• 55°

Panthers not overlooking Fruitdale

Fruitdale put a scare into the Sweet Water Bulldogs last Friday night, and they will be facing off against the Butler County Magnet School Panthers this week in a big region matchup.

“Against Sweet Water, they finally put together four quarters of football,” said BCMS head coach Shane Smothers.

The Pirates lost to McIntosh and J.U. Blacksher by more than 20 points each, but the scores were 3-0 and 7-0, respectively, at the half.

“This time of year, you always get coaches talking about teams are better than their record, and that’s definitely the case with them,” Smothers said. “They could easily be 4-0. They’re very tough to beat if they play four quarters.”

Both teams have a lot at stake: the Pirates are 1-3 in region play and fighting for a playoff berth.

The Panthers are 2-0 in the region and looking to the postseason.

“They’re feeling that they have to win out to make the playoffs, plus we beat them at their place last year,” Smothers said. “We’ve got a chance to go 3-0 in the region and maybe start thinking about homefield, but they’ve got a good reason to be motivated this week.”

The Panthers have been without running back LaJordan Crittenden and Tay Feagin, but both should be back this week.

Smothers said Rickey Everett has a doctor’s appointment later this week, and more will be known about his situation after that.

“They’re a very physical team, and they also have a lot of team speed. They’ll match us in speed for the first time this season, and hopefully we can adjust,” Smothers said. “I expect a big crowd here because there’s a lot of excitement, and we need everyone here.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Harmon Field.