Prattville was rolling Friday night against Chelsea.
Through the better part of three quarters, the Lions had dominated, building a 40-point lead and stuffing everything the Hornets tried.
Then the Prattville players learned the score of the Pelham-Spain Park game. And the life got sucked out of Stanley Jensen Stadium.
The Lions needed a Spain Park win to slip into the playoffs. They didn’t get it.
Prattville did manage to hold on to beat Chelsea, 47-28, despite allowing four fourth-quarter touchdowns.
“The kids found out about the other score and just sort of gave up a little, I think,” Prattville coach Chad Anderson said. “That’s not the way we want to represent ourselves. It’s tough. But it’s our fault. We left it up to somebody else, and you can’t do that.”
The Lions, the defending Class 6A state champions, will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and for only the third time in the past 21 seasons.
But just barely.
“Fourteen points separated us from being in first and missing the playoffs,” Anderson said. “That’s how close we came. But we ended up short. That’s the way it is.”
The Lions certainly did their part.
Playing in his final home game, senior running back Stanley Mays ran for 136 yards and two TDs. Junior Kamryn Pettway added 124 yards and three TDs. And quarterback Kalen Whitlow added 85 yards rushing and threw to Seth Knotts for a seven-yard TD.