BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
The Panthers are still undefeated 5-0 and ranked 2nd in 1A Region 2 after their homecoming game against the Houston County Lions.
Houston County stepped into Harmon Field with a winless record of 0-4 but played like they had nothing to lose, even attempting an onside kick against the Panthers and held Georgiana to a 0-0 draw at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers did achieve a first and goal to go, but was unable to push it in.
In second quarter action and with 10:56 in the half, Georgiana finally pushed the ball into the end zone.
The two point conversion was good and the Panthers drew first blood.
With 4:41 left in the half the Panthers put eight more points on the score board to make it 16-0.
Georgiana’s defense held for the remainder of the half and kept the Lions scoreless.
In the third quarter, the Lions broke a 60-yard run for a touchdown and kicked the extra point with 7:22 remaining wiping away the zero and building some momentum for Houston County 16-7.
The Lions got within field goal range with 3:54 to go but the Panthers blocked the attempt.
The Panthers drove down to the 10-yard line but fumbled and the Lions recovered.
Houston County managed a first and goal with 1:26 left in third quarter play, but the Panthers defense held strong and the third quarter ended with Georgiana 16-7.
Fourth quarter play was a defensive struggle until Georgiana with 4:30 remaining managed to grab pay dirt again with the conversion bringing the score 22 – 7.
The Lions would not take it lying down and on the ensuing kickoff dashed the field crossing the goal.
The extra point attempt was no good and the score was 22-13 Panthers.
It was all defense after that and then the final buzzer sounded with yet another Panther victory.
Panther’s head coach Berry Bess said this of hit cats, “We definitely didn’t play up to our potential. “We have had a few tough physical games leading up to this one, which may have played a part.”
Bess stated further, “I’m super proud of this team and staff. We and everyone else keeps referring to last year which is understandable, but I’m so excited in the growth of everyone in this program.
“Wins play a huge part in that, but the way we attack each phase leading up to the game, our mindset, our development, is what I’m the most proud of.”
Georgiana travels to face Beatrice for another cat fight with the J.F. Shields Panthers this Friday.
Shields is winless at 0–4 and ranked 7th in 1A Region 1. Their last outing under the Friday nights lights was against the Pirates of Fruitdale who shut them out 38-0.