Panthers fall to Prattville Lions

Pelham running back Eli Beall runs through the Prattville defense into the endzone for a touchdown during the Panthers’ 31-14 loss to the Lions on Oct. 12. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham Panthers were plagued by turnovers and costly penalties as they fell 31-14 on Oct. 12 to the visiting Prattville Lions.

The Panthers (5-2, 3-2 in Class 6A Region 4) were nearly even with the Lions in total yards, recording 307 yards to Prattville’s 310 yards.

“We had so many opportunities on offense that we left on the field,” Pelham head coach Brett Burnett said. “You can’t make that many mistakes against a good football team and expect to win.

“Our defense gutted it out in the second half and gave us some good field position,” Burnett added. “We just came up empty on offense.”

PHS quarterback Tanner Adams completed four-of-11 passing attempts for 34 yards and a touchdown. Rushing leaders for the Panthers were Robert Hayes, who compiled 99 yards on seven carries and a touchdown, and Eli Beall, who recorded 76 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.

The Panthers went three-and-out on their first possession, setting up a Prattville scoring drive early in the first quarter.

On the Panthers’ next drive, an apparent 42-yard touchdown run by Jacob Nichols was called back on a chop-block penalty on the Panthers. A few plays later, the Lions recovered a Pelham fumble on the Prattville 43-yard line.

Pelham’s third drive of the game ended on a Prattville interception on the Lions’ 1-yard line. A few plays later, Prattville scored on an 82-yard touchdown pass.

The Panthers quickly tied the game at 14-all in less than five minutes on a 44-yard run by Hayes and on a 4-yard run by Beall. Both of Austin Bowen’s PATs split the uprights.

Prattville scored a touchdown midway through the second quarter and again after recovering a Pelham fumble at the Lions’ 39-yard line late in the second quarter.

After a scoreless third quarter, Pelham’s Christian Davis intercepted a Prattville pass on the Lions’ 10-yard line.

Three plays later, an apparent 9-yard touchdown run by Nichols was called back on an illegal block penalty on the Panthers.

The penalty set up a 32-yard Bowen field goal attempt, which went just right of the uprights.

Prattville ate up nearly four minutes on its next drive, scoring a touchdown on a 36-yard run.

Pelham will travel to region foe Chelsea High School on Oct. 19 to face the Hornets.