Pelham misses playoffs
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
The Pelham Panthers will not be taking part in post-season play after they lost their season finale 42-30 on the road at Hewitt-Trussville.
Pelham (5-5, 4-3 in Class 6A, Region 6) racked up 312 rushing yards on the night, 269 of which were recorded by junior Eli Beall.
Quarterback Tanner Adams completed 10 of 20 passing attempts for 116 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Senior J.T. Ross led the Panthers in receptions, reeling in four passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the game’s outcome, Pelham head coach Brett Burnett praised his team for overcoming adversity early in the season.
After the third game of the season, quarterback Gray Cato and defensive back Tucker Thomas were suspended from the team after a text message controversy.
“We threw everything we had at Hewitt-Trussville tonight. We didn’t hold anything back,” Burnett said. “I’m proud of their effort tonight. They really played hard.
“Mostly, I’m proud they hung together as a team throughout the year,” Burnett added. “We had a good run, it just didn’t turn out like we wanted it to.”
The Huskies lit up the scoreboard first after intercepting an Adams pass in the second play from scrimmage. The interception led to a Hewitt-Trussville touchdown to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Pelham answered on its next drive when John Perko connected on a 48-yard field goal to bring the game to 7-3.
Pelham took a 10-7 lead with 1:32 left in the first quarter when Beall ran 11 yards for a touchdown. Perko added the PAT.
The Huskies answered on a touchdown and PAT to start the second quarter, and added another 7 points on their second drive of the second half.
The Panthers cut the Huskies’ lead to 21-16 when Beall scored on a 58-yard touchdown run. Perko’s PAT was blocked.
On its ensuing possession, Hewitt-Trussville extended its lead to 28-16 on a touchdown and PAT.
Pelham again cut the Huskies’ lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Beall ran 56 yards for a touchdown.
After converting a fourth-and-1 play, the Huskies extended their lead to 35-23 on their ensuing possession.
After the Huskies sacked PHS quarterback Devon Mines on fourth down during the Panthers’ ensuing possession, PHS senior Will Kennedy intercepted a Hewitt-Trussville fumble near midfield.
A few plays later, Pelham scored when Ross reeled in a 13-yard touchdown pass. Perko’s PAT brought the game to 35-30 with 1:43 left in the game.
However, Pelham was unable to convert an onside kick, giving Hewitt-Trussville possession on its own 48 yard line.
On the next play, the Huskies added to their lead on a 52-yard touchdown run, bringing the game to 42-30 with 1:42 left in the game.