Panthers, Stackhouse run over Samson
Georgiana High opened its 2005 football campaign with a bang as the Panthers cruised to a 45-6 victory over the Samson Tigers Friday night before a packed stadium.
Senior runningback Zane Stackhouse provided the fireworks by racking up 234 yards and four touchdowns on only nine carries.
In the first half alone, Stackhouse had touchdown runs of 44, 53, 33 and 32 yards.
As a whole, Panthers first year head coach Greg Ennis was pleased with his team's performance.
"I am proud of the team's overall performance tonight.
They went out there and executed the game plan on the offensive side and the defensive side of the ball," Ennis said.
"The coaching staff did an excellent job of preparing the players for tonight's game as well."
Asked about his first win as head coach, Ennis simply said "A win is a win.
That's the name of the game."
As for the team, both players and coaches have a motto that often phrased during practices and workouts.
Stackhouse sums it up in one sentence.
"The pride of Georgiana will not be held by the timid and weak," Stackhouse said.
The Panthers looked anything but timid and weak as the team jumped to a 6-0 lead just over a minute into the game.
Stackhouse had 63 yards on the four-play drive including a 44-yard TD run where he evaded a tackler by cutting across the field.
Senior fullback William Langham opened the initial hole at the line of scrimmage to send Stackhouse cruising down the sideline.
"My vision is number 32 (Langham)," Stackhouse said.
"He is a great blocker and I'm fortunate to being lining up with a great group of players."
After the defense stuffed the Tiger's offense, the Panthers got the ball on their 47-yard line.
On the first play, Stackhouse had an impressive 53-yard TD run.
The senior was bottled up at the line of scrimmage but instinctively spun free and raced down the sidelines for the score.
The Panthers led 12-0 with 8:13 left in the first quarter.
"Zane had an impressive night," Langham said.
"In general, the team did what was expected."
Langham closed out the scoring in the first quarter with a 1-yard run up the middle for an 18-0 lead.
Langham finished with 2 scores on the night as well as several tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
The defense was also led by Senior LB Jimmy Taylor, Freshman Rashad Brundige and Sophomore defensive back/quarterback Andre Paige.
"It was a group effort tonight," Langham said.
"Everyone contributed in this win."
In the second quarter, Taylor recovered a bad snap and the Panthers took over at the Tiger 30 yard line.
After a few flags and penalties, Stackhouse took a toss sweep 33 yards for the score.
Minutes later, the senior runningback shredded thru a defensive back for a 32 yard TD.
Senior kicker Kyle Mount added the PAT for a 31-0 lead with 5:39 left in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone, Panther junior runningback Cornelius McMeans took a 63-yard punt return to the endzone for a 38-0 lead with 3:05 left in the half.
"I saw the field open up and number 20 (Senior LaMarcus Crittenden) was the reason why," McMeans said.
"Overall, we blocked good the entire night."
McMeans also had a 77-yard punt return called back.
After coming out of halftime, the Panthers took their opening possession for a touchdown as Langham had a 9-yard scamper up the middle.
The Tigers added a late TD with 1:33 left in the contest.
Ennis had closing thoughts on the 45-6 win.
"We'll take this season one game at a time and see what happens.
As far as tonight is concerned, the team did exactly what its coaches wanted them to do. That is to win," Ennis said.
Langham has expectations for this team.
"We expect to go 15-0.
We are out here to win."
After its first game, the Georgiana Panthers are looking anything but timid and weak.
Georgiana opens their region play next Friday against Bayside Academy in Mobile at 7 p.m.