a 36-26 lead. On the ensuing kickoff Prattville’s Desmond Martin recovered Smith’s fumble at the Mustang 21.
Prattville ran six plays picking up a first down at the 8-yard line. The Mustangs turned the Lions away with 19.6 seconds left.
The Lions ran 64 plays from scrimmage controlling the ball for near 26 minutes. Kingston Davis ran for 117-yards with 17 carries, while Washington added 123 on 15 trips.
BJ Smith led the Mustangs with 141 yards on 20 trips. Tanner Anderson hit 8-of-12 aerials for 139-yards and two touchdowns.
Prattville will travel to Gulfport, Mississippi to play Gulfport High School Friday Night. The Admirals lost to Mississippi powerhouse Madison Central Friday night, 25-22. Gulfport won their opener over Bay High (Bay St. Louis), 42-7.
Gulfport led 22-0 after three quarters only to see Madison Central rally in the fourth quarter to nip the Admirals, 25-22.
Madison Central’s QB Jack Walker fired a 73-yard TD pass to Keenan Barnes early in the quarter to turn the momentum to the Jaguars. Trey Smith, Madison Central’s all-state running back added a 13-yard TD scamper with 3:19.
Gulfport’s Mack Ladner hit field goals of 20, 27 and 42 yards. JJ Smith caught an 8-yard TD pass from Richard Floyd. He also had a 43-yard run to the 2-yard line that set up the other Admiral score.
Madison Central is currently ranked number 4 by MHSAA. The Jaguars’ Trey Smith and Keenam Barnes are both highly regarded collegiate prospects. Offers have come from Mississippi State, Arkansas State, Louisville, Louisiana Tech, Memphis and Troy. The University of Texas also has shown interest in Smith.
Gulfport was ranked number 8 prior to the defeat by Madison Central.