The atmosphere Friday night was nothing short of spectacular, as the fans brought a great level of enthusiasm and the players fed off of the crowd the entire game. The cheerleaders did an excellent job as usual in cheering the Wolves on and getting the crowd involved. The “Cheer or go to Jail” sign was a nice touch from the Prescott Police Department.
The defense was flawless, as the game plan from Coach Patrick was excellent, especially against a “flex-bone” style offense, which is not a look you see very often these days. In the preview to the Semi-Final game, Coach Wood mentioned the D-Line has been special this season, and they continued the trend this week, including a scoop-and-score by defensive end Marshawn Rafter on a fourth down attempt as the play was disrupted by Jamarion Burton forcing the turnover. The defensive score was a huge turning point in the game as the game was 14-7 with Mansfield in Prescott territory when Rafter took it to the house to make it 21-7 and seemingly put the game out of reach.
The Curley Wolves started the game off with a touchdown on their opening drive, as quarterback Pierce Yates ran it in from one yard out to give Prescott the early 7-0 lead after the John Rabadan extra point. The game would go scoreless until the eight-minute mark in the second quarter when Mansfield scored to make the score 7-7 on a possession that started inside the Prescott 40-yard line. A big play on third down from wide receiver D’Wayne White would keep the Curley Wolves drive going and set up a nine-yard touchdown run by KJ Page, as the Wolves would take a 14-7 lead into the half.
The Prescott defense kept the Mansfield offense searching for answers the entire game. With around 8:30 remaining in the third quarter, Marshawn Rafter scored on a fumble recovery to make the game 21-7, and the Prescott sidelines and stands went bonkers. The ending was inevitable after that game- changing play.
Pierce Yates would tack on an insurance TD on a 12-yard run to make the score 28-7 heading into the final quarter. The defense continued to make plays and keep the Tigers offense in check in the final quarter as Prescott clinched a date with Booneville in the State Championship next Saturday at War Memorial.
The Curley Wolves posted 344 total yards on offense while the defense allowed only 173 total yards. Defensively, Talan Smith led the Wolves with 17 tackles, a sack, a pass break-up and a forced fumble. The defensive front of Jamarion Burton, Rocco Patrick, Rasheed Muhammed, and Marshawn Rafter dominated the game. Tayshawn Smith, KJ Page, and Jayden Purtle played great all game and the secondary made the plays when given an opportunity. JK Jones played a heck of a game, as he came up and made a lot of plays in the open field. Lavonte Gleason had a big pass break-up towards the end of the game and had 9 tackles. Jaquan Dickerson, DeCari Prater, and Richard Benton all played great in the secondary for the Curley Wolves.
On offense, Pierce Yates ran in 2 TDs and took care of the football. The O-line played great on Friday night, creating some running room for Jah’Noah Harris and KJ Page and protecting Pierce. The talented receiving group of D’Wayne White, PJ Gulley, Jaylen Johnson, Spencer Hubbard, and DeCari Prater made some big plays for the offense as well (will update stats later on). John Rabadan was a perfect 4/4 on PATs and punter Jaylen Johnson had 3 punts, including pinning the Tigers at the one-yard line once.
With the win on Friday, the Wolves will head to War Memorial Stadium next Saturday to face Booneville. A preview for the game will be released next Thursday. GO WOLVES!!!