Late score lifts Homewood over Pelham in season opener

Homewood, AL – Running back Nicholas McCoy scampered into the endzone with 0:29 seconds to play to lift the Homewood Patriots over the Pelham Panthers in the second annual Milo’s Kickoff Classic Thursday night at Samford University’s Seibert Stadium.  

Head coach Ben Berguson’s Patriots controlled the contest through the first three quarters, holding Pelham to a single score, until midway through the third period.  

Homewood lead 15-7 at the half courtesy of a Kristopher Wilkins 40 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, a safety late in the first and a Larkin Williams 35 yard TD toss to TyShawn Buckner.  

Pelham’s Brandon Sledge added the Panthers only points before the break, darting in for a two yard score following a Patriot fumble deep in their own territory.  

Early in the third the Patriots expanded their lead to 22-7 as Buckner and Williams hooked up for their second score of the night.  This one from 15 yards out.  

Pelham’s comeback sparked in the waning seconds of the third with a Nicolas Blackburn 8 yard touchdown run and Matthew Rye two point conversion cutting the Patriot lead to 22-15 with 0:38 seconds to play in the third.  

After recovering a gutsy onside kick, the Panthers evened the score at 22 two and a half minutes into the final period as Sledge scored his second rushing TD from inside the five yard line.  

Momentum looked to be shifting in the Panthers favor midway through the fourth as Tyler Hawkins picked off a Williams pass near midfield but the Pelham offense stalled and handed the ball back to the Patriots with just under 5:00 remaining.  

Williams and company marched the Pats 64 yards to the Panther 21 yard line to set up McCoy’s late game heroics from 21 yards out.  

The win extends the Patriots winning streak over the Panthers to four games, the last two being played at Homewood’s home closer to home, Seibert Stadium.  

Homewood returns to action at Over the Mountain rival Vestavia Hills next week.  Pelham welcomes the 2016 5A region 6 champion Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils to Ned Bearden Stadium.