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Panthers shut out Red Level 55-0

The Georgiana Panthers earned their first shutout of the season as the team celebrated homecoming with a 55-0 win over the Red Level Tigers.

The win improves the Panthers to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in region play.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the achievement is one that had eluded the team all season long despite several convincing victories.

“We’ve held a lot of opponents to just one score,” Powell said. “And we’ve been talking about this all year.  We know we’re better on defense than what we show sometimes, and not being able to shut opponents out irks us a little bit because we have the ability to do that.

“Tonight, we went in at the half and we preached making sure that we do that.  And Coach Jacobs promised the team donuts if they could shut them out.”

Defense was hardly the only arena the Panthers dominated as Panther quarterback Jamichael Stallworth dropped a 57-yard bomb on receiver Jecary Brewer.

A 2-yard Stallworth keeper netted the Panthers their first touchdown with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Not to be outdone on the following Panther drive, receiver Chris Mixon juked a Tiger defender out of his cleats for a huge gain, punctuating the run with a stiff arm just feet shy of the end zone.

A floater from Stallworth to a wide-open Jamarcus Sims gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead with 3:41 left in the first.

Sims reeled in a 35-yard catch for the Panthers’ third score in as many drives at the top of the second quarter.

On the Panthers’ fourth drive, running back Kyle Powell proved equally effective on the ground by shedding three tackles for a massive gain, setting up a 14-yard pass to Christian Williams for Georgiana’s fourth score.

Powell’s number was called a second time on the next drive with an 11-yard shuffle pass that made the Panther advantage 35-0.

Hard-hitting defensive lineman Lecedric Haynes scooped up a Red Level fumble, taking the ball to the Tigers’ 15-yard line.

Stallworth connected with Brewer once again, this time for a touchdown from 15 yards out to close the half at 42-0.

The Panthers’ second string kept the Georgiana flame alight in the second half of play, keeping the Tigers scoreless while adding to the sizeable lead with a pair of scores from Powell and Azenda Pennington.

The Panthers travel to face the in-county rival McKenzie Tigers, where Powell said that records, stats and every other metric of success wouldn’t matter.

The Panthers have a recent reminder in last year’s faceoff, in which the underdog McKenzie Tigers dominated the first half and threated to upset the Panthers’ perfect regular season.

“We’re driving that home all week long, and we’re making them understand that when you play a rivalry game, it doesn’t matter about records,” Powell said. 

“Kids play with a lot of pride, and that’s going to be at stake more than anything else.  And if you love your school, your community, your team and your record as much as you say you do, you’re going to go down there with the mindset of executing, being physical on defense and doing the things you’re supposed to do.”

The Panthers and Tigers will square off in McKenzie Friday.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.