Pelham wins region crown

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Although the Pelham Panthers lost their opening contest at home to Spain Park, they reacted with eight straight wins, including a home win over Tuscaloosa County last Friday night. Now, they&8217;ve clinched the 6A Region 5 football championship.

The Panthers fought off the Wildcats for a 26-21 victory to improve to 8-1 overall and 7-0 in region play.

&8220;I&8217;m proud of our kids,&8221; said Pelham head football coach Brett Burnett. He said the win over Tuscaloosa County gives the Panthers the home field advantage in the first round of state playoffs action.

He had praise for quarterback Josh Thomason, who had three rushing touchdowns and completed 16 of 29 passes for 175 yards and two interceptions. He also rushed 15 times for 113 yards.

Burnett recognized his standout player Wes Holland who rushed for 37 yards and caught nine passes for 87 yards.

He praised Darian Hill and Patrick Powell who made interceptions, and Chris Brice who blocked a punt to set up a safety.

Pelham put together 333 yards total offense while holding Tuscaloosa County to 256 yards total offense.

The Panthers trailed 7-0 in the first quarter, but Thomason soon put Pelham on the board with a 44-yard touchdown run.

When the Wildcats went ahead again,

Thomason answered with a 5-yard TD run.

Bice next came through for the Panthers when he blocked a punt for a safety.

The Panthers scored once again on a 20-yard Thomason run and a Daniel Jackson 30-yard field goal.

Tuscaloosa County got one more touchdown, but the Panthers held on for the win.

Pelham travels next to play

non-region 6A Vestavia Hills, which is coming off a loss to Homewood.

Burnett said his Panthers will have to be focused