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Homewood holds off Pelham to win first annual Milo’s Kickoff Classic

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Homewood, AL – If the first two quarters of the season are any indication, the Pelham Panthers (0-1) are much improved going into Tom Causey’s second season in North Shelby County.

The Panthers, who are coming off a 1-9 campaign in 2015, held the Homewood Patriots (1-0) scoreless in the first half of the inaugural Milo’s Kickoff Classic at Samford University before eventually falling to the Pats 21-14.

After a scoreless first quarter, featuring three missed field goals, two by the Panthers, Pelham running back Derrick Bush broke the stalemate with a touchdown run from inside the five yard line with less than two minutes to play before the break.  The Jose Jimenez Lopes extra point gave the Panthers a 7-0 advantage after the first half of play.

Pelham extended their lead to 14-0 on a Matthew Rye to Edward Gibson touchdown strike from 23 yards out with 1:47 remaining in the third to extend the Panther lead to 14-0.

Homewood finally got on the board with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a 37 yard Chestin Jones touchdown run, narrowing Pelham’s lead to a single score at 14-7.

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Midway throught the 4th, Jones struck again, this time from the Panther 1 yard line evening the score at 14 a piece.

Late in the 4th Homewood recovered a Pelham fumble at the Panther 19 yard line setting up what would be Chestin Jones’ third touchdown of the evening, this one from three yards out.  Ibrahima Sylla’s third point after with 1:10 remaining in the game gave Homewood the lead and the victory in the season opener for the two 6A programs.

Jones finished the game with 117 yards on the ground, while accounting for all of the Patriots three scores.  Homewood head coach Ben Berguson commented after the game that Chestin Jones “will be the difference” in the Patriots season, adding, “our success depends on how good he runs, we just have to keep him healthy”.

Homewood returns to action Friday night, traveling to over the mountain rival Vestavia Hills (1-0) at Thompson Reynolds Stadium.

Pelham will look to even their record at 1-1 as 2015 5A state runner up Mortimer Jordan (0-1) travels to Ned Bearden Stadium.