Pelham falls in first round of playoffs

Published 10:48 pm Friday, November 8, 2013

Pelham's Jalen Smith stiff-arms a Fairhope defender during the Panthers' 39-35 loss to the Pirates on Nov. 8 in Fairhope. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Pelham’s Jalen Smith stiff-arms a Fairhope defender during the Panthers’ 39-35 loss to the Pirates on Nov. 8 in Fairhope. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

FAIRHOPE – The Fairhope Pirates used a late touchdown to upend Pelham 39-35 on Nov. 8, ending the Panthers’ season in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

PHS junior Jeremy Ross reeled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Devon Mines with 1:31 left in the game, and Austin Bowen’s extra point gave Pelham a 35-32 lead.

But after returning the ensuing kickoff to the Panthers’ 41-yard line, the Pirates answered on their first play from scrimmage on a 41-yard touchdown run.

Pelham received the ball with 1:08 left in the game, but was unable to gain a first down, sealing the victory for the home team.

“We got down, and we were down at halftime. We challenged our kids, and I’m proud of them because they came back out and fought, fought, fought,” Pelham head coach Brett Burnett said. “But if you look at the game, special teams really killed us.”

Pelham outgained Fairhope in total yardage, racking up 460 yards compared to the Pirates’ 344.

Both teams were heavily penalized, with Pelham receiving 12 penalties for 75 yards and Fairhope ending the night with nine penalties for 79 yards.

Mines and running back Moregan Sharp were the rushing workhorses for the Panthers, ending the night with 135 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and 156 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, respectively.

Sharp also reeled in one pass for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive leaders for the Panthers were Christian Davis, with 19 tackles and a forced fumble, and Shun Bishop, with nine tackles.

Sharp’s 51-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter opened scoring for the Panthers, and Bowen’s PAT split the uprights.

Mines and Sharp added rushing touchdowns of 54 yards and 20 yards, respectively, in the third quarter. Bowen added PATs on both.

Tyler Brasfield scored on a 2-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, followed by a successful Bowen extra point.