Panthers fall to Mounties

Published 11:05 pm Friday, November 2, 2012

Pelham’s Antonio London brings down a Shades Valley wide receiver Nathan Melton during the Panthers’ loss to the Mounties on Nov. 2. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A late touchdown and two-point conversion lifted the visiting Shades Valley Mounties over the Pelham Panthers 47-45 on Nov. 2.

“It was a poor effort, lack of focus,” PHS head coach Brett Burnett said. “It’s an embarrassment.”

Pelham built up a 35-14 lead early in the third quarter, but Shades Valley battled back, eventually taking its first lead of the night at 39-38 with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Pelham scored on a 9-yard run by fullback Eli Beall to regain the lead 45-39 with less than a minute left in the game. Placekicker Austin Bowen’s PAT split the uprights.

But the Mounties quickly answered, driving 69 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 45-all with 16.5 second left in the fourth quarter.

The Mounties botched the snap on the PAT kick attempt, but Shades Valley’s Dylan Gardner picked up the ball and connected with Malik Carter for the two-point conversion, giving Shades Valley a 47-45 lead.

A touchback on the ensuing kickoff put Pelham to work on their own 20-yard line, but the Panthers were unable to drive within field goal range before time expired.

The Panthers amassed 467 yards of total offense, which was bested by Shades Valley’s 482 yards.

Beall led the Panthers’ rushing attack, gaining 202 yards on 32 carries and three touchdowns.

Jacob Nichols recorded 85 total yards, a rushing touchdown and a touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Adams.

Adams also connected with Moregan Sharp for a 10-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.

Pelham senior running back Fletcher Johnson suffered a broken tibia and fibula during a kickoff return late in the first quarter, and was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham for treatment.

Pelham (7-3, 5-2 in Class 6A Region 4) will return home on Nov. 9 to face Opelika in the first round of the 6A playoffs.