Prattville falls in offensive shootout

HOOVER, Ala. -- Prattville came up I-65 to Hoover for game one of the ESPN High School Kickoff doubleheader. After losing 34-31 in an offensive shoot-out to St. Thomas Aquinas of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Prattville won't be No. 1 any longer. The Lions (0-1) put up a good fight, but a hobbled quarterback and numerous mistakes cost them a win Saturday afternoon.

To the categories:

Top prospects

We'll focus on one per team. STA defensive lineman Joey Bosa (6-5, 240) made plays all over the field. He has the frame to add weight, and is hearing a lot from Alabama and Florida State. His dad played for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. Keep an eye on this junior.

Prattville senior Caleb Gulledge (6-5, 275) is a solid Tide commitment listed by most recruiting media outlets as a defensive lineman, but he is not seeing action there at this time.

"Gulledge is going to play right tackle for us this year on offense," said Lions Coach Jamey DuBose. "He's moved over from the defense. Very athletic kid, very strong. He's not going to play any defense this year unless we decide to use him in short-yardage. Right now he's just going to concentrate on the offensive line."

DuBose says Gulledge looked to have a solid game Saturday. He did not play in the Lions' jamboree game last week due to a minor injury, but the training staff pronounced him 'good to go' this week.

Seniors who shined

Prattville quarterback Justin Thomas (5-11, 170) had his moments, but playing with a knee brace due to spring surgery hampers the scat-back some. Thomas reminds a lot of people of current Tide wide receiver Marquis Maze during his days at Tarrant (when Maze also took snaps). Since Thomas projects at wide receiver or corner at Alabama, I'll go with the Maze comparison. I think Thomas has more of an offensive mentality. He is certainly elusive.

St. Thomas d-lineman Jelani Hamilton (6-5, 255) is committed to Miami (for now), and he certainly showed he belonged in D-1, spending a good deal of his time in the Lions' backfield. St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Max Lescano scored four touchdowns in the Raiders victory. He is a 5-10, 185-pound game manager who know how to run an offense.

Juniors to watch

Prattville left offensive tackle Austin Golson (6-5, 250) is an early FSU pledge. It's safe to say Alabama might continue to recruit Golson. He has great feet and leverage, and it's a long way until February, 2013.

For the Raiders, running back Fred Coppett (5-9, 175) gave the Lions fits all day. Offers will be coming in for this man. Another STA guy to watch is defensive back Marcus Francis, who throws every bit of his 5-11, 190-pound frame into every tackle. He brings the wood, folks, and Prattville felt it.

Carter talk

STA coach Rocco Casullo doesn't know when Duron Carter will be cleared to play at Alabama, but he knows a good bit about the St. Thomas alum. When Carter was catching passes for the Raiders, Casullo was the defensive coordinator who faced Carter four days a week.

"Very explosive, very lengthy, very explosive, and runs unbelievable routes," said Casullo. "Duron's a clone of his father (NFL legend Cris Carter), and a very smart kid. Just an all-around great wide receiver. He's got long arms, and he can really extend those arms. He's a great blocker, too. I saw Duron earlier this year, and he's really filled out."

Happy Birthday

Ron Ingram, director of media relations for the AHSAA, celebrated his 59th birthday Saturday by taking in the entire double-header. Ron is a long-time friend of FNL and, and it's always great to see him at an event. Ingram changed the way prep sports are covered during his long tenure at the Birmingham News, and the AHSAA made a great hire when it convinced him to head to Montgomery.

How ‘bout them biscuits

Before the folks in charge decided media wasn't welcome in the VIP hospitality tent, the good folks in there hooked me up with a tasty Chick-fil-A biscuit and an ice-cold Coke. Both really hit the spot. Later, the folks in the press box (which required a massive stair climb) provided sandwiches from the same establishment and lots of frigid Power Aid. Again, right on time.

Up next

Stay tuned for a recap of game two of the double-dip, as Hoover hosted defending national champ South Panola of Batesville, Miss.

Discuss Alabama high school football HERE.

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