PELL CITY -- Clay-Chalkville cruised past an undermanned and overmatched Pell City 61-0 on Friday night at Pete Rich Stadium.
The Panthers are plagued with injuries at key positions, including quarterback, where they were without their first- and second-string players Friday. Mitchell Gossett suffered a hand injury against Etowah, while Collier Slovensky suffered a knee injury against Huffman.
Third-string quarterback Kolton Fincher’s first career start came against one of the top defenses in the Class 6A, and it didn’t go well.
The Panthers were limited to 15 yards of offense. Pell City had 24 yards passing and minus-9 rushing.
Defensively, Pell City allowed 522 yards of offense.
Willie Miller led the way for the Cougars. The senior signal-caller accounted for four touchdowns in the first half to help Clay-Chalkville take a 30-0 lead at halftime. Miller threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another.
“I was happy with the way the game started, we had a good drive going right there,” Pell City head coach Wayne Lee said. “They went down and scored, and (on their next possession), we got a stop. It was 7-0 right there in the first quarter, and we battling pretty good.
“It went downhill, we are not as good as they are. We really challenged them at halftime to come out and play better in the second half. We are down a quarterback, and that doesn’t help. We got some guys that didn’t play tonight. It wasn’t a good game not to be at 100 percent.”
Three to know
- Clay-Chalkville receiver Jamichael Thompson had his way with Pell City’s secondary. Thompson had touchdown receptions of 39 and 23 yards.
- Miller had an efficient outing for the Cougars, finishing 18 of 24 passing for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 49 yards and a score.
- This was the most points Pell City has allowed in a game since 2007, when the Panthers allowed rival Oxford to score 59.
- Clay-Chalkville head coach Drew Gilmer on the win: “It is a good win for us. Anytime you get a region win, especially on the road, it is a great win. But still, we have a lot of room to improve. On defense, we have to improve our tackling. Offensively, we have to finish drives. We can’t have all the penalties that we had offensively … We have a lot of stuff to clean up.”
- Lee on what he wants to see from his team the final three games of the season: “I want to see them compete. ... We have a tall order next week against the defending state champion and the No. 1 team in the state, Pinson Valley. It is going to be a huge challenge.”
- Pell City travels to take on No. 1 Pinson Valley on Friday night.
- Clay-Chalkville hosts Oxford on Friday night. The Cougars and Yellow Jackets are battling for the second seed in 6A, Region 6. Both teams are 6-1 and 3-1 in region play.