Panthers pounce on Northridge

Pelham's Blane Eddins (53) and Josh Martin (52) block for running back Eli Beall (13) as he sprints for a first down during the Panthers' 34-27 Sept. 28 win over the Northport Jaguars. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham Panthers fought off a fourth-quarter comeback by the Northridge Jaguars Sept. 28 in Tuscaloosa to take the non-region win.

Pelham trailed Northridge in total yardage 314-331, but spoiled the Jaguars’ homecoming hopes with the 34-27 win.

“I’m proud of the kids, but we’ve still got a lot to work on,” Pelham head coach Brett Burnett said. “We’ve got to get ready for the second half of region play.”

Pelham quarterback Tanner Adams completed three of seven passing attempts for 85 yards. Leading rushers for Pelham were Moregan Sharp, who racked up 94 yards on 13 carries and Eli Beall, who finished the night with 92 yards on 18 carries.

Northridge jumped to a quick 14-0 lead, scoring on its first two possessions of the game with plenty of help from Alabama verbal commit  Bo Scarbrough.

Pelham began its comeback midway through the second quarter, when Beall ran the ball into the end zone from 26 yards out. Austin Bowen’s PAT cut the Jaguars’ lead to 14-7.

The Panthers tied it up with less than a minute left in the first half when Adams connected with Sharp on a 15-yard touchdown pass.

Pelham took advantage of good field position after a botched snap on a Northridge punt set the Panthers to work at the Jaguars’ 9 yard line early in the third quarter.

Beall scored a few plays later on a 6-yard run. Bowen’s PAT went right of the uprights, giving Pelham a 20-14 lead.

Pelham extended its lead late in the third quarter when Fletcher Johnson returned a Jaguar punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Bowen’s PAT split the uprights to extend Pelham’s lead to 27-14.

The Panthers extended their lead to 34-14 on a 1-yard Beall touchdown run to start the fourth quarter.

Northridge answered by scoring two touchdowns in a little more than five minutes, with the help of a successful onside kick.

Sharp recovered a second Northridge onside kick attempt to seal the victory for Pelham.