Panthers looking to finish season strong

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Postseason play has once again eluded the Georgiana Panthers this season, but there is more on the line in this Friday night’s matchup with the Florala Wildcats than a playoff bid.

“We haven’t had a winning season here in a long time, and for the seniors that will be a big accomplishment for them,” said Georgiana head coach Ezell Powell.

“So we want to go out Friday night and try to get a win and ensure that we won’t have a losing season this year, and that will just be a great start for year one.”

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A win Friday would give the Panthers five wins on the 2013 season, which would be the most wins in a single season for Georgiana since 2009.

But the Panthers face tough opposition in the form of a persistent Wildcats’ running game that has exposed even the most capable of Class 1A defenses.

Powell said that one trait is more important than any defense coverage he could scheme up to prevent the Wildcats from repeating their success on the ground.

“I told it to my guys yesterday, it’s about being disciplined when you play a team like Florala,” Powell said. “Because of what they do offensively, someone can break a long run on you for a touchdown if you don’t play your assignment right on every snap. But we’ve just got to be disciplined in what we’re supposed to do, do a great job of running to the football and making tackles and just playing fundamentally sound on defense to give ourselves a chance.”

Competing with and defeating a worthy opponent like the Wildcats has its own rewards for Powell, but the victory Friday would mean more than just another notch in the win column for the record books.

“For us, our community and our seniors, it would mean a lot,” Powell said. “We have three seniors on the team and it’s their last home game, so I know it would mean a lot to them to get a win at home during their last game and that’s one they’ll remember for a  long time.”

Georgiana quarterback Jacquez Powell sat out last week’s game due to a knee injury, but he is scheduled to play on Friday night, although how much or to what capacity has yet to be determined.

Georgiana and Florala will face off at 7 p.m. at Harmon Field.