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Panthers pummel Indians 42-6

The Georgiana Panthers roared out of the starting gates in Week One of the 2017 season with a convincing 42-6 win over the Loachapoka Indians at Harmon Field.

And though Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that Friday night’s victory was a total team effort in all three phases of the game—including a kickoff return for a touchdown—it was a young and inexperienced offensive line he showered the most praise upon after the post-game huddle.

“All of the guys did a great job of preparing for what we were going to face from the start,” Powell said. “They did a great job of executing and defense ran to the football.  We created turnovers, and we made big plays in the passing and run game.

“But the young guys up front did a great job.  We went into the ballgame really worried about them, because so many of them were doing it for the first time.  They held their own.  If they had gotten beaten up front, then we’d have been in trouble.”

The strong performance from the front line allowed the Panthers to harass the Indians backfield all night, creating turnovers at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield.

Georgiana will travel to face New Brockton, a team that proved the only blemish on an otherwise spotless regular season for the Panthers.  The Gamecocks originally defeated the Panthers at home last season, though the game was eventually forfeited because of an eligibility issue.

Powell said that they’re just as strong of a team this year, but the challenge is necessary for postseason success.

”They’re a really good football team and a well-coached football team—we know they’re going to be a tough opponent,” he said.  “But we play this game because we know that some nights we’ll play a team on the other side that’s probably a little bit better than us.”

But where it helps us is when we get in that second, third or fourth round of the playoffs, and you’ve got that stiff competition, you can draw back on that ballgame where you really had to fight with everything you had. Maybe you win and maybe you lose, but being in that competition helps you later on down the road.”

The Panthers will face the Gamecocks on the road Friday.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m.