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Luverne pounds Panthers

Georgiana sophomore running back Latrell Seals scored on a 3-yard run in Georgiana’s 50-20, season-opening loss to Class 3A Luverne. The Panthers will look to bounce back Friday when they travel to Florala to open region play. (Advocate Staff/ Ashley Vansant)

Georgiana School head coach David Watts didn’t like what he saw Friday night.

“It was a pretty good junior high game,” the first-year head coach said.

Unfortunately, what Watts was watching wasn’t a junior high game. It was the Panthers’ season opener — a 50-20 loss to Class 3A Luverne.

“We just got whipped,” Watts said. “We got physically whipped. We knew coming in that Luverne was a physical team, and they showed that.”

The Tigers (1-0) gained control of the game early, racing to a 15-0 lead just 4:23 into the first quarter thanks to a 3-yard touchdown run by junior Jamarcus June, a safety after a high snap sailed over Georgiana punter Christopher Blackburn’s head and a 33-yard touchdown run by senior Tige Townsend. From there, the Tigers never looked back, leading by as many as 44 points at one time. Luverne’s starters exited the game with 2:33 left to play in the second quarter and sat for the remainder of the game.

“Once they really got out there on us coach (Les) Sanders was nice enough to put his junior high guys in,” Watts said. “So, we put ours in and it basically amounted to a junior high game.”

The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter when Jacquez Payton broke free for a 41-yard touchdown scamper. The extra point attempt failed leaving Georgiana trailing 44-6.

Payton added another score with 3:14 left in the quarter and sophomore Latrell Seals scored with 6:56 remaining in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

“We had some guys that kept fighting and we had some guys that quit on us. We’re going to figure out who’s going to fight and by gosh those are the kids that are going to play.”

Georgiana (0-1) will be back in action Friday when it travels to Florala.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.