Georgiana aims for 7-3 finish, best since 1996

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There are many measures of success for a high school football team, but few are as apparent as the number in the wins column.

Friday marks the opportunity for the Georgiana Panthers to end the season at 7-3, which is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1996.

But the happy ending won’t come easily, as the Panthers face a familiar opponent in the 2A Highland Home Flying Squadron Friday at home.

Email newsletter signup

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the Flying Squadron are as dangerous now as they ever have been.

“They’ve got some athletic kids that can make plays for them, the kids play hard and, running that wing-T, they can hit big plays and cause trouble for you if you’re not disciplined in your assignments.

The trap, buck sweep, counter and bootleg pass are all tools of the trade for the Highland offense, and Powell added that their execution is markedly improved over their initial efforts at the beginning of the season.

“They have the ability to make those big plays happen, and we have to limit those the best we can,” Powell added.

“When we get the ball on offense, we’ve got to be able to put it in the end zone to put the pressure on them.”

A seventh win for the Panthers would not only give them the best regular-season finish in 18 years, but it would also mark a significant turnaround for the program in just a short two years since Powell has been at the helm (seven wins would tie the Panthers’ efforts over the previous three seasons combined).

Powell said that the drive to improve was a fight for relevancy in the region, and to prove to the community, the opposing teams and, most importantly, to the players themselves that the Panthers are back on track.

The younger generation of Panthers have also faced a great deal of adversity, as a two-game suspension for three players left underclassmen to fill some relatively large shoes.

To Powell, it was invaluable lesson.

“They understand now more than ever how important their role is and, because they were prepared, we were able to put some young guys in at some places and continue to be successful,” Powell said.

“I’ve got to get my young seventh and eighth graders coming to understand that this is the blueprint. Once that group buys in, between those three classes, they’ll keep telling all of the seventh graders that are coming that this is how we continue to stay successful, and if you continue to work like we did, you’ll continue to reap the rewards on Friday night.”

The Panthers square off with the Flying Squadron Friday night in Georgiana at 7 p.m.