Panthers square off in intrasquad 7-on-7 competition

Published 9:20 pm Saturday, August 5, 2017

Some last-minute changes to the program had the Georgiana Panthers resorting to plan B Thursday evening during a planned scrimmage between its varsity football players.

The original plan was for the Panthers to square off against Georgiana alumni in a battle of old vs. new school.  However, AHSAA officials ruled the contest was illegal. 

Instead, the Panthers made lemonade out of lemons with an intrasquad scrimmage.

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Georgiana senior captains Jamichael Stallworth and Jamarcus Sims served as the two opposing captains of the white team and the blue team respectively, and each took turns picking players for their teams.

What might’ve been just a scrimmage to the audience in attendance was in fact a battle over moderately-high stakes—the loser of the scrimmage would be responsible for cleaning the field house at the conclusion of the full week of fall practice next Friday.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that though he coached both the white and blue offenses, he largely left his players to their own devices.

“They tried to be as strategic as they could in picking because we had to have some kids playing out of their position,” Powell said. “But it was all about getting out there competing and having fun.”

Though things went predictably well, Powell added that there were a number of pleasant surprises along the way.

“Some of my younger ones surprised me,” he said. “The older group didn’t score a touchdown.  It was when we put the younger kids in that we finally scored a touchdown.  And it was surprising because I just really didn’t expect the young guys to come in and do what they did. 

“But that let me know that they’re really paying attention and understanding what we’re trying to get done, because they understood our two major pass concepts that we run. And they executed it; they were catching the ball and doing what they needed to do.”

One of the star underclassmen of Thursday evening was Chase Black, a sophomore who gave the blue team its initial burst of momentum and, eventually, it’s only touchdown.

“Chase Black came up really big for the blue team,” Powell said, noting Black’s especially fruitful offseason in the weight room.

“He’s a kid we’re expecting a lot out of.  He’s one of those blue-collar types of kids who doesn’t really say a whole lot, but he just works really hard every day.  And he’s one of those kids who you love because of how much effort he puts into what he does.”

Powell noted other underclassmen’s noteworthy performances, including freshman quarterback Azenda Pennington, who made a couple of impressive catches at the wide receiver position, and eighth-grade running back Dreshun Jones.

“Everyone played hard and played well, for the most part,” Powell said. “I was just pleased with the effort and competitiveness of the game.”

The blue team prevailed 10-3 in the end, leaving cleaning duties to the white team.

The Friday-night lights of Harmon Field are fast approaching, as the Panthers will face Loachapoka for their first game of the regular season on Aug. 25 at home.