The Georgia Tech triple option isn’t an offensive scheme Prattville’s coaching staff enjoys matching up against.
It’s capable of creating all type of issues on the gridiron. It’s an offensive attack that forces defenses to focus on multiple players coming out of the backfield on every snap and chews up a lot of time on the clock.
“It’s like the first penicillin ever made, taking forever to go,” Lions coach Chad Anderson said following Friday night’s 24-17 victory over regional foe Pelham at Stanley-Jensen Stadium.
And for the opening half, Prattville had its hands full trying to figure out Pelham’s version of the triple option. The Lions (4-2, 4-1 Class 6A, Region 4) raced out to an early lead, only to have the Panthers claw their way back to lock the scoreboard at halftime.
What appeared to be potential blowout morphed into a dogfight.
Running back Kamrym Pettway’s second touchdown run — a 2-yard dive — helped Prattville grab a 14-3 edge with 8:42 left in the second quarter. Pelham (5-2, 3-2) fumbled the ball away a few minutes earlier on the kickoff following a 1-yard TD run by Pettway.
Panthers quarterback Devon Miles busted up the middle for a 74-yard score and hit Roderick McCall Jr., later in the quarter to tie it at 17 apiece heading into the locker room. Prattville kicker A.J. Reed drilled a 37-yarder in between the two Pelham touchdowns.
Prattville’s defense rose to the occasion after the break. Defensive back Bryant Hall’s timely interception midway through the third quarter would be the stop that ultimately motivated the rest of his teammates in the second-half shutout.
“Our defense in the second half played lights out,” said Anderson, whose defense had three fourth-down stops after halftime. “They adjusted to that offense being they had never seen it. And having a week to prepare for it, I thought they did a great job.”
Inside the Pelham 40, Prattville capitalized on the turnover with junior quarterback Kalen Whitlow rumbling in from 10 yards out for the go-ahead touchdown at the 4-minute mark in the third.
“We had a couple of key turnovers in the second half that killed us,” Pelham coach Brett Burnett said. “We just didn’t make enough plays, you got to make opportunities against good teams like this, and we didn’t. It’s not the kid’s fault, it’s mine.”
The Lions had opportunities to put their opponent away late in the fourth, but Reed misfired on a 31-yard field goal, and Pettway’s long run down to the 1-yard line was called back on a blocking penalty to still give the Panthers life.
Pelham had one last shot to make things interesting after Pettway fumbled the ball inside the 5 with 1:33 to go. However, the Lions were able to hold strong on all four downs to seal the win and stayed within arm’s reach of regional leader Spain Park in the standings.
“We got to fight hard every week, and we did that tonight,” Anderson said.
Pettway had 84 yards, and Whitlow racked up 74 on the ground, too.