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Wolves blank Pirates, 35-0, face Salem in round two

By John Miller, 11/11/22 9:44 PM

PRESCOTT – A 35-0 win over Drew Central moves the Curley Wolves to the second round of the AAA state playoffs.

The Wolves had no problem with the Pirates, but couldn’t escape the penalty bug as 21 penalties were called in the game, most against Prescott, 12.

Conditions weren’t the best as it had rained earlier in the day to make the field wet, and rain began falling in the second quarter, coming down hard in the third, making it tough for both teams when it came to the passing game. Regardless, the Wolves will be at home Friday night facing the Salem Greyhounds in the second round of the playoffs.

Prescott took the opening kickoff, with a miscue on an onside attempt being recovered at the Wolf 42. On the second play, Travion Dickens found a gap and raced 56-yards for the first touchdown of the night. the point after was good making it 7-0 with 11:17 left in the opening quarter.

It was three and out for the Pirates as the Drew Central offense couldn’t move the ball against Prescott’s defense, even when using trick plays. The ‘Bucs attempted a flea-flicker on third down but it went nowhere. The punt went out of bounds at the Prescott 48.

The Wolves had to overcome a holding penalty, high snaps and a sack, but drove 52-yards in eight plays with Genoa Harris scoring from 24-yards out. The PAT made it 14-0 with 6:15 left in the period.

The Pirates started at the Drew Central 33, ran three plays getting nowhere, even with the aid of a facemask call against Prescott. This punt rolled to the Wolf 17.

Prescott needed 11 plays to cover 83 yards, and also had to overcome two penalties. The Wolves were able to utilize the team’s aerial attack with Carston Poole completing five of six passes on the drive, the last a 28-yard scoring strike to P.J. Gulley. The PAT put the Wolves up 21-0 with 23 seconds to go.

Drew Central returned the kick to the 31, went nowhere on first down, but completed a pass to the Prescott 35 as the first quarter came to an end. The second quarter began with Rashawn Bell picking off a ‘Buc pass in the end zone to kill the drive and give the Wolves the ball at the 20.

The turnover meant nothing as Prescott’s offense stalled after getting to the 45 before going backwards and ending up at the 21. Prescott’s punt was short, only making it to the Wolf 44.

Three plays later, the ‘Bucs found themselves in a fourth and 14 situation at the Prescott 48. Instead of punting the Pirates went to the air only to see the pass picked off by Decari Prater and returned to the Drew Central 48.

Prescott needed four plays to score and was aided by two major penalties against the Pirates. Dickens carriedĀ  most of the load, rushing three times and scoring from the one with 6:05 to go in the half. The PAT made it 28-0.

The ensuing kick was bobbled by the Pirates but returned to the 31. Drew Central managed six plays before being picked off for the third time in the quarter, again by Bell, who returned it to the Prescott 28 with 3:09 showing.

The icing was put on the cake as Prescott drove 72 yards in 10 plays with Dickens going in from the six. The extra point gave the Wolves exactly 35 points, the amount required for the mercy rule to be in effect during the second half.

Drew Central returned the kick to the 35, but got an extra 15-yards tacked on after the Wolves were penalized for a late hit, moving the ball to midfield. The PiratesĀ  drove to the Prescott 28 before a bad snap skittered between the quarterback’s legs and was recovered at the 44. The half ended with Prescott blitzing and dropping the ‘Buc runner at the 46.

Neither team could do anything in the second half, mostly because of penalties killing drives and it being too wet to effectively throw the ball.

Drew Central returned the kick to the 47 and drove to the Prescott 40 before punting to Bell, who fielded the ball at the five and took it back to the 31. By this time, the Wolves had subbed heavily to protect the starters and get younger players playoff experience.

The Wolves made it to the 45 but a holding call and consecutive bad snaps pushed Prescott back to the 38, ending the third period. Prescott punted to start the final 12 minutes with the kick only making it to the 39, giving Drew Central excellent field position.

The ‘Bucs used eight plays to get to the Prescott eight where the drive ended with a fumbled exchange during a handoff and a second fumble when the quarterback picked the ball up and attempted a pass, only to have the pigskin slip out of his hands and be recovered by the Wolves at the 18.

The Wolves drove to the 41 before a bad snap was recovered at the 31. It didn’t matters the game came to an end shortly thereafter.

Again, Prescott will be at home again Friday night when the Wolves host the Salem Greyhounds. Kickoff is set or 7 p.m.