Panthers to make long trek to Fruitdale

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Georgiana’s football schedule is filled with long road trips this season, and their longest one is set for Friday night when the Panthers travel to Fruitdale.

Fruitdale is less than two miles from the Alabama-Mississippi state line.

“A hundred and fifty miles is a long way,” said head coach Shane Smothers. “We’re excited coming off a win last week, and we’re trying to keep the momentum up and not use the long trip for an excuse. We’ve got to get off the bus and be ready to play. We’ve got to be ready long before we get on the bus.”

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The Pirates have been fighting injuries this season, but Smothers said he expects them to be at full strength for the Panthers.

He also said Fruitdale reminds him of his team on offense.

“They run the spread, and they’re a lot like us,” Smothers said. “They will go to the I-formation sometimes.”

He said they have a number of different weapons on offense.

“Their quarterback is good running the spread, and their tailback is one of the quickest backs we’ll see all year,” he said. “He’s only 5-8, 155 pounds, but all the scouting reports and videos show that he’s their go-to guy.”

Defensively, the Pirates are sound, including a defensive tackle that weighs in at 6-4, 265 pounds.

Both teams are in need of a region win.

“They’re a lot better than their record, and we’re both in a bind looking for a win,” Smothers said. “Hopefully we can stay focused, stay positive and build on our team chemistry and maturity and play better football.”