BY SCOTTIE BROWN
The Greenville Standard
The Georgiana High School Panthers looked to overtake the Luverne Tigers in its most recent outing but lost to the 2A team 26-12.
Panthers football head coach Ezell Powell said he was proud of the team’s showing despite the loss.
“Well, we played a really good Luverne football team that we knew was going to be a competitive ballgame,” Powell said. “We were right where we wanted to be going into the fourth quarter with the game close, and they made a few plays down the stretch we didn’t, and they ended up winning the ball game.
“Not to take anything from them, they did a really good job slowing us down. We didn’t execute quite well down the stretch, but I thought it was a great effort for us.”
Powell said the team lost eight seniors this past season, and its 11 rising seniors had stepped up coming into the season.
“We had a heavy junior, senior team last year,” Powell said. “Most of those 11 weren’t starters last year, so most of those have been starters for the first time this season. They have been used to being back-ups, so they are having to make adjustments to being ‘the man’ now. They’re getting adjusted to it, but I still think we are in really good shape.”
Powell said he was equally pleased with the amount of effort seen on both sides of the ball against the Tigers, especially from the team’s seniors.
“I thought quarterback Christopher Mixon played a great ball game,” Powell said. “He rushed for 160-something yards. Defensively, there were several guys I thought played well. Kendall Long played well. Jalen Nettles played well.
“LaCedric Haynes played well at times and Chase Black. There were several guys who played well defensively that kept us in the ballgame, but that’s what I expect from those guys because they’re seniors.”
Powell said it was encouraging to see the team run the ball well in its outing, but still saw areas of improvement for the Panthers.
“We were able to run the football, and that’s what we base our gameplay out of,” Powell said. “But, we got behind the sticks. We played too many second and long situations. We didn’t play enough third and short situations. We need to do better winning first downs and putting ourselves into second and short and work on our intermediate passing.”
The Panthers will look to host its first in-region game this Friday against Florala. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Heading into the matchup, Powell said the team will look to work on executing well. “We need to work on knowing where we line up and executing assignments,” Powell said. “Those are some of the things we didn’t do down the stretch. We did it in spirts, but we didn’t do it consistently, so that’s what we have to continue to improve on, on both sides of the football.”