John Goolsby, Prep Sports Editor
IRONDALE – Shades Valley (3-2) pulled out a big win Friday night on Homecoming. The Mounties defeated Bessemer City (2-4) 41-40.
Senior quarterback Steve Brown threw three touchdowns, including the game winner, and rushed for another score.
Bessemer got on the board first with a 25-yard run for a score with 11:38 in the first quarter.
The Mounties answered with a 78-yard pass from Brown to Ji’Quez Daniels to tie the score at 7-7 with 9:28 in the first quarter.
Bessemer took a 9-7 lead with a safety at the 7:15 mark in the first period.
The Mounties regained the lead, 14-9, on a one-yard touchdown run by Ethan Johnson with 2:09 in the first.
Johnson added a two-yard touchdown run with 6:12 remaining to stretch the Valley lead to 21- 9.
Bessemer marched down the field and scored on a one-yard quarterback keeper and converted a two-point conversion with 39 seconds in the half to make the score Shades Valley 21 Bessemer 17.
Shades Valley was forced to punt on their first drive of the third quarter.
Bessemer then completed a 35-yard pass to the Shades Valley nine-yard line.
Bessemer scored on a three-yard touchdown and again convert the two-point conversion with 7:45 in the third period to take a four point lead, 25-21.
The Mounties struck quickly. Jayden Gilmore scored on a 61-yard swing pass from Brown to give Valley a 28-25 lead with 5:45 in the third quarter.
Bessemer hit another big play. This time, a 48-yard pass to the Mountie one yard line.
Bessemer scored on a one-yard run and converted the two-point conversion to retake the lead with 4:28 in the third quarter.
Bessemer would score again with 9:28 in the game to stretch the lead to 40-28.
The Mounties drove 68 yards down the field and cut the lead to five with 6:29 remaining in the game on a touchdown run by Brown.
Bessemer got the ball back and attempted to run the clock out. Inexplicably, the Bessemer coaching staff chose to go for the first down deep inside their own territory on fourth down.
Linebacker Jarred Brundidge made a big play by tackling the runner for a loss.
The Mounties held and took over at the Tiger 19.
Brown hit Javien Williams with a six-yard touchdown pass with 3:45 to play to give the Mounties a 41-40 lead. The two-point conversion failed.
The Tigers drove the ball to the Mountie 30-yard line. On fourth down, Johnson sacked the Bessemer quarterback, and the Mounties took over and ran the clock out.
“The kids were down by twelve with five minutes to go,” said Mountie head coach Rueben Nelson. “They came back and won.”
“I appreciate the way they fought,” he said.
“”It’s a big win because it was the next game,” he said. “Anytime you can get a win, it’s a good win.”
“The kids are still learning to play ball,” he said. “I appreciate everyone coming out for homecoming and we will continue to get better.”
Shades Valley travels to Center Point to take on the Eagles in a crucial region game.