The Panthers' Ira Burch outgained the visiting Aggies in total yards all by himself (211-175).
"We work hard every day in practice," said Burch's backfield mate, fellow senior Demaurian Wills. "Our offensive line did a great job blocking for us to lead the way."
How good? The Panthers possessed the ball five times in the first three quarters, and scored on all but one of those possessions.
"We just play hard," he said. "I'm not sure if we know how good we can be yet. We just play hard, and see what the scoreboard says at the end."
How good? Albertville Joel Poole could do nothing after the game except give credit where it was due.
"Pell City is well-coached and they have some great athletes," Poole said. "All I can say is, I take my hat off to them."
Add it all up, and the Panthers moved to 1-0 in region play, and 2-0 overall with a dominating 34-7 victory over the Aggies at Pete Rich Stadium.
"It's really important," Wills said. "We just take it game by game."
Wills and the rest of the Panther offense keyed a quick-strike offense that staked the Panthers to an early lead in the first quarter. After two quick first downs, senior quarterback Jackson Williamson found Burch for 37-yard completion. Williamson carried it in from 5 yards out, and the Panthers led 7-0 early after Ryan Curran's extra point.
"Demaurian is a bruiser, a big back with good feet," said Pell City head coach Brooks Dampeer. "Ira is a quick-twitch player and he's very physical. But I have to tell you, Jackson Williamson was the third threat in the backfield tonight."
Williamson and Burch hooked up on the next possession to set up another touchdown – the senior signal caller found Burch streaking down the middle of the field for a 66-yard toss, to the Aggies' 1-yard line. Williamson converted the final yard on the next play, and Curran's point made it 14-0.
"The two big strikes early just killed us," Poole said. "They lined up and took it to us, and really did whatever they wanted."
On the next Panther possession, a 24-yard run by Wills moved the ball deep inside Aggie territory. Burch carried to the Aggies' 1, and Wills finished things off on the next play, making the score 20-0.
Wills finished with 15 carries for 80 yards, and two scores. Burch carried the ball 8 times for 108 yards, and caught two passes for another 103. Williamson finished with 110 yards passing, and added 48 on the ground.
The Panthers scored the crusher just before the half. After Williamson's only mistake – an interception by Albertville's Braxton Morris – the Panthers' Milton Bothwell stepped in front of Aggie quarterback Austin Pankey's pass, and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown with 45 seconds left in the half.
At halftime, the Panthers led 27-0.
"We've been bend but don't break on defense all year," said Dampeer. "We keep preaching, just make them snap the ball one more time."
An Aggie drive covered 65 yards and most of the third quarter to open the second half, culminating in a one-yard run by Pankey on fourth-and-goal to make it 27-7. Pankey finished with 12 carries for 30 yards, and completed 4-of-7 passes for 15 yards. The Aggies' (1-1, 0-1) leading rusher was junior Parker Poole, who carried the football 11 times for 47 yards.
Pell City answered quickly, as Burch carried twice for 35 yards, with an extra boost from a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Wills capped things by going in from a yard out, and Curran made it 34-7.
"It's good to get a win," Dampeer said. "Our thing was, we wanted to finish the second half. We got a little sloppy there. It's a good win and it's good to see the kids have confidence."
Pell City continues in region play next Friday, traveling to Huntsville to face Grissom. Albertville will return home to face Clay-Chalkville.