Pelham shuts out Oak Mountain in opener

The Pelham defense was in the Oak Mountain backfield early and often Friday night, as the Panthers shut out the Eagles in the season opener at Ned Bearden Stadium, 24-0.

It started on the first play when Oak Mountain fumbled and it was recovered by the Panthers.

However, the Oak Mountain defense stepped up, holding the Panthers to a field goal.

The Panthers’ defense held strong once again, setting up the offense for the first score of the night to go up 10-0.

After forcing the Eagles to punt once more, the offense struck again when Fabian Traylor ran the ball in from 2 yards out for the score to put the Panthers up 17-0.

“I thought our defense was outstanding, just the effort,” Pelham head coach Brett Burnett said. “We put our offense in great field position a lot in the game.”

The Panthers’ defense forced two interceptions before the half, but the Oak Mountain defense did the same with a fourth-down stop and a fumble recovery.

“We made way too many mistakes offensively,” Burnett said.

The Eagles’ defense kept the Panthers from one last score before the half when Pelham kicker Cameron Haynes bounced a 42-yard field goal off the crossbar.

“Defense played great. I’m real, real proud of them,” Oak Mountain head coach Jeff Harris. “Anytime you can feel good about your defense, you can move in a positive direction. I think we’ll bounce back.”

The two teams traded possessions in the scoreless third quarter before the Panthers put the final points on the board with 9:11 left in the game on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tripp Martin to Reed Bright.

The Panthers return to Region 6 action Friday as they host Spain Park.

The Eagles also stay in Region 6 play Friday, hosting Mountain Brook.

Kickoff for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m.