Georgiana falls to No. 1-ranked Elba, 62-28

Published 12:00 pm Monday, October 10, 2022

Georgiana High School’s football team gave Class 1A, Region 2 foe Elba a game through one half of competition Friday night at Harmond Field, but a surprise special teams play derailed the Panthers.

Trailing 21-14 at halftime, Panthers head coach Berry Bess said his team had established momentum through strong kick returns from returner Jalen Crenshaw, so the Tigers opted for an onside kick and successfully recovered.

“We knew they weren’t going to kick it deep in the second half with the way he had returned the ball,” Bess said. “They ended up hitting us with an onside kick … and it kind of took the wind out of us in the second half.”

The Tigers outscored the Panthers 41-14 in the second half, but Bess said the fight he saw in his team before the intermission was an improvement over the showing a week prior when Georgiana lost 40-0 to Brantley.

“That shows resilience and who we are,” Bess said. “Luckily, we’re not finished with the regular season. We have another game this week versus Red Level, then a bye next week, and the week after that against Pleasant Home. We still have time to get back on track and figure out who we are. Us coming out against Elba and not laying down to them the way we did against Brantley does say a lot about the kids in this program. They wanted to show we were better than who we were when we went to Brantley.”

Bess said Elba jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but his team bounced back to tie it 14-all with a receiving touchdown from quarterback Jacobie Morgan to wide receiver Kaveon “KK” Miles and a rushing touchdown from running back Cam Miles.

“We definitely knew Elba was going to be tough, not just because they beat Brantley, but because they’re a good team year-in and year-out,” Bess said. “They beat Brantley a few weeks ago, so they were the No. 1 seed in the region and No. 1 team in Class 1A football.”

The Miles duo each added another touchdown in the second half via the same means to get the Panthers to 28 points scored against a team that allowed just one other squad to put double digits on them in 2022.

With two region games to play, Georgiana can still clinch as high as a No. 3 seed in region play.

“We have to win five within our nine-team region,” Bess said. “We definitely have to win one (more), but hopefully, we can go ahead and win both so we can lock us in as a 3-seed.”

Georgiana (6-2, 4-2) will host Red Level (3-4, 3-3) on Friday night at 7.