Georgiana falls to Notasulga

Published 12:02 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Notasulga Blue Devils rallied in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead for the final time to edge out the Georgiana Panthers 26-21 in the first round of the playoffs.

But the Blue Devils had a little help from Georgiana themselves—the Panthers finished the night with five turnovers, the last of which contributed to the Blue Devils’ final score.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the game got off on the wrong foot and never truly recovered.

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“We started out from the very first play of the game with a pass that they called a lateral,” Powell said.

“They picked it up and took it to the house for a touchdown.”

Georgiana would retaliate in no time with a  score on the very next drive, and the Panthers would manage to keep a lead for the majority of the night, thanks to solid effort on the defensive side of the ball.

But Powell said that the turnovers, combined with poor execution on offense, were two hurdles that proved too difficult to overcome.

“We had two interceptions and three fumbles, and you can’t do that and think you’re going to win a ball game,” Powell added.

Despite the sour ending note, Powell said that he was thoroughly pleased with his team’s effort year-round.

Ten seniors led the 2014 Panthers team to the first seven-win regular season in 18 years, and the first playoff appearance since 2009.

“My seniors did a great job of leading us this year,” Powell said.

“They took us to heights we haven’t seen in a very long time.  I’m extremely proud of them, and not only them, but also the community that got behind us and supported us as well as the administration.”

“We’re looking forward to the future of the program, because we’re headed in the right direction.”

Powell said that the 10 outgoing seniors were no small loss, but the rebuilding phase is a challenge he’s looking forward to.

“That’s a big group to lose, and all of them were pretty much starters,” Powell said.  “We’re going to be rebuilding next year, but even with the young talent I’ve got, I think we have the chance to make the playoffs again.”