The Pelham Panthers came out sluggish against the Wetumpka Indians on the road but battled back and secured a hard fought region win. Wetumpka opened the scoring first by way of a safety on a special teams miscue by the Panthers. The Indians then took the next possesion and scored a touchdown to go up 9-0 early in the first quarter. On the Indians next possesion the Panthers started a huge momentum shift when Fabian Calderon intercepted an Indians Pass Attempt and returned the ball to the Indians 12 yard line. On the very next play Panthers QB Will Lankford scored on a 12 yard run to make the score 9-7 in favor of the Indians. The Indians added a field goal before halfime to make the score 12-7 for the Indians heading into halftime.
On the first drive of the second half the Panther’s Offense drove the ball and scored on QB Will Lankford’s 30 yard touchdown pass to WR Darius Copeland to make the score 14-12 for the Panthers. The Panther’s Defense then forced a three and out giving the Panthers Offense great starting field position on the Indians 35 yard line. It took the Panther’s Offense two plays to score when Gabe Gamble took an option pitch from QB Will Lankford and scored from 18 yards out to make the score 21-12 for the Panthers. During the fourth quarter the Panther’s Defense then forced another Indians punt. The Panther’s Offense then drove the field and scored on Dylan Peterson’s 47 yard rushing attempt to make the score 28-12 with eight minutes left in the game. The Indians took possesion down 16 points and had to use almost five minutes of the clock to score a touchdown but missed the two point conversion keeping the game a two score game for the Panthers by a score of 28-18. The Panthers recovered the onside kick and forced the Indians to use their time outs. The Indians then took possesion down 10 on their own 12 yardline. The Indians drove to the Panthers 49 but on the last play of the game the Indians Quarteback was intercepted by Darius Copeland who took the interception back 51 yards for a touchdwon as the clock expired to make the final score Panther 34-Indians 18.
Offensively the Panthers were led on the ground by Running Back Gabe Gamble who rushed 11 times for 108 yards and a TD. RB Dylan Peterson added 13 rushes for 87 yards and a TD. QB Will Lankford had 8 rushes for 50 yards. and a TD, while throwing for 78 yards on 4 completions and a TD. Wide Receiver Darius Copleand had a receiving touchdown. Defensively, Fabian Calderon and Darius Copeland added inteceptions. Safety Jon White added 6 tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass break up.The leading tackler for the Panthers was Outside Linebacker Seth Branham who added 9 tackles. Wide Receiver/Corner Walker Lyles added two tackles and a pass break up.
The Panthers will host the Benjamin Russell Wildcats on Thursday October 8th at 7:00 PM at Ned Bearden Stadium in another important 6A-Region 3 Contest.