Pelham falls to Spartans

Published 12:13 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pelham High School sophomore Devon Mines sprints past a Mountain Brook High School defender during the Panthers’ 35-7 loss to the Spartans on Sept. 9. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Despite compiling 246 total yards on the night, the Pelham Panthers fell to the Mountain Brook Spartans 35-7 during a Sept. 9 region contest.

“We moved the ball, and showed some intensity early, but we kind of fell flat late in the first half,” said Pelham head coach Brett Burnett. “We just showed a lack of consistency tonight.

“We moved the ball, but you get rewarded for scoring points, not moving the ball,” Burnett added.

The Panthers (1-2, 1-1 in Class 6A, Region 6), were led by quarterback Gray Cato, who completed 9-of-11 passes for 93 yards.

Junior Fletcher Johnson led Pelham in receptions, with two catches for 47 yards, and junior Eli Beall led the Panthers in rushing with 40 yards.

Mountain Brook punted the ball only twice during the game.

After forcing Pelham to punt on the game’s opening possession, the Spartans scored late in the first quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run. The successful extra point gave Mountain Brook a 7-0 lead.

On its next possession, Mountain Brook scored again on a 6-yard touchdown run by Mark Rector. Warren Handrahan’s extra point gave the Spartans a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

After recovering a Pelham fumble, Mountain Brook scored again on a 27-yard Rector run. Handrahan again added the extra point to bring the game to 21-0.

The Spartans lit up the scoreboard again on their next possession, when Gavin Golsan reeled in a 35-yard touchdown pass.

Though the Panthers drove to the Spartans’ 7-yard line with less than a minute left in the second quarter, Pelham was unable to punch it in before the end of the half.

Mountain Brook scored on its first possession of the second half on an 8-yard Rector run. Handrahan’s extra point gave the Spartans a 35-0 lead.

Pelham was forced to punt on its next possession, but recovered a Spartan fumble on Mountain Brook’s 35 yard line.

On a fourth-and-goal on the 2 yard line, Beall ran the ball into the endzone to give Pelham its first score of the game. John Perko’s extra point brought the game to 35-7 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.