Hoover Falcons win OTM sophomore title

The Hoover Falcons won the Over the Mountain Youth Football League on Nov. 8 with a 13-7 victory over the Pelham Panthers in the Sophomore Division championship, grades 3-4.

The Panthers took a 7-0 lead on a touchdown run by Ethan Holombeck, who finished the game with 99 yards rushing. However, Oak Mountain area resident Reid Hunt tossed a 12-yard touchdown to Matthew Rickman to pull within a point, 7-6. Hunt found Rickman on the same play for the extra point.

Long runs from Spencer Graham, Kaleb Frames, and Hunt set up the scoring drive with the help of lead blockers Caden DeGreen, Ben Abercrombie, Seth Compher, Luke Stephens, Damon Wright, Michael McClung and Christopher Weldon.

The Falcon defense was led by Will McAvoy, Tanner Hendrix, Max Crutchfield, Benjamin Whitehead, Tyler Williams and Sam Sanford.

Peyton Rego had an outstanding kickoff following the score.

DeGreen returned the second-half kickoff 15 yards. Two plays later, Rickman took a direct snap from McClung, faked to Hendrix, and then avoided a tackle for a loss to regain his balance and race 45 yards down the sideline for the final points of the game. The point-after attempt failed.

The game at Hoover Central Park was a rematch of a 2-0 win by the previously unbeaten Panthers during the regular season.

In addition to Holsombeck’s near 100 yards rushing, he completed two passes to Reid Hogue for 28 yards on the Panthers first half scoring drive. The Panther offensive line was anchored by Griffin Thrash, Burke DiClemente, Clayton Quinn, Braedon Miller, Hayden Rankin, Joseph Travis and Rob Cook. Hogue led the defense with six tackles and Rankin chipped in with three.