The Pelham Panthers clinched the Class 6A Region 3 title with a 37-12 win over the Benjamin Russell Wildcats, Thursday Night, Oct. 8 at Ned Bearden Stadium. The region title is Pelham’s first since 2006 and third in school history. The Panthers started out quickly taking a 7-0 lead on RB Gabe Gamble’s 21 yard touchdown run. The Wildcats answered with a field goal to make the score 7-3 midway through the first quarter. The Panthers matched the field goal with a Darius Copeland 29 yard touchdown run to make the score 14-3. The Wildcats then gained some momentum on a couple of Panther’s miscues on special teams. The Wilcats scored a two point safety and then returned the following kickoff for a touchdown to quickly close the score to 14-12 at halftime.
The second half was all Panthers as the Panther’s Defense did not allow the Wildcat’s Offense to score in second half. The Panther’s Offense scored on their first possession in the second half on a QB Will Lankford one yard run. After a Panther’s Defensive Stop, Dylan Peterson took a handoff and raced 57 yards for a touchdown and Gabe Gamble ran in the two point conversion to make the score 29-12 at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter QB Will Lankford hit WR Darius Copeland on a 57 yard scoring strike to make the score 37-12 after another two point conversion. THIS DEFENSE was able to limit the success the Wildcat’s Offense had all game. The Panther’s Defense was lead by LB Zach Ruston with six tackles and OLB Seth Branham with 5 tackles and a crucial tackle for loss on a Wildcat’s 4th down attempt to turn the ball over to the Panthers. The defensive line lead by Mason Dunkin, Oscar Aguilar and Jake Ingram were key contributors in limiting the Wildcat’s Ground Game. Cornerback/Wide Receiver Walker Lyles had two pass break ups for the Panther’s Secondary which limited the Wildcat’s Passing Game. The Panthers have a bye next week before finishing region play with a home game against the Chilton County Tigers on Oct. 23 at 7:00 PM.