Georgiana beats Florala 52-20, claims first region win

Published 12:24 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

The hosting Florala Wildcats struck first, but it was Georgiana who struck most often as the Panthers defeated its first regional opponent on the road 52-20.

Despite eventually winning in convincing fashion, one would be hard-pressed to consider Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell pleased with the way his Panthers performed.

“I thought we came out real sluggish,” Powell said. “We somewhat didn’t play with the energy and enthusiasm we needed to in the beginning of the ballgame.  They got the game in the beginning, and drove it right down the field and scored.  That was very unsettling in the beginning of the ballgame.

“They moved the ball offensively better than I would like to have seen them do, but I take my hat off to them. Their coach did a great job of scheming what we do, and exploiting some areas that we’ve got to get better at.”

Despite the slow start, the Panthers’ engines soon warmed to life as the team course corrected, with Georgiana’s defense forcing a number of three-and-outs that set up the Panthers’ offense for easy scores.

“We just had to get focused on who we were and the things that we’re trying to accomplish,” Powell added. “If we talk about competing for another region championship, we’ve got to come out every Friday night with that in mind and play at a championship-caliber level.

“We just sort of held it together there, and once we got things going and getting some three-and-outs, we started putting it in the end zone and things started to roll.”

The Panthers face its second regional opponent of the year, the Kinston Bulldogs, at home next Friday.

But Powell said the game is more than a chance for a second region win.  It’s a second chance for the Panthers to prove that they are a championship-caliber team, regardless of the circumstances.

“My major concern is us getting better at what we do and coming out with the mindset of ‘I’m going to be a champion, and I’m going to play this game the ways champions are supposed to—and that’s hard and relentless on every play.’”

The Panthers host the Bulldogs Friday.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m.