All Georgiana players clear for Friday

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Georgiana Panthers incurred no penalties or suspensions from the Alabama High School Athletic Association following Friday night’s last-second scuffle with Winterboro, according to Panthers head football coach Ezell Powell.

The conflict began in the final seconds of Friday night’s first round game when a Winterboro player made a diving tackle on an already-down Georgiana player during a kickoff.

Originally, it was believed that a Georgiana player involved in the conflict could be suspended from this week’s game.  Powell said that is no longer the case.

“Everything for us will be fine,” Powell said. “Our young man will be able to play, and we’re just going to move forward from there.

“For us, it’s huge to have him. He’s one of our best defensive ball players, and to lose him would’ve been a big hurt for us.  To be able to have all of our players there and ready to go will, at least emotionally, give us a bit more confidence knowing we can go out and compete with all of our best players.”

Given the reputation of Georgiana’s round-two opponent, the 8-3 Marengo Panthers, Powell and his players will need every advantage they can get.

He said that Marengo employs a no-frills offense that runs the ball directly downhill, with few surprises.  And though that somewhat simple game plan has allowed the team to average almost 38 points per game, the team’s strength lies in its defense.

The team has earned five shutouts this season, with it’s most recent coming in Marengo’s 50-0 win over its first-round opponent, Highland Home.

“They’re the best defensive team we’ve faced,” Powell said.

“It’s the size and speed.  They match up well with us athletically. They play hard and tackle well in space. They make adjustments well to different situations.  I think they’re really solid on the defensive side of the ball.”

Because of Marengo’s ball control style of offensive play, which dominates time of possession and limits the opponent’s ability to score back, Powell said that Georgiana’s own execution on offense would be the No. 1 key to victory over the opposing Panthers Friday.

“We have to make sure that when we get the football, we put it in the end zone,” Powell said.

“If we can do that and slow them down from scoring, their offense is not built for an explosive, comeback-type of play late in the ballgame.”

Georgiana hosts Marengo Friday for round two.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.