Pelham gears up for season in jamboree

Pelham's Jeremiah Spillers (50) and Chase Shearer (10) take down a Pleasant Grove running back during the teams' jamboree game on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Pelham’s Jeremiah Spillers (50) and Chase Shearer (10) take down a Pleasant Grove running back during the teams’ jamboree game on Aug. 22. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

PELHAM – With the Pelham Panthers’ biggest rivalry game opening the 2014 regular season, PHS head coach Brett Burnett knows Pelham has to be strong out of the gate.

“It is a big game for both communities. We are excited about it,” Burnett said of Pelham’s Aug. 29 contest with the Thompson Warriors after his team fell 26-6 to the visiting Pleasant Grove Spartans during a pre-season jamboree on Aug. 22. “We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and this Friday. It’s football season, and it’s time to go now.”

Pelham, which is entering its first football season since the school’s split with Helena High School, racked up 154 rushing yards on 24 carries in the first half of the game, which was the only half featuring both teams’ varsity squads.

The PHS freshman team took the field after halftime, and held the Spartans to a touchdown in the final two quarters.

“It was good as far as seeing things we need to improve on. It was a good test. That was a good team we played,” Burnett said. “It was a chance to see game speed, which is something we haven’t had a chance to get in practice. We are going to go to work and continue to get better throughout the season.”

The Panthers’ lone touchdown came with less than a minute left in the second quarter when Geovanny Adan powered the ball into the end zone from four yards out. A botched snap on the PAT attempt forced a two-point conversion attempt, which fell incomplete.

Senior running back Moregan Sharp finished the first half with 82 rushing yards on nine carries, Adan recorded 34 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, RJ McCall recorded 22 yards on four carries and Tyler Wilburn ran 14 yards on one carry.