Stanhope Elmore was unable to get out of its own way on Friday, as penalties and special teams mistakes gave way to easy drives and points to visiting Prattville.
Prattville beat Stanhope Elmore, 49-10, the Lions’ sixth-consecutive win over the Mustangs.
“This is a tough game, tough series,” said Stanhope Elmore head coach Brian Bradford.
Things looked great for the home team on the opening drive, as Stanhope Elmore rode senior running back Davion Thomas to a score in the opening two minutes. It all fell apart after that, as the Mustangs never scored another touchdown.
The kickoff following the Thomas score, Prattville took all the way back to tie the game.
Later in the second quarter, Stanhope Elmore allowed a punt return to be taken back for six that was offset due to penalties on both teams. Prattville wasted no time and scored on the very next play.
In regards to his special teams, Bradford said his opponents made plays where his team could not.
“They made plays and we didn’t tonight,” Bradford said. “It is as simple as that.”
By halftime, Stanhope Elmore was down 28-10.
Offense was scarce for the Mustangs, as junior quarterback Jacob Bryant was hit on almost every play. He threw two interceptions in the first half, one in front of the end zone and one inside the end zone to end the half.
After half, things did not improve as Bryant and the Mustangs could not generate a passing attack to try and bridge the gap.
The closest Stanhope Elmore got to scoring again was late in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass.
Coming out of the locker room, Bryant had his right throwing hand taped up and was clearly favoring it when not throwing. Bradford said it was a “minor bruise” and did not impact the play calling or effectiveness of Bryant as a quarterback.
Even still, Bryants’ only deep throw in the second half was knocked away from his intended receiver.
“They did a good job,” said Bradford of the Prattville defense. “They held us to just 10 points. There were a lot of missed assignments on our part. They have a good football team and hats off to them. It was all the stuff we did wrong tonight that messed everything up.”
Since the last time Stanhope Elmore beat Prattville in 2016, the Mustangs have been outscored 179-36. The Mustangs have beaten Prattville just five times in the past 30 years.
With the loss, Stanhope Elmore moves to 1-4 on the season, which is the worst start for the school since Bradford took over in 2017.
Next up for the Mustangs is a game at home against Wetumpka.