Panthers stifle Tigers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It took first-year starting quarterback Josh Thomason just four games to pass for more yards than Pelham’s season totals in the category last year.

Friday night the junior completed 21 of 30 attempts for 242 yards in a homecoming rout of Grissom at Ned Bearden Stadium.

The performance topped off his cumulative stats at 910 yards, pushing him past the season totals of last year’s leading passer Chase Armstrong by 209 yards, and all a week before the midseason mark.

Thomason’s stat line hasn’t been the only beneficiary of a wide-open offense installed by first-year head coach Brett Burnett.

The Panthers are off to a 3-1 start after shutting out the Tigers, 30-0, during Friday’s non-region clash at Pelham.

Thomason led the Panthers 80 yards on nine plays on the game’s opening drive, capping the effort with a five-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Bobby Dunlap.

A one-yard dive by Russell Prince put the Panthers in control with a 14-point lead before the clock ran out in the first quarter.

While the Pelham offense had little trouble moving the ball, the defense set the tone, allowing Grissom just 179 yards of total offense in the shutout victory.

Dexter Clark led the Panthers with 16 tackles while J.T. King and Matt Campisi each totaled 14 stops for Pelham.

Pelham kicker Jordan Means showed his all-county potential with three field goals on the night, including a 50-yarder in the second quarter that ranked third in school history behind Jason Lang (51) and Michael Proctor’s 60-yarder in 1991.

Means connected on another 24-yarder before the half and nailed his third, a 30-yarder, in the third quarter.

Russell Prince led the Panthers ground attack with 63 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Thomason also added a rushing touchdown, scoring on a four-yard scamper in the third quarter.

Pelham hosts Pinson Valley in another non-region contest Friday night before hosting rival Oak Mountain in week six