The Pelham Panthers lost to the Montgomery Lee Generals by the score of 23-21 in the first round of the 6A State Playoffs. The Generals opened the scoring in the first quarter to take a 7-0. Later in the first quarter the Generals were able to create a safety and then take the resulting kickoff back for a touchdown which put the Panthers behind 16-0. The Panthers were able cut the deficit to 16-7 on RB Dylan Peterson’s 35 yard touchdown run, which was set up by a Will Lankford 30 yard completion to Chase Christian. In the second quarter the Generals scored again to make the score 23-7 heading into halftime.
The Panthers came out of halftime inspired in all aspects of the game. The Panthers were able to score in the third quarter on QB Will Lankford’s 11 yard touchdown run to make the score 23-14. The Panthers Defense stepped up in the second half with some timely stops and keep the Generals off the board in the second half. Immediately after making the score 23-14, the Panther’s Defense made a big fourth down stand when OLB Seth Branham made a tackle for loss on a jet sweep. The Generals defense forced a fumble, but on the very next offensive play for the Generals, OLB Brayen Marlowe recovered a Generals fumble to give the Panthers Offense great field position on the Generals 12 yard line. The Panthers were then able to score on RB Dylan Peterson’s five yard touchdown run to make the score 23-21. That would be as close as the Panthers would get as the Generals would hold on for a 23-21 win.
Offensively, the Panthers were lead by Senior RB Dylan Peterson who ran hard on his 32 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The Panther’s Offensive Line was lead all year by Jesus Luna, Chris Quintana, Caleb Newell, BJ Maxena and Jackson Davenport. Senior WR Chase Christian lead the receivers in receiving. The Panther’s Defense was lead by Outside Linebacker Seth Branham who had eight tackles and four tackles for loss. Fellow Outside Linebacker Brayden Marlowe had seven tackles, a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss. Senior Inside Linebacker Zack Rushton added seven tackles and a tackle for loss, while Senior Safety Jon White added four tackles and a tackle for loss. The Panther’s Secondary improved when WR turned Conerback Senior Walker Lyles came over to defense after an injury midway through the season. Senior Defensive Linemen Mason Dunkin lead the Panther’s Defensive line. The disappointing loss can not over shadow a tremendous year for the Panthers who rebounded from a 3-7 season in 2019 to go 8-3 in 2020 and win a region championship for the first time since 2004.