Lanett earns 6-0 victory over Valley Blue

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

VALLEY — The Lanett 11 and 12-year-old recreation football team held off Valley Blue with a 6-0 win on Thursday night.

“The defense played well,” Lanett head football coach Ritae Zigler said. “Obviously, the player’s are listening to what we’re coaching them, so the sky’s the limit. This is the next ‘Champ High’ right here. This team right here is the future.”

Lanett scored the lone touchdown of the night with a long run from 12-year-old JB Pruitt in the first half.

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“This would’ve been a tied ball game at halftime if we didn’t miss one tackle,” Valley coach Steven Smith said. “If we wouldn’t have missed that tackle, I think it would’ve been a different game in the second half.”

Valley Blue recovered a fumble with 6:31 remaining in the second half, but couldn’t get a rhythm going offensively. Smith said after the game that the team was missing two key offensive players and had other athletes at positions that they weren’t used to playing. 

In the final five minutes of the game, a total of three players from both teams were ejected from the game. 

“It was a rivalry game, the intensity was high and they’re still only 10, 11 and 12-year-old kids,” Zigler said. “They still have a lot to learn. For some of them, this is their first time playing football, but if they stay with it, then they’ll be okay.”

Valley Blue received the ball one final time with about 17 seconds remaining in the ball game before Lanett 11-year-old Riontae Zigler intercepted the ball before running out the game clock. 

In the final moments of Lanett’s game against Valley Orange on Sept. 19, Riontae also grabbed an interception to seal a win for the Panthers as well.

“[Our] defense didn’t give up a first down,” Coach Zigler said. “Riontae’s with the high school [team] every day. His football IQ [is high], the sky’s the limit for him and his teammates.”

Both Smith and Zigler complimented each other’s teams for a well-fought game on both sides.

Lanett is expected to return to the field next Monday while Valley Blue will play Valley White next Monday night.