Pelham clinches playoff berth

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Pelham Panthers and Spain Park Jaguars met Friday night with the same goal: a playoff berth.

At the end of the night, the Panthers proved victorious, defeating the Jags, 21-17, and clinching the fourth and final playoff berth in Class 6A, Region 6.

The Panthers were led by the play of quarterback Josh Thomason, who completed 17-of-20 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers trailed 17-14 headed in the fourth quarter of the decisive game, but Andrew Davis blocked a Spain Park punt that was recovered by Pelham’s Chris Brice in the end zone to give the Panthers the game-winning score.

The Jags kicked the scoring off in the first quarter on a Trey DelGreco 32-yard field goal, but Pelham responded in the second quarter with a two-yard touchdown catch by Brandon Scarborough and a 61-yard bomb from Thomason to Davis.

&8220;Those are the kinds of plays you expect seniors to make,&8221; head coach Brett Burnett said of Davis. &8220;He made two huge plays for us tonight.&8221;

The Jaguars returned the favor with scores late in the second quarter on a Carlos Anderson 1-yard run and in the third quarter on a 2-yard pass from quarterback Cody Wells to Adam Mims.

Spain Park, however, went three-and-out to start the fourth period and the Panthers capitalized on the blocked kick.

Wes Holland led the Panthers in rushing with 45 yards on 15 carries while Andrew Davis added 73 yards receiving on two catches and a score and Brandon Scarborough garnered 48 yards on six catches.

Despite the Jags 276 yard of offense, Pelham’s defense held strong when it was necessary. The Panthers were led by Cody Wash, who finished with 10 tackles, and J.T. King and Matt Campisi, both with nine solo stops.

The Jags, Panthers and Vestavia Hills Rebels entered Friday night’s games tied with 2-3 region records. The Rebels defeated Mountain Brook but were still eliminated from playoff contention because of the Spartans’ victory over second-place Oak Mountain earlier this season.

The Panthers will have a tough test in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs as they likely will travel to face Tuscaloosa County, a team that defeated the high-powered Hoover Buccaneers earlier this year and currently owns the No. 2 spot in the Class 6A ranking in the AHSAA’s high school poll.

Before that matchup, Pelham with host Clay-Chalkville this Friday. Clay sits atop Region 7 with a 7-2 overall record