Panthers shut out Keith Bears
Though the two teams beat the ensuing inclement weather, a wet field spelled doom for the Keith High School as the Georgiana Panthers smothered the Bears 34-0.
The juggling act began almost immediately for the Bears as Brian Crum made his way to the sideline on a quarterback keeper, only for Sir Jalen Scott to disrupt the play in the backfield and cause a fumble at the Bears’ own 30-yard line.
The short field was easily managed in four plays as Jamichael Stallworth connected with Jacquez Payton on a post route and a six-yard follow-up rush down the middle from Cameron Longmire for the Panthers’ first touchdown.
Christian Williams added two to give the Panthers an early 8-0 lead with 9:14 remaining in the first quarter.
A combination of nerds and wet turf plagued the Bears’ second drive, as a fumbled kickoff return pinned Keith deep within their own territory. And a high snap, blocked by a host of Panthers and recovered by Daquan Crenshaw, set up an easy four-yard Stallworth keeper for a 16-0 lead three minutes later.
Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that he was pleased with his defensive unit’s first-half efforts, but also with how helpful the homefield advantage proved in the matchup.
“I was happy to see the community come out and support the kids,” Powell said. “We had a good crowd, and the kids loved the energy.
“They came out and tried to prove what we’ve been talking about all year long—that we can at least compete with the best. They came out tonight and played hard, and got us off to a great start.”
The Keith offense helped Georgiana’s first-half start with another turnover as a flustered Crum searched for daylight in the backfield on the Bears’ third drive, but several Panthers stripped him once again near the Bears’ 30-yard line, setting up another short field.
Though the Bears’ defense held firm on two separate occasions with their backs to the goal line, a botched 4-yard punt within the end zone snuffed out the last bit of Keith momentum before the half, setting up an easy seven-yard score and a 28-0 Panther lead.
Powell added that the Panthers’ defense proved the true star of the evening, earning its fourth home shutout of the season.
“Coach Jacobs does a great job with the defense, and he puts a game plan together that he wants to execute,” Powell said. “Those kids believe in it, and when zeroes are going up on the scoreboard, you know they’re doing what he’s asking of them. I’m pleased with what he’s done for us this year, and we’re just looking forward to at least one more week of this.”
The Georgiana Panthers will travel to Billingsley Friday for a second-round square-off. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.