Prep Football: A.L. Brown 28, Piedmont 0
By David Shaw
KANNAPOLIS ó The conditions at Memorial Stadium called for winning ugly ó and ugly, Jamill Lott can do.
A.L. Brown’s senior quarterback used a just-add-water recipe Friday night to chill visiting Piedmont 28-0.
“The ball was slippery and it was cold out there,” Lott said in the toasty Brown locker room, moments after the Wonders (6-2, 4-1 SPC) gained their third straight win. “I had to adjust and adapt to the environment. I mean, it was windy and the rain came down constantly.”
Lott and his teammates discovered they’re pretty good mudders, finding enough traction to rush for a season-high 261 yards. And defensively, they held Piedmont (0-9, 0-6) to 22 yards and no first downs in the decisive first half.
“Coach (Ron Massey) told us to just keep our feet under us,” said defensive end Bobby Archie, who made a big-league sack in the fourth quarter. “If you can grip the ground, you can go for it.”
Brown got it going almost immediately. Before taking his first snap, Lott returned a Piedmont punt 54 yards for the game’s first touchdown, a breakout play that looked more like a swivel down the red carpet.
“That’s just putting an athlete back there and turning him loose,” Massey chuckled. “When we look at the tape I’m sure we’ll see some good blocks. But we’re just blessed with a good athlete.”
Lott ó who scampered for 108 yards on 10 carries ó was so good he also scored the Wonders’ second TD, this one on a 10-yard run off right tackle midway through the opening period.
“I have to give it to my O-line and my running backs for opening holes for me,” he said. “They’re the ones who got me there.”
Brown stretched its lead to 21-0 with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter. A short-field drive that began on the Piedmont 29-yard line ó courtesy of Landon Morgan’s fumble recovery ó closed when sophomore running back Travis Riley skirted in from 2 yards out. A key completion on the nine-play drive was Lott’s 14-yard spiral to tight end Zach Massey.
The second quarter featured more dominance. Lott directed a seven-play, 49-yard touchdown drive and handed off to Antwoine Jordan for a 2-yard score with 9:43 remaining in the half.
Piedmont finally showed a pulse in the second half, penetrating as deep as the Brown 7-yard line late in the third period. The Panthers used a halfback-option pass to gain 45 yards, but eventually missed a field goal attempt and never again escaped their own territory.
“They started doing some trick plays and fancy stuff,” Brown linebacker Chris Moore said. “They faked that sweep, we bit on it too hard and the running back threw the long ball.”
Afterward, most of the Wonders proved just as elusive, scurrying up a paved hill and back to the comfort of their locker room.
“It was just too cold,” said Moore. “When you play like this in the rain, it’s kind of fun. But when it’s over, the fun’s over too.”
NOTES: Lott, the team leader with seven touchdowns, volunteered to return punts in place of regular T.J. Johnson, who did not play. … Morgan McDaniel kicked four extra points for Brown, but misfired on a 28-yard field goal attempt late in the first half. … The Wonders visit Hickory Ridge next Friday.