Prep football: Mooresville 23, A.L. Brown 21

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2008

By Bill Kiser
Salisbury Post
MOORESVILLE ó Everybody will remember one play as making a difference in Friday night’s A.L. Brown-Mooresville matchup.
But there were a few key plays on both sides of the ball that contributed to the Wonders’ nail-biting, 23-21 loss to the Blue Devils.
That one play ó a 28-yard field-goal attempt that kicker Morgan McDaniel pulled wide right with 1:08 remaining ó gave A.L. Brown (2-1) its first loss of the season and ended a three-game winning streak against Mooresville.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Morgan,” Wonders head coach Ron Massey said. “If we had to do it again, I’d do the same thing. … He’ll win some football games for us down the road.
“It was a great ballgame, with two good programs playing hard. We found out a little bit about ourselves. We just needed one more big play down there because I wanted us to have the opportunity to win the game.”
And Brown, which last lost to the Blue Devils in 2003, had that opportunity, rallying from a two-touchdown deficit with nearly four minutes remaining in the first half.
The Wonders struggled for most of the half, both in getting their offense in gear ó Brown fumbled the ball twice on its first two possessions, the second of which led to a safety, and had just 71 rushing yards ó and stopping Mooresville back Jjshaun Pinkston.
Pinkston, who ran for 211 yards and two touchdowns last year in a 29-26 loss to A.L. Brown, picked up where he left off Friday night. He ripped through Brown’s defense for 146 yards and three touchdowns ó runs of 61, 7 and 39 yards, the last giving the Blue Devils a 23-7 lead with 4:14 left in the second quarter.
“We knew how good he was,” Massey said. “We didn’t do a good job in the first half of slowing him down, and we gave up some big plays.
“But I like the way we fought back. We were able to get some pressure on (the Blue Devils) in the second half, kept them from getting big plays and slowed Pinkston down a little bit.”
Despite letting Pinkston run all over them for the second straight season, the Wonders put themselves back in the game thanks to Jamill Lott and Johnathan Williams.
Lott ran for a career-best 104 yards and threw for 114 more and two touchdowns. He connected with Zach Massey on a 3-yard TD with 6.5 seconds left in the first half to cut Mooresville’s lead to 23-14, then got the Wonders within two points when he found T.J. Johnson from 4 yards out with 10:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Williams, meanwhile, added 96 yards rushing.
“(Lott) did a great job in the second half of running the offense,” Massey said. “We had some communication problems in the first half, and we fumbled the ball on our first two snaps.
“They jumped on us early, but I’m proud of the way the kids responded. You just can’t play a good team and do what we did offensively in the first quarter and expect to beat them.”
Notes: Quarterback Nathan Abraham added 83 rushing yards for Mooresville, but he struggled passing, going 4-of-9 for 27 yards with an interception. … Johnson finished with season-bests in receptions (six) and yards (64), as did Massey (four catches, 47 yards). Massey also caught his first touchdown pass of the season. … In three games, Lott is 22-of-32 passing for 295 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.