Panthers and Tigers set for Friday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Georgiana High School Panthers have only played in front of their home crowd twice this season. Both times though, they were able to leave their fans happy. Friday night was no different.

The Panthers rolled to a 50-0 win over the Flomaton Hurricanes. The win snapped a four-year losing streak that had been dominated by the Hurricanes.

"We did a lot of things well against Flomaton," said Keith York, coach of the Panthers. "It's the first time we've beaten them in four years. It was also a regional win. That gives us two regional wins for the season. Defensively I thought we played a good game also."

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Friday night, the Panthers look to extend their winning streak by knocking off the Tigers of Red Level.

"It's a region game," York said. "Red Level has a real good football team. They have a lot of speed. We just need to play well, need to have a real good game Friday night."

But, a win is not going to be an easy task.

The Tigers are coming off a 35-26 shootout victory over Excel Friday night.

"Was a very good football game, they came over and we knew they had a good team and their record really doesn't show," said Clint McCrory, coach of the Tigers. "Excel has been in four really tight games this year, and they made ours a tight game. They played really good offensively and got after us pretty good. They didn't stop us offensively either, we ran the ball and threw the ball pretty good."

The Tigers will be led by their quarterback Russell Rigdon, and their tailback Princeton Ryce.

Defensively, they are anchored by three linebackers, Chaz Maloy, Dominique Williams and Even Kerbin. Troy Staley at defensive end and Josh O'Ferrell at offensive and defensive line are also players that York and his Panthers are going to have to keep their eyes on.

But, Red Level is also concerned about some of the Georgiana players as well.

"Georgiana has a huge football team with a running back as quick as we've seen,"

said McCrory. "Their quarterback is extremely good and they have a fullback that blocks

pretty well."

McCrory was also interested in finding out how to stop their running back.

"They have an extremely explosive because this running back, Zane McMeans, an eleventh grader that's 5'8 and can fly, We exchanged film with a couple of teams earlier and we saw this kid. I think he touched the ball twice, the first time he went 87 yards and the second was nearly as long," McCrory said.

"We've got to shut down their whole offense. Their quarterback does some stuff that can put anyone in a bind. They have a fullback that can do some stuff and that center that turns around and plays linebacker is very tough."

With each team's schedule's dwindling down, wins are becoming more and more important to each team.

As it stands right now, the Tigers are sitting in the No. 2 position in the region with their lone loss being a defeat by Leroy. But, they have picked up wins over Southern Choctaw and Washington County.

"A win Friday night will put us at three wins against two losses and any team is going to need four wins to get in the playoffs," York said.

"We have three chances to get two wins. We have Excel and Washington County left and both of those are at home. If we could get this one on the road Friday night, it will be a big win for us."

The Panthers two losses are to Southern Choctaw and Leroy. Red Level's only loss is to Leroy.

"As it stands right now we are in a tie for second. We had a win against Southern Choctaw," McCrory said.

"Our only loss is to Leroy who is beating everyone in the region. Its going to be a fun game."

"But, it really won't play out for three weeks with people playing head to head. Georgiana is the team that can play their way in by beating people. They are a very good football team and have played very good football all year long."

Kickoff for Friday night's game is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be played in Red Level.