LEEDS -- The Shades Valley High School football team forced four turnovers in a 21-3 win over Class 6A, Region 6 foe Pell City on Saturday afternoon at Homer-Smiles Stadium in Leeds.
Turnovers, as well as missed opportunities, plagued a Panthers’ offense that desperately needed to have some success after being shut out the previous two weeks.
“We couldn’t finish on offense,” Pell City head coach Wayne Lee said. “We got down there and had a chance to score, but we didn’t do it.
“I really don’t think we played that bad on defense except for two of three plays where we gave up touchdowns. We have to find a way to finish on offense. We have to get some guys out there, maybe some of the guys on defense, I don’t know, but we have to get some guys that can finish for us.”
The game was postponed Friday and moved to Leeds on Saturday due to the field conditions at Pell City.
Heavy rain throughout the game caused ball-handling issues for both teams. Both lost a fumble in the first three plays of the game.
The Mounties got things going on their second possession, putting together an 85-yard drive for a score. Earl Woods connected with DeAndre Olds on a jet sweep touch pass for a 13-yard touchdown to give Shades Valley a 7-0 lead with 7:04 left in the opening quarter.
Turnovers hurt the Panthers in the second quarter. Mitchell Gossett was picked off by Joshua Allen, who returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 14-0 with 7:56 left before intermission.
Gossett threw his second interception of the game on the ensuing possession, but the Mounties were unable to capitalize as they were whistled for three penalties.
Penalties on Shades Valley also helped the Panthers on their lone scoring drive of the game. Shades Valley was flagged three times during the march, which included an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a personal foul that helped Pell City reach the Shades Valley 11-yard line.
The Panthers, however, had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Ethan Jett to cut the lead to 14-3 at halftime.
The rain picked up to start the third quarter, but that wasn’t enough to slow Shades Valley’s offense. The Mounties went into their bag of tricks as Jordan Pearson took the handoff on a reverse around the left end for a 21-yard touchdown.
Three to know
-Pell City’s offense struggled. The Panthers only had 139 yards on the afternoon. Gossett went 7-for-13 passing for 47 yards and two interceptions. Pell City rushed for 92 yards on 39 attempts.
-Shades Valley rushed for 206 of their 244 yards of total offense on Saturday The Mounties turned the ball over twice.
-After the game, parents from both teams were involved in an incident. Parents from Pell City and Shades Valley had to be separated. Multiple players were in the stands from Shades Valley. Pell City also had a player that went into the stands. Coaches were able to get their players away from the incident that did not turn physical. Both sides, however, had to be separated again in the parking lot before several members of the Leeds Police Department arrived.
Shades Valley head coach David Partridge on the win: “We will take the win. Wins have been hard to come by this year. We have had a bunch of guys injured. I was proud of our kids (because) under the conditions we were able to score enough points to win. I am a little disappointed with all the penalties that we had that kind of hurt us. We would’ve scored a little more. Pell City has a better team than their record is. I thought they had a good team, and they played hard.”
Partridge on the incident where some of his players went into the stands after the game: “The thing that worries me and bothers me about it is they think that is OK running up there, but you may run into somewhere where you end up getting shot. Like I told them in (the locker room), that’s not acceptable behavior because it is going to lead into something more serious later on. You may end up in the wrong place and end up getting shot. I don’t want to go to their funeral. I want them to come to my funeral, not quickly, but later on. I don’t want to go to theirs. We will in-house discipline our guys that got involved, but luckily, it didn’t escalate to anything. No punches were thrown. ”
Shades Valley will close its season with a game Friday at Spain Park.
Pell City will close its season at home against Chelsea on Friday. The Panthers will be celebrating senior night.