It didn’t take long for Pittsburgh linebacker commitment Bryan Murphy to make his presence known to the Prattville offense as the future Panther had two tackles for loss on the opening series to set up a punt to Don Bosco Prep.
Bosco opened the series with a 38-yard field goal and then on the ensuing kickoff Murphy struck again, knocking the ball loose from the clutches for Prattville’s kick returner and setting the Ironmen up with a 1st and 10 from the 12 yard line. It took Tony Jones two plunges to hit pay dirt and put Don Bosco Prep up 10-0. Vanderbilt commitment James Kittredge made a very solid block on the touchdown run to spring Jones into the end zone.
Don Bosco’s defense stymied Prattville on their drive and when Prep took over it didn’t take long for them to score as running back Tony Jones went off left tackle 63 yards for the score, putting his team up 16-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Prattville took over and LSU commitment Sam Gibson was hit hard by Bryan Murphy yet again, causing an interception that set Don Bosco up at the Prattville 36 yard line. It took one play for Tony Jones to scamper 36 yards for his third touchdown of the half, putting Don Bosco up 23-0 and silencing the home crowd.
The Ironmen had Prattville stopped yet again on the following drive after another tackle for loss by Bryan Murphy and a punishing hit from safety Steele DiVitto, however on the punt Don Bosco roughed the kicker which set Prattville up with a 1st and 10. Sam Gibson took advantage of that mistake, taking the ball himself on a quarterback draw showing very good speed on a 26-yard touchdown run. At that point momentum started to swing and it got even worse when Alabama commitment Nick Perry recovered a fumble forced by his teammate Cory Lee along the sideline. Prattville set up for a 40-yard field goal after a strong defensive stand, but the ball bounced off the left upright, leaving the score at 23-7 which would carry until halftime.
Don Bosco Prep tailback Tony Jones racked up 139 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries in the first half alone and also caught two passes for 30 yards.
The second half didn’t start off well for Don Bosco Prep as Sam Gibson completed a pass along the sideline to open things up and then got out of a mess in the middle of the field and kicked outside to blaze 55 yards down the sideline for his second rushing score of the night. It only took Prattville 25 seconds to get on the board in the 3rd quarter and finally, we had a game.
Momentum continued to go in Prattville’s way when Don Bosco got the ball back and the Prattville defense blitzed, blitzed and blitzed some more. They put immense pressure on the Don Bosco offense and on 3rd and 9, linebacker Quashaun Lee sacked the quarterback to force a punt. When the Lions took over quarterback Sam Gibson led them on a methodical drive down field and running back Desmond Haley put six more points on the board to bring the score to 23-21. Heading into the 4th quarter, the Lions had now put themselves into position to take the lead having the ball in their possession and only down by two points.
Prattville opened the 4th quarter with another solid drive, methodically moving the chains and chipping away at the Don Bosco Prep defense with short gains after holding the Ironmen to only 19 total yards of offense in the 3rd quarter. Kicker Chris Kennedy hit a 25-yard field goal with 8:26 left in the 4th quarter and the Lions put up their 24th unanswered point, giving them a 24-23 lead.
Virginia commitment Ryan Cobb converted a first down for the Ironmen when they got the ball back and then running back Tony Jones struck again, hitting the corner off the left side for a 39-yard pickup. After a short run gain Don Bosco’s quarterback dropped back to pass and hit wide receiver Chris Burrell for a 13-yard touchdown. Bosco went for two, however the pass intended for Cobb was intercepted at the goal line, making the score 29-24.
The Lions took over with 6:29 left in the game and on the first play Bryan Murphy came down the line of scrimmage and hit Gibson for yet another tackle for a loss, his fourth of the game. The Don Bosco defense put a ton of pressure on Sam Gibson in the series and forced a quick three and out, getting the ball back with 5:04 left on the clock at the Lions’ 45-yard line. Bosco was doing a fine job milking the clock and Gary Nova had the ball snapped over his head on 3rd and 2, losing 12 yards on the play and forcing a punt that went to the 21 yard line. With only two yards needed on the play, one has to question what Nova was doing anywhere other than under center on that play. Instead of being able to milk the clock and walk away with a win, Don Bosco was now forced to put their defense right back on the field.
Luckily for Don Bosco, on first down Sam Gibson tried to get the ball over the middle to one of his wide receivers and the ball was intercepted by a Don Bosco linebacker. Bosco put their quarterback into the pistol formation yet again and he nearly had it go over his head on second down, repeating a mistake that could have cost them the game three plays ago. On 3rd and 5 Gary Nova hit tight end Ryan Cobb coming off the back side and Don Bosco picked up a critical first down, giving the Ironmen the opportunity to milk the clock more inside their opponents yard line. Milking the clock proved to be moot however as wide receiver Chris Burrell scampered 16 yards into the end zone on the second play, putting the score at 35-24 and icing the game for Don Bosco Prep.
Tony Jones was named the Old Spice Player of the Game with 247 total yards and three touchdowns and credit should be given to his offensive line in James Kittredge, Brandon Sacco and the rest of the crew.
The Scout.com Player of the Game would most definitely be Pittsburgh commitment Bryan Murphy who had five tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles and forced an interception with a bone-jarring hit on Sam Gibson.
LSU commitment Sam Gibson had over 100 yards passing and rushing and scored twice on the ground with runs of 27 and 55 yards, however he fumbled the ball twice and threw two interceptions.
Alabama commitment Nick Perry showed great closing speed, was all over the field for the Lions and had a number of big hits and a fumble recovery.
Boston College commitment Steele DiVitto showed great closing speed, an aggressive style of play and constantly got pressure from the secondary on the quarterback. He also made a number of impressive open field tackles.