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Panthers prepare for 5A Shelby County

The Georgiana Panthers have been playing region opponents since the season started, but this week, they play out of the region and up in classification.

The Panthers will travel to Shelby County to take on the Shelby County Wildcats.

The Wildcats pulled off the upset of the young season last week by defeating Briarwood Christian.

“They are by far the best team we’ve played, and will be one of the best teams we play all year, regardless of how deep we go into the playoffs,” said head coach Shane Smothers. “They are a big, strong, physical team, and they’re run-oriented. So far, they’ve run 72 percent of the time, and it would have been more if they hadn’t tried to get a few scores in just before halftime.”

The Wildcats have a strong option attack, and Smothers said he expects them to run right at the Panthers.

Despite the difference in size, Smothers said spirits are high in Georgiana.

“This isn’t a region game, and we finally get to come home next week,” he said. “They have a couple of players that play on both sides of the ball, and it’s good for our kids to see film of them going both ways and playing hard every play.”

The Panthers are fighting a few personnel issues – Rashad Brundidge injured his knee last week in practice, and they’re still waiting on the results of the MRI.

He could be out anywhere from four to six weeks to the rest of the season.

David Stallworth is also day-to-day with a knee injury.

Despite that, Smothers said the Panthers believe they can win.

“We believe in what we’re doing, and we’re going to keep working,” he said. “We’re outmatched and undersized, but we’ve got to believe. It’s going to be a David against Goliath fight, but David believed.”

“It’s good to be the underdog, and we want the Georgiana faithful to stick with us,” Smothers added.