PLEASANT GROVE — Mortimer Jordan had multiple chances to steal the victory in their last drive, but their jumbo package was stopped on three straight plays inside the 2-yard line, as Pleasant Grove held on for a 32-25 win in the season opener for both teams.
After the Blue Devils marched from their own 49 with 3:31 left, with help from six Spartan penalties that included a crucial pass interference call on fourth down at their 13, running back Garrett helm could not ram through the Spartan defensive line.
It’s the second straight year that the opening contest between the two teams was decided on the last possession.
Quarterback Kourtlan Marsh threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Austin Morris and ran 23 yards for another score. In total, Marsh ran for 102 yards on 10 carries, and was 15-of-26 passing for 188 yards. Keondrick Harris caught three passes for 56 yards, and Grant Ezekiel snagged three passes for 48 yards.
Helm scored from the half-yard line, after the Devils got a second chance when he was brought down by a horse-collar tackle on the previous play on third down.
Pleasant Grove carried the day with the big plays, including a 52-yard touchdown pass from Zyquez Perryman to Chris Lewis in the first two minutes of the game, and an 80-yard scoring run by Xavier Hill, who finished with 97 yards rushing for the night. Perryman passed for 258 yards with 10 completions in 23 attempts.
In other Week 0 action:
- Corner 20, Northside 12
Salty defense and a strong effort from transfer kicker Lane Gilchrist was enough to lift Corner to a road win last Friday in Northport.
The Yellow Jackets (1-0) never trailed in their season opener, as they scored a 20-12 victory over Northside, avenging a 26-25 loss to the Rams last August.
Cameron Black started things off with a pick-6 in the first quarter to give Corner a 7-0 advantage. The visitors went to the break with a 14-12 lead after running back Nick Brashear pushed through for a short touchdown run in the second frame.
While the defense pitched a second-half shutout, Gilchrist—a transfer from Homewood—struck for two fourth-quarter field goals that sent Corner home with a road win on opening night.
The Yellow Jackets will host Oak Grove (0-1) next Friday.
- Hope Christian 66, Tabernacle Christian 28
This one got away from the Torches (0-2) early on.
Hope Christian (1-0) went for two of first-quarter touchdowns to go with a pair of successful 2-point conversions to claim a 16-0 lead, and the points just kept on coming for the home team. The Eagles went to the half with a 30-14 lead and bounced back for 22 points in the third quarter to put things out of reach.
For Tabernacle, Josiah Davis ate up 158 yards of offense (85 yards on four receptions and 73 yards on 18 carries) and ran in two touchdowns. Quarterback Drew Peters completed eight of his 24 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown to Bryant Howard. Trey Andrews caught two passes for 43 yards in the loss.
The Torches are back on the road this Friday at Lighthouse Homeschool.
- Maplesville 40, Fultondale 6
For the second year in a row, Class 3A Fultondale started the season with a lopsided loss against Class 1A Maplesville.
The Wildcats (0-1) will take a week off before returning to play at Locust Fork on Sept. 6.