PHS upsets Clay-Chalkville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

After suffering through what Pelham coach Sammy Queen called an &uot;emotionally draining&uot; couple of weeks, the Panthers finished the 2004 regular season with bang, upsetting No. 3 Clay-Chalkville Friday night at Ned Bearden Stadium.

The 22-19 victory came on the heels of two tough situations for Pelham’s football players – a massive player suspension handed down two weeks ago and the death of a teammate the following Sunday.

Queen held a meeting with parents Oct. 27 to announce the suspension of 18 players – 10 of them starters and seven of them seniors – after pictures surfaced showing some players at a party where alcohol was present, a violation of team rules.

The Panthers were still able to defeat Grissom 27-20. Victory celebrations ended abruptly two days later when sophomore defensive tackle Jeremy Farren was killed in an automobile accident. He was honored in a ceremony before Friday’s game.

The Panthers upset of Clay-Chalkville won’t heal all of Pelham’s wounds, but it was a big win for a program looking to move forward, Queen said.

&uot;Emotionally we were all pretty drained,&uot; he said. &uot;The guys pulled together and played hard.&uot;

Jordan Means nailed three field goals for Pelham (5-5), converting attempts from 39, 42 and a season-long 44 yards.

&uot;He’s the best kicker in the state,&uot; Queen said.

The Pelham coach was also impressed with the play of Josh Thomason who was 8-of-15 for 91 yards in his second start at quarterback.

E.J. O’Hara rushed for 113 yards for Pelham and Montez Billings returned a kickoff 94 yards for a PHS touchdown