Pelham downs Oak Mountain in overtime thriller

Pelham’s R.J. McCall scampers into the end zone on a fake punt in the second quarter of the Panthers’ 42-41 win over Oak Mountain on Sept. 20. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Pelham’s R.J. McCall scampers into the end zone on a fake punt in the second quarter of the Panthers’ 42-41 win over Oak Mountain on Sept. 20. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham Panthers took their first road win of the season on Sept. 20, taking down Oak Mountain 42-41 in an overtime thriller.

The Eagles outgained the Panthers 400 yards to 357 yards in the clash of run-heavy teams. Pelham’s Moregan Sharp accounted for 117 of the Panthers’ rushing yards and recorded two touchdowns.

Defensive leaders for the Panthers were Christian Davis with 10 tackles and D.J Irvin with seven tackles.

“Oak Mountain kept fighting, and I was proud of the way our kids fought back,” said Pelham head coach Brett Burnett. “We are fortunate to take the win, and we will move forward with it.”

Pelham’s Jalen Smith returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, and Austin Bowen’s successful PAT put Pelham ahead 7-0 less than a minute into the game. Oak Mountain answered on a 2-yard touchdown run by Harold Shader, but failed to convert the extra point.

In the second quarter, Pelham added two touchdowns: One on a Robert Hayes 7-yard run and another on a 43-yard fake punt scamper by R.J. McCall. Bowen added extra points after both touchdowns.

Oak Mountain’s Josh Gaines added a touchdown in the second quarter, and tied the game at 21-all with a touchdown and two-point conversion late in the third quarter.

Pelham quarterback Devon Mines and running back Moregan Sharp each added touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Oak Mountain answered with touchdowns by Warren Shader and Gaylon Lloyd to end regulation tied at 35-all.

In the first play of overtime, Sharp scampered 10 yards into the end zone for a touchdown, and Bowen’s extra point put Pelham ahead 42-35.

After an off-sides penalty on Pelham put Oak Mountain to work from the 5-yard line in their ensuing possession, Warren Shader powered into the end zone for an Oak Mountain touchdown.

Oak Mountain went for the win by attempting a two-point conversion, but a Shader pass intended for his brother, Harold Shader, fell incomplete in the end zone, giving the Panthers the victory.