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Panthers take on 5A Shelby County

Over the last two weeks, the Butler County Magnet School Panthers have gone a surprising 2-0, but they’ve got their work cut out for them to make it to 3-0.

The Panthers will travel to Shelby County to play the 5A Shelby County Wildcats this Friday.

“They’re a big, physical team,” said head coach Shane Smothers. “I feel like I say this every week. Our first two games have helped prepare us for this style of play. Our kids are playing harder because we’ve been outmatched size-wise.”

The Wildcats are a run-oriented team with a strong option attack, but Smothers said his defense will have to be strong up the middle because Shelby County will use the size advantage to pound the ball.

“Their defense is also very good,” he said. “They shut out Pell City, who’s a 6A team. Our offense definitely has their work cut out for them.”

Although BCMS had some success through the air last Friday night, the Panthers will stick to a ground game this week.

“We’re going to pass it if we need to, because our goal is to win,” Smothers said. “If it takes running it 40 times, we’ll do it. We work on passing, but that’s not our plan.”

The Panthers are also excited about being 2-0 and going back to Shelby County to play in a big-game atmosphere.

“We’ve been really excited about going up there and playing in that big stadium in front of all those people,” Smothers said. “I don’t think we’re intimidated at all.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Columbiana.