Pelham hands Jags first loss of season

Pelham's Moregan Sharp (5) evades Spain Park's Isaac Ephriam (54) during the Panthers' win over the Jaguars on Oct. 25. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Pelham’s Moregan Sharp (5) evades Spain Park’s Isaac Ephriam (54) during the Panthers’ win over the Jaguars on Oct. 25. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham Panthers dominated Spain Park offensively en route to a 27-24 upset of the previously undefeated Jaguars on Oct. 25 at Ned Bearden Stadium, ensuring a spot in the Class 6A playoffs.

Pelham (6-3, 4-3) racked up 418 total yards of offense and held the Jaguars (8-1, 6-1) to just 129 total yards on the night. The Pelham defense shut out Spain Park after halftime.

“Our kids really played like they’re capable of playing. They played every snap and they were resilient,” said Pelham head coach Brett Burnett. “Our kids never quit and they played until the end. It was a great team win.”

Pelham quarterback Devon Mines led the team in rushing, racking up 171 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Mines also completed three of five passing attempts for 60 yards.

Pelham’s Tyler Brasfield finished the night with 122 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. R.J. McCall led the team in receiving, reeling in one pass for 41 yards.

Josh Brasher led the Panther defense, recording nine tackles. He was followed by D.J. Ervin with six tackles and Christian Davis and Braxton Hoyett, who each recorded five tackles.

Pelham jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 69-yard scamper by Mines. Austin Bowen’s PAT split the uprights.

Spain Park drove as far as the Pelham 4-yard-line on its ensuing possession, but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Thomas Taylor, bringing the game to 7-3.

The Jags took the lead after blocking a Pelham punt on its ensuing possession. Spain Park’s Philip Brown picked up the live ball in the end zone, and Taylor’s PAT gave the Jags a 10-7 lead.

Pelham answered on its next drive when Brasfield broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, putting the Panthers on top 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff, Spain Park’s Otis Harris returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown, giving the Jags a 17-14 lead.

Harris added another touchdown late in the second quarter on a 26-yard run into the end zone, putting the Jags up 24-14 at the half.

Pelham began its comeback late in the third quarter when Mines broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful Bowen PAT to cut Spain Park’s lead to 24-21.

After Ervin recovered a Jaguar fumble to end the third quarter, Bowen tied the game on a 26-yard field goal with 8:24 remaining in the game.

The Panther defense then forced a three-and-out on the Jags’ next possession before Bowen eventually connected on a 19-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. Two plays later, Pelham’s Terrell Blevins intercepted Spain Park Quarterback Mickey Forrest to seal the victory.