Georgiana to battle first-time opponent Winterboro

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

For the third consecutive season, the Georgiana Panthers will host their first-round playoff opponent.

The Panthers venture into unknown territory Friday as the team faces the Winterboro Bulldogs for the first time in school history.

The Bulldogs quite literally finished with a middle-of-the-road regular season, going 5-5 overall and 3-3 in region play.

But Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the Bulldogs are a much better team than they appear to be on paper.

“Their record doesn’t indicate the talent that they have,” Powell said. “They have two good backs who run the football well. Their offensive line is really big, and they really run behind them.  They’re a team that has two really good outside linebackers that create problems for you defensively. 

“All in all, they’re just an athletic group of kids who remind me of Georgiana when I first got here. You saw potential in them that hasn’t been completely together.  It’s one of those things where I hope they don’t get it together Friday night.”

Fortunately for the Panthers, the team heads into the game with an extra week of rest, thanks to a conveniently-place bye week.

“We rested guys who were banged up,” Powell said.

“And we focused on fundamentals—the things that it would take to continue to be successful, and make sure that we execute our game plan like we want to. Because we know at this point in the season it’s all about the team that executes the best on offense and defense and stays fundamentally sound.”

Another item in the advantage column for Georgiana, obviously, is home field advantage.

If playing at home is a plus during the regular season, it’s vital during the postseason.

“It always helps to play in front of your home crowd,” Powell added.

“When you travel in the postseason, you’re travelling a good distance. And you don’t have to sit on that bus a couple of hours. But all of us know that in order to win a championship, you’re going to have to make those on-the-road games and go into someone else’s backyard and win a tough ballgame.  But we’re excited about being at home, and we appreciate the opportunity.”

Georgiana and Winterboro will square off for the very first time Friday in Georgiana.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.