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Georgiana rolls over Fruitdale

The Georgiana Panthers overcame a long bus ride and short numbers to defeat Fruitdale 21-7.

“We only had 22 players dressed out tonight, and we lost Adones [Peterson] in the first quarter to an ankle injury,” said head coach Shane Smothers. “We had some people step in and play their tails off.”

One of the areas of concern for Georgiana in previous weeks had been the offense, particularly the offensive line.

“Of course I haven’t seen the tapes, but I think we blocked better,” Smothers said. “Deven [Cheatham] ran well, LaJordan [Crittenden] ran well, and Kevin [Brogden] did a good job of running the offense.”

The Panthers fell behind in the first quarter of the game, but that would be Fruitdale’s only points of the night.

Georgiana tied the score up with a slant pass from Brogden to Damien McIntosh inside the 10-yard line.

Later in the half, Cheatham punched in a touchdown from the three-yard line, but the kick failed and the Panthers led 13-7 at halftime.

In the second half, Cheatham broke a 50-yard run on third down and one, and then he converted the two-points for a 21-7 lead.

“The second quarter was some of the best defense we’ve played all year,” Smothers said.

Tay Hamilton finished the game with two interceptions and Rodrick Griffin also had one.

Next week, the Panthers face McIntosh in Georgiana.

“I’m very proud of how we played, and we’ve got a very talented team coming in next week,” Smothers said. “The kids are playing hard and playing some good team football, and we need a sellout crowd to come support them. We’ve gotten two wins in a row and everyone’s excited.”

“Instead of a Georgia blackout, we’ll have a Georgiana blue-out,” he added with a laugh.