What a difference a win makes.
And Prattville tailback Kamryn Pettway’s body language and grin following Friday night’s 28-7 victory over rival Wetumpka proved that not being on the losing side of the scoreboard feels pretty darn good.
“It feels good to get the first win and to know that we’re coming more together as a team,” said Pettway, a senior running back. “Things started off pretty slow, but once we got things going, they couldn’t stop us pretty much.”
Four rushing touchdowns didn’t hurt either. Pettway, an Auburn commitment, scored on TD runs of 5, 11, 1 and 74 to supply all the scoring and guarantee the Lions (1-2, 1-1 Class 6A, Region 4) would avoid opening the campaign staring at a 0-3 record.
There was even a small smile on the mug of Prattville coach Chad Anderson, who returned to Hohenberg Field for the first time since resigning from his coaching duties at Wetumpka following the conclusion of the 2011 campaign.
“It meant a lot for us to give coach his first win this year against his old team,” said Pettway, who finished with 143 yards on 15 carries. “I think we made him very proud tonight.”
Prattville led 14-7 in the fourth quarter before Pettway scored his third TD of the game, a 1-yard dive that capped an eight-play drive with 5:30 left. After the Indians (2-1, 1-1) turned it over on downs on their next drive, the ball was back in Pettway’s hands, and he delivered on the first play to seal it three minutes later.
“I thought we had a pretty good balance tonight, especially in the second half,” said Anderson, whose offense ran just 17 plays through the first two quarters. “We didn’t touch it a lot in the first half, but we took care of business in the second half to seal the deal.”
For Wetumpka, it was about missed opportunities. The Indians dropped a pair of would-be interceptions, twice they came away empty-handed inside the red zone and had Charlie Crenshaw’s 60-plus yard, fourth-quarter punt return called back.
“When you stop an offensive like that in the red zone twice, that’s huge,” Anderson said. “I can’t say enough about our defense, and the job they did for us.”
Indians senior Christian Williams believed his team fell into the hype being undefeated.
“It was basically mental errors and penalties,” said Williams, a Georgia Southern commit. “We beat ourselves — we believed in to the hype too much. You could tell all week that we were just going through the motions during practice. We were just living in the hype.
“I guess that’s how it gets sometimes. We’ll just start over next week and work harder.”
Wetumpka dominated the time of possession in the opening half, ripping off 41 plays. However, the Indians were only able to get into the end zone once, a 16-yard score by Montivenus Cross to tie it at 7-7 with 6:38 left in the second quarter.
Crenshaw gained 97 of his 129 rushing yards before halftime.
Wetumpka failed to keep its dominant ground attack consistent after halftime due to Prattville’s switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme. Defensive linemen Ronny Slayton and Troy Quinn created a lot of havoc in the backfield.
“They changed up their defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front,” Williams said. “We had been working on a 3-4 front all week. When they did that, it threw us off a little bit. … It just seemed like we couldn’t regain our balance or get anything clicking.”