Pelham wins with 18 players suspended

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The Pelham Panthers went on the road and defeated Grissom Friday night even though 18 players, including 10 starters and seven seniors, weren’t even dressed out for the game.

The Panthers rode

E.J. O’Hara to a 27-20 victory that ended with the running back carrying nine straight times on the final drive to run out the clock. O’Hara finished with 227 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries.

Pelham head coach Sammy Queen held a meeting with parents last Wednesday to inform them of his decision to suspend the players for last Friday’s game. Queen anounced the suspensions after photographs surfaced showing players and other students drinking at a party held several weeks ago.

According to the school system, players were not in violation of Shelby County Substance Abuse Policies but faced suspension from the team by attending a party where alchohol was present, a violation of team rules.

All of the players were reinstated to the team Monday.

&uot;Two student athletes involved in golf and volleyball will also be disciplined,&uot; according to a release issued by the Shelby County school system. &uot;At this point, disciplinary action against those students has not been determined and will be handled at those coaches discretion.&uot;

With a significant number of his players in street clothes, Queen was forced to rely on many younger players in the Grissom game.

&uot;It was good having them step up,&uot; Queen said. &uot;It was the first game where a lot of them had to step up.&uot;

Josh Thomason, in his first start this season at quarterback, led the Panthers with 77 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Kicker Jordan Means just missed his first field goal of the season but was good twice from 22 yards. He was also perfect on all three PAT attempts.

Pelham (4-5) closes the season at home with Clay-Chalkville this Friday night