“We got a lot of those guys playing and I am proud for the seniors,” Pell City coach Brooks Dampeer said.
Dampeer said his team needed to make a game-changing play on special teams going into Friday’s game, and the first year head coach got what he wanted.
Jalen Lipscomb returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown to put the Panthers up 6-0.
Jackson Williamson had a huge first half throwing the football. He went 23-29 for 186 yards. He also rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
“I am very proud of him,” Dampeer said. “They forced us to throw the ball. They played seven in the box, so we had to throw it. We caught the ball well, so I am proud for those guys catching the ball and Jackson throwing it.”
On Pell City’s first offensive possession of the night, Williamson went 5-5 for 49 yards. His 20-yard strike to Christopher Evans down to the Generals’ 1 yard line. On the next play, Damaurian Wills scored to give the Panthers a 12-0 lead.
Pell City (5-3, 4-2) put together a 70 yard drive for a touchdown on their next possession. A face mask penalty on an Ira Burch run gave the Panthers the ball at the Lee 26 yard line. Williamson connected with Burch for an 11-yard gain down to the 15 yard line. Williamson capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. Ryan Curran’s PAT was good to give Pell City a 19-0 lead with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
Williamson continued to effectively move the ball down the field with his arm. The junior went 6-7 passing on the drive for 51 yards. He connected with Peyton Brownlee three times for 39 yards. Brownlee’s 10-yard reception gave the Panthers a first down on the Generals’ 16 yard line. Williamson capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good to make it 26-0.
Pell City received another big play from their special teams midway through the second quarter. Cody Roberts returned a punt to the Lee Scott 33 yard line. Williamson connected with Evans for a 27-yard completion. Wills scored a few plays later from four yards out to increase the Pell City lead to 33-0 with 7:03 left in the first half.
Curran ended the half with a 34-yard field to put the Panthers ahead 36-0 at intermission.
The Generals fumbled the football on their first possession of the second half. Pell City’s Jereal Shepard recovered the fumble.
Curran hit his second field goal of the game, this time from 25 yards out, to give Pell City a 39-0 lead.
Tyler Byas for Lee Scott scored with 1:23 left in the third quarter to cut the Pell City lead to 39-6.
Dupree added a field goal to increase Pell City’s lead to 42-6.
Lorenzo Mastin scored a 73-yard touchdown on the Panthers second string defense to cut the Pell City lead to 42-12.
Lipscomb returned his second kickoff for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The senior took the kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown to give Pell City a 49-12 advantage.
“I really didn’t get that much action on defense, so I had to do something on special teams or where else I was playing tonight,” Lipscomb said. “I just took advantage of it and I took two of them to the house.”
Pell City’s backup quarterback Diceson Duck scored to give Panthers a 56-12 advantage.
Brownlee led Pell City with six catches for 90 yards. Evan had eight catches for 80 yards.
The Panthers travel to Oxford next week with a playoff berth at stake. Last season, Pell City defeated Oxford, which eliminated them from postseason contention.
“Everybody gets excited about playing Oxford,” Dampeer said. “It is the next game and we have to play well. We have to do the things that we do and we have to play a mistake-free game to be competitive.”