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Lions to host Red Devils in semifinals
November 23, 2011By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
LIONS TO FACE TOUGH PHENIX CITY TEAM
It is a reality that when there are only four teams left in the state playoffs, everybody is pretty good. Nothing would be more accurate for this semifinal match. Prattville’s Friday night opponent in the semi-finals is the Red Devils from Phenix City, they are an excellent football team.
Prattville, Central High of Phenix City, Hoover and Oxford are the last teams standing in class 6A. Needless to say they are all pretty good. The combined records of the four teams are an astounding 44-6.
During the playoff runs the four teams have outscored their opponents as follows
The Red Devils can put some points on the scoreboard.
Prattville and Central have played two common opponents. Central beat Opelika, 33-7, in Opelika, while the Bulldogs stunned the Lions, at home I might add, 16-14. Prattville beat Benjamin Russell in Alexander City, 34-14. The Devils defeated Benjamin Russell also in Alexander City, 41-14.
It is an interesting fact with Phenix City football. They have always been quite competent on the gridiron, but as difficult as it is to believe, this is only the second time in the history of the program they have reached the semifinal rounds. In 1993 they of course reached it beating Enterprise, 21-20 and then defeating West End in the finals, 12-7.
The Devils are led by dual-threat senior quarterback Jonathan Wallace. Wallace is 6-2,205, runs 4.8 40. He is a verbal commitment to Southern Mississippi. Wallace has rushed for 19 touchdowns and tossed 8 TDs.
Last week, in the quarterfinal action at home, the Devils rolled over former Prattville defensive coordinator’ s McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets with ease, 41-0.
McGill lost their quarterback early in the second quarter, but by then the Jackets were down, 20-0. The Jackets were their own enemy in the disastrous first quarter. The Jackets lost a fumble, had a pass intercepted and gave up a long run for a TD. They also had a fake punt that went awry early in the second quarter. Although the Jackets kept the Devils out of the end zone due to penalties against Central, the Red Devils eventually scored before the half to take a 27-0 lead.
McGill has two good running backs, Jerald Walker (5-10-190) and Trent Miles (5-7-150), both seniors. Between the two they had 283 yards rushing against McGill.
Up front Central has Cameron Fraser (6-4-275-Jr.), Jaitlin Smith (5-8-230, Jr.), Jeremiah Payne (5-10-280, Jr.), Raymond Waldrop (6-2-235, Sr.), Keonte Battle (5-10-245, sr.) and Wallace Hunter (6-1-280, sr.).
Tight End Jonathan Curry (6-3 225, Sr.), Skyler Moore (6-1,185, Sr.) and Treveon Samuel (5-9, 165-so.) are the wide receivers.
Central head coach Woodrow Lowe, former University of Alabama linebacker, heads up the football program, and his son Woodrow Lowe, Jr. is also an assistant coach on the staff.
The two schools have never played during the regular season, but have locked horns four times during the playoffs.
Last year the Lions and Central met in the second round at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City. Prattville jumped out front 21-0 in the first three minutes of the game.
The Lions took the opening kickoff and motored 71 yards with Justin Thomas scoring from three yards out. Holding the Devils off on the next possession the Lions drove 61-yards in 9- plays to take a 14-0 lead as George Michael Rowe scored from 10 yards out.
Central bobbled the ensuing kickoff and the Lions pounced on the loose ball and Thomas scored with a 24-yard run. The Lions added an 80-yard drive just prior to halftime with Thomas hitting Rashaad Brown with a 20-yard TD.
Prattville scored two TDs the second half to win handily.
In 2009 Prattville won in a runaway at Stanley-Jensen Stadium, 45-9. It was the final year of Ron Nelson’s tenure at Central. Nelson finished with a 92-42 record and took the Devils to ten playoffs, advancing into the quarterfinals three times.
Prattville rolled up 376 yards rushing and added 173 more in the air to trounce the Red Devils at Stanley-Jensen Stadium. It was close at halftime at 17-3, only to see Prattville rout the visitors in the second half en-route to advancing into the state finals. The Lions lost to Hoover 28-23 at the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium.
In 1989 Prattville tangled with the Red Devils again in the second round. Central defeated Dothan’s Northview in the first round, 20-6. Prattville got by Carver, 14-7. The Lions won in Prattville, 24-14
Prattville, coached by Bobby Wasden, took the early lead in the first quarter on an Algie Rawlinson 10-yard run following an 82-yard drive in 13 plays. The Devils then scored to take a 7-6 lead. Here come the Lions again on their second possession as Herman Moncrief hit Keith Tatum with 12 and 26-yard passes down to the 13-yard line. Rawlinson then tossed a halfback pass to Charlie Herbst for a 12-7 lead.
The Devils took a 14-12 halftime lead. In the third quarter the Lions scored on their first possession with a 73-yard drive in 15 plays. Eric Douglas scored from 3-yards out. The final score came on an option with Moncreif keeping and dashing 56-yards for the win.
A little excitement took place following the score as the Red Devils took a little frustration out by starting a fight in the end zone. “It’s just frustration,” Wasden said. “That’s what this game will do. But I’d much rather have it out here than out in the streets.”
The first ever meeting between the two schools came in 1984 in the quarterfinals. The lads from Phenix City were number one in the state and were undefeated.
Coach Wayne Trawick’s team was loaded with super stars and was a solid favorite to send the Lions packing. The game was played before an estimated 9,000 folks who packed into the tiny stadium on Doster Road that had only 4,000 seating capacity. There were folks packed to the road for the Red Devils were a loaded football team.
Prattville, coached by John Glasscock, took the opening kickoff and drove 64 yards to score with Kevin Turner scoring from one yard out. On the try for extra point holder Chris Turner kept and raced into for a 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
James Joseph scored early in the second quarter, but failed on a 2-point attempt. The Lions led at halftime 8-6.
The second half Prattville with Anthony “Bullet” Bishop took control of the game. The Devils took the second half kickoff and kept the ball on a 62 yard 11-play drive that carried to the Lion 23. On 4th and 7, quarterback Marco Battle’s pass fell harmlessly incomplete.
Prattville took over and kept the ball on a 73-yard march, with 14 plays eating up the clock. Anthony Bishop was almost unstoppable, and Chris Turner was flawless running Glasscock’s option.
The Lions added another touchdown in the final quarter to walk away with a 21-6 win over a very good Red Devil team. The Devils had quarterback Marco Battle (Alabama), Running Back James Joseph (Auburn), Lineman Willie Ryals (Alabama) and Greg Kiker (Alabama), all earning all-state honors.
This year’s match-up will have a hard time living up to the 1984 game, but the Devils and the Lions are certainly the last two standing from the south portion of the state.
It should be another classic. Kickoff is 7 p.m.