We may be in the early stages of a new era.
Prattville has dominated the tri-county football ranks in recent years, winning four state titles since 2006, but G.W. Carver is ready to knock them from the top.
The Wolverines dominated Friday’s matchup between the cross river rivals, cruising to a 20-7 win at Cramton Bowl to open the season.
It’s the second year in a row Carver has won handily, and they’re ready to take the Lions’ spot as the elite team in the area.
“Yea, we are (stealing Prattville’s thunder),” Carver coach Billy Gresham said. “It’s almost like we’ve got to catch up. But we’ve just got to let the people know that we play great football in Montgomery, and they don’t have to go across the river to play ball.”
Carver’s defense dominated from the start. The only points Prattville managed came from a fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Jarod Jones.
“Oh man, I wanted to keep (the shutout) so bad,” Carver linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. “It just looks better when you see 20-0. But just as long as we got the win, that’s all that matters.”
Hamilton, a 6-foot, 240-pound Alabama commitment, had a blocked punt and a forced fumble in his first game since announcing his allegiance to the reigning BCS champions. Hamilton said he’s been working on ‘the little things,’ and apparently he’s also been doing some coaching.
Sophomore linebacker Mac Wilson stole some of the spotlight from Hamilton by racking up three sacks and recovering a fumble in his first start. But Wilson was quick to give the credit to Hamilton.
“I’ve been working with Shaun Dion Hamilton all summer, and he’s been pushing me and it just paid off,” Wilson said.
Gresham said the defense had focused ‘all summer and all fall’ on stopping Prattville running back and Auburn commitment Kamryn Pettway. Pettway ran for almost 180 yards last season, but was much quieter on Friday, running for just 74 yards and fumbling twice.
Earlier in the week, Gresham said this year’s defense was the fastest, and could be the best, he’s had.
“I’m a defensive guy,” Gresham said. “I know we’ve scored a lot of points in the past, and everybody talks about how good we are offensively. Even last year, if you really watched the games and watched the playoffs, we play some great defense at Carver High School. And I said it all summer, this group is probably the best group we’ve had over the last six years.”
Carver defensive end and Southern Miss commit Jon-Michael Edwards also tallied a sack to go with Wilson’s hat trick. Wolverines wide receiver Charles Standberry, an Ole Miss commit, had two catches for 35 yards.