Panthers to kick off region play against Florala Wildcats

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Georgiana Panthers are off to as great a start as anyone.  The 2-0 Panthers have decisive victories against their first two opponents, including an opponent that got the better of them last season.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ opposition, the Florala Wildcats, are not only struggling to find their first win of the season—they’re in search of their first victory since the 2015 season.

So how does one avoid overconfidence in the face of a team that didn’t win a game last year?

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According to Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell, the answer lies in playing your game, regardless of the competition.

“It’s just getting them to understand each week what our preparation is for.  In order to be a championship-caliber team, you have to prepare for each opponent as though they’re a really good football team.

“So when we prepare and practice that way each week, it really doesn’t matter who the opponent is on the other side—you’ll never have an off week.”

For Powell, playing uncharacteristically poorly—blowing assignments, turning the ball over, etc.—is perhaps just as big of a hurdle this Friday as the Wildcats themselves. 

And though battling that sense of complacency is important, Powell added that the Wildcats are not to be glossed over in the wake of their rocky start to the season.

“They’re better than they were last year.  They are an improved football team, and you can see that they have an identity of what they’re trying to do offensively when it comes to running the football and play-actioning off of it. Defensively, they get after you hard.

“They’re going to try to run the football right after you, and we have to do a great job of stopping their run game.  With us being as small as we are, we always worry about that team that can actually execute it, get behind their big guys and eat up the clock while they drive the ball down the field and not allow us to get the football and score.  We’ve just got to make sure we do what we’re supposed to do and keep them in third-and-long situations so that we’ll have a chance to get them off the field.”

The Panthers travel to Florala Friday night, and kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.