Oak Mountain shuts out Pell City

Oak Mountain's Harold Shader dives for the endzone in a win over Pell City on Oct. 31. (Contributed/Barry W. Clemmons)

Oak Mountain’s Harold Shader dives for the endzone in a win over Pell City on Oct. 31. (Contributed/Barry W. Clemmons)

By NEAL EMBRY/For the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY — For the first time in school history, the Oak Mountain Eagles are 9-1.  The Eagles finished their regular season by defeating the Pell City Panthers 13-0 on senior night.

Senior football players were honored in a pregame ceremony, and Eagles coach Cris Bell continued to praise his senior class after the game.

“They’re a great group, they’ve worked their tails off,” Bell said.  “It’s just a testament to those guys and the fact that they believe in each other and love each other and hate to let each other down, and I’m proud to coach them.”

The Eagles had to overcome a slow start offensively, along with a blustering wind, but in the second half, the Eagles renowned rushing attack took over, leading to two second-half scores that proved to be the difference in a defensive battle.

On their first possession of the second half, the run-heavy Eagles needed a big play through the air to break through the Panthers defense.  On a second and three, Warren Shader found Reid Golson for a 22-yard gain.  Coleman Reeves ran another 12 yards before Harold Shader found pay dirt on a ten-yard touchdown run. Shader finished with 90 yards on the ground.

With seven minutes to play, the Panthers punted from their own 28-yard line, but the kick only went seven yards.  The Eagles took over at their opponent’s 35-yard line and a few plays later, Coleman Reeves, who finished with 69 yards rushing, scored Oak Mountain’s second touchdown from two yards out.

The Panthers last scoring chance came at the Eagles’ 47 with three minutes to go, but the Oak Mountain defense forced an incompletion, sealing the victory.

“Defensively, we need to build on what we did tonight.  Our secondary played really well,” Bell said.

Oak Mountain will host James Clemens in the first round of the 7A playoffs Nov. 7.