Pelham’s new pride: Thomason throws for 350 yards

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Pelham quarterback Josh Thomason and receiver Andrew Davis were not about to let Vestavia Hills come out on top Friday night.

Thomason and Davis shined as the two offensive stars for the Panthers, as Pelham upset the Rebels, 24-21. The two connected for 207 yards on seven passes and two touchdowns.

Down 21-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Panthers put together an 80-yard, 13 play drive that was highlighted by a fourth down conversion from Thomason to receiver Patrick Martin.

Pelham needed six yards to gain a first down and keep their drive alive when Thomason scrambled out of two tackles and completed the 11-yard pass to Martin.

&uot;That was, by far, the biggest play of the game,&uot; Pelham head coach Brett Burnett said afterward.

The Panthers went on to score the game-winning touchdown with 24 seconds left to go in the game off a 7-yard pass from Thomason to receiver Brandon Billings.

Thomason finished his breakout performance 25-of-31, passing for 350 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the big win in their first 6A Region game of the season, Burnett said his team’s performance against the Rebels left a lot to be desired.

&uot;We were below average,&uot; Burnett said. &uot;We didn’t do what we needed to do on a lot of levels.&uot;

The Rebels struck first in the game, with an 80-yard drive that Burnett was worried would bury his team before they even got started.

&uot;Thankfully, we were able to settle down and only gave up one other touchdown during the game,&uot; he said.

Thomason and Davis hooked up for 32- and 58-yard scores in the second quarter, giving Pelham the 14-7 lead at halftime.

But the Rebels rebounded in the third quarter with a 12-yard interception return for a score and a 14-yard run for a touchdown, giving Vestavia a 21-17 lead.

The Panthers were not about to go down without a fight however.

&uot;The kids made plays when they had to make plays,&uot; Burnett said. &uot;I’m proud of the way they performed.&uot;

The Panthers have little time to rest this week, as they prepare to travel to Mountain Brook to take on a tough region opponent in the Spartans.

&uot;This is another huge battle for us,&uot; Burnett said.

&uot;Mountain Brook is an outstanding football team, and we’ll have to take our play to the next level. We have to have a great week at practice.&uot;

The Panthers will kickoff against the Spartans Friday night at 7 p.m