Beat down in Prattville

PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Not all the football in Lee County was bad this year. Coming into the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs, Auburn High School was 12-0, the last remaining unbeaten team in its classification. Then came what I must dub: "The beat down in P-town."

Forget the dozen or so dropped passes by the visiting Tigers. They would not have made a difference in the outcome of this one. Defending state champion Prattville jumped to a 35-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 42-0 win over the visitors from Lee County , making Prattville the defacto Lee County champs, as the Lions thumped Opelika last week.

Jerry Williams ran for 154 yards on 16 carries to key the Lions ground game, and on a 93-yard drive Williams had a 62-yard run to set up his own 26-yard TD. He later added a 5-yard score.

The Lions (11-1) got three TDs in the first quarter and two more in the second en route to the route. Auburn dropped to 12-1. Prattville travels to Mobile to take on Davidson and its staunch "D" next week.

"I think we'll have an advantage on both fronts, but we haven't seen speed like they have down there," said Lions coach Jamey DuBose, cousin of Mike.

To the categories:

TOP PROSPECTS: Neither squad is loaded with D-1 guy in its senior class, until one remembers that Troy, UAB, etc. are Division 1 schools. Perhaps the match up of the night was Prattville defensive end Alex Page (6-2, 225) against mammoth Auburn tackle John Sullen (6-6, 330).

Sullen won his share, but in about three quarters of play, Page tallied two sacks and quarterback hurry. Page now has 17 sacks this year, and is committed to Joey Jones and his old coach, South Alabama associate head coach/defensive coordinator Bill Clark at South Alabama. Clark built Prattville into the power it is now, and DuBose has taken the torch and run with it.

"Alex really gets after the passer, and he's a great technician," DuBose said. "He has high energy, and gets off the ball quick. He's just a solid leader up front for us."

Tigers' coach Tim Carter says Sullen has had a strong senior season.

"John's played well and has been a leader for us," Carter said. "He's gelled that offensive line into a cohesive unit."

SOLID SENIORS: Prattville's Williams (5-11, 185) runs as hard as any back in 6A. Interestingly, when asked about Page, Auburn's Carter said he was impressed, but added that Prattville defensive tackle Anthony Holland (6-0, 275) was the best lineman he had seen on tape all year.

Auburn running back Latrell Jenkins (5-6, 170) is quick and had a great year… until Friday. Not many defenses are as sound as Prattville's though.

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Prattville safety Nick Perry brings the wood in the manner an ex-Lion and Tider turned New Orleans Saint named Roman Harper did and does. Perry (6-0, 187) hit one Tiger receiver so hard just after a short catch that the guy was knocked backwards. He should get SEC looks.

"Nick's an all-around great athlete," said DuBose. "He's had several picks this year, and can play both safety and wide out. He does a great job in the defensive backfield."

Quarterback Sam Gibson (6-2, 200) was 6-12 for 109 yards, but did throw two picks. He ran for 44 yards and a 4-yard TD.

"Sam runs the ball well, throws well and is just leading the team," said DuBose.

Auburn High's junior class is good enough that the Tigers should expect another playoff run next year. Quarterback Calvin Jenkins (6-2, 175) can scramble and has a live arm. Without all the drops, he would have had decent stats.

Cornerback DeQuavious "Peewee" Cobb (6-2, 175) normally locks up the opponent's top receiver, while defensive tackle Rodney Thomas (6-2, 260) and running back Augustus Brooks (6-0, 175) should play somewhere at the next level. The same could be said for o-linemen John Hix (center, 6-2, 245) and Kirkland Harrison (guard, 6-3, 240).

SUPER SOPHS: .Prattville receiver Cornelius Fenderson (6-2, 170) showed the ability to catch the ball on a very cold night. He's one to keep an eye on.

Auburn's Jadez Menifee (6-1, 180) is a still-growing middle linebacker already getting some P.T.

HOW 'BOUT THEM BURGERS: Well, they were reasonably warm on this cold night. The char-grilled taste was there, and the handy condiments complimented them well. Minus points for running out of hot chocolate, though.

HERE'S YOUR SIGN: Each team used what it hoped was a prophetic sign for its players to run through pre-game. Prattville wins first prize for accuracy, as the Lions cheerleaders came up with "Take notes… This is how 6A state champs play football."

Auburn came up with a misspelled word in its sign – which said: 12 tried, 12 cried, your next." Uh, Auburn, that would be "you're." as in, "You're outta here."

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