THS ends decade-long streak
The drought if over! After 10 straight years of losing to the Pelham Panthers, the &uot;Pride Game&uot; went decisively to Thompson Warriors, 48-20 last Thursday night.
But despite the lopsided final score, there were offensive standouts on both sides of the contest played before a packed house at Warrior Field in Alabaster.
Thompson junior Eric Bogan carried the pigskin 20 times for 192 yards. Pelham senior quarterback Chris Vines completed 17 of 25 passes for 211 yards. And his favorite receiver, sophomore Montez Billings caught eight of those passes for 140 yards.
&uot;I’m just proud of our guys. We came together tonight and gelled,&uot; said Thompson head football coach Ricky Seale. &uot;I think we executed as well as we could have for the first game of the season.&uot;
The Warrior coach said of Bogan’s performance, &uot;He did a great job.&uot; But Seale noted that Bogan’s performance was &uot;also a credit to the offensive line.&uot; He said, &uot;They opened up some big holes.&uot;
Pelham head football coach Sammy Queen said following the battle of the rivals, &uot;I was a little disappointed. The effort of our kids was good. The outcome was not want we wanted.&uot;
upbeat, however. He
said the contest with Thompson was the first game of the season and not the end. He also said Pelham could still make it to the playoffs.
While Queen said the Panthers were &uot;humbled,&uot; he was quick to add, &uot;But we’ll bounce back.&uot;
Queen said his senior quarterback Vines &uot;did everything we asked for.&uot; He also said, &uot;Looking at the stats, you would think we scored more than 20 points.&uot;
Queen said of Billings’
job at receiver, &uot;He’s a sophomore. It was his first game in high school. He’s going to be something special.&uot;
On the strength of Bogan’s bullish runs, the Warriors out rushed the Panthers 376 to 131 yards. But the arm of Vines allowed the Panthers to out pass the Warriors 211 yards to 48.
Thompson quarterback Brett Rushing was good on four of seven pass attempts.
Both teams suffered one interception each. But Pelham left the football on the ground once.
The contest saw a total of three punts. The Warriors booted the ball once for 41 yards, and the Panthers booted the ball twice for an average of 31 yards.
Pelham was penalized 11 times for 85 yards while Thompson was whistled five times for 40 yards.
Pelham drew first blood on a an 8-yard touchdown pass from Vines to Brandon Kenney at the 4:44 mark of the first quarter. The point after failed by West Cheery failed, but the TD capped a 14-play 81-yard drive and put the visitors on top 6-0.
Thompson responded at the 11:27 mark of the second quarter on a 1-yard Andrew Hairston run. Rushing added the PAT, and the Warriors led 7-6. The touchdown capped an 11 play 77-yard drive.
A Panther fumble proved costly. The Warriors capped the seven-play 39-yard drive with a 16-yard TD strike from Rushing to Kenny Mahone. Rushing added the PAT, and the Warriors led 14-6 at the 6:25 mark of the second quarter.
The Panthers wasted little time retaliating.
On the second play after taking over at their own 20, Vines hit Billings for an 85-yard touchdown strike.
Rob Warren added the PAT. And with 5:40 left in the second quarter, Pelham trailed only 14-13.
It looked as if this battle might swing the way of the Panthers when the visitor’s big senior John McDow picked off a Rushing pass at the Warrior 39-yard line. But the drive stalled on at the Warrior 30.
Seven plays later, Warrior junior Tony Bell raced 49 yards for the score.
The PAT was good, and Thompson led 21-13 with 1:06 left in the half.
But fate would be cruel to the visiting Panthers. A Vines pass was picked off by Thompson junior Tony Myers at the Warrior 15-yard line. On the next play, Bogan burst through the line for an 85-yard TD romp. Rushing missed the PAT, but the Warriors led 27-13 with 23 ticks left in the half.
The Warriors wasted little time in extending their lead. Thompson’s Bell returned the second half kickoff to the Panther 25-yard line. On the fourth play of the short drive, Bogan bulled in from the six yards out. Rushing’s PAT was good, and the Warriors led 34-13 with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors continued to pour it on when Bogan capped a 10-play 71-yard drive with an 18-yard TD run with 9:36 left in the game. The PAT was good, and Thompson led 41-13.
But Pelham would not go down without a fight. With their backs against the wall, the Panthers marched 73 yards for their final points of the night. With a first down at the Warrior 25, the Panther’s Kenney went in for the score.
The PAT by Warren was good, and with 5:54 remaining in the contest, the Panthers trailed 41-20.
But the Warriors would add salt to the wounded Panthers.
With 3:12 left in the contest, Thompson junior quarterback Jesse Mitchell emerged unscathed from a play that appeared to be over and rambled 34 yards for a touchdown. Rushing added the PAT and the Warriors had upended the Panthers 48-20