Panthers face tough test

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2002

Southside gets ready for their second game of the year against St. James Friday night, after a disappointing loss to Selma High in their season opener 14-12. The Selma High, Southside game came down to the final minute when Southside had a chance to tie the game with less than a minute left, and fell inches short on the two point conversion.

Southside should expect to have their handfuls again Friday night when they take on St. James. &uot;I expect a lot of what we had when we played Selma High,&uot; said Southside head coach Christopher Raymond. &uot;The game should be just about like when we played Selma High, a hard nosed tough football game.&uot;

Coach Raymond is right this game will come down to the wire with less than a touchdown separating them in the fourth quarter, but St. James will edge Southside in the end due to a strong running game.

Southside 14 St. James 20

Dallas County vs. Holt

Dallas County absolutely demolished Maplesville last Friday night winning their season opener 59-13. The running game led the way for Dallas County with running back Clifford Lyons putting up 196 yards on the ground, and three touchdowns. Lyons didn’t stop there he put up another 110 receiving, and two more touchdowns.

Dallas County should use their strong running attack, and a stingy defense that gave up only 13 points last week to beat Holt this Friday. It shouldn’t be any surprise when Dallas county rolls over Holt big tomorrow night in their home opener.

Dallas County 42 Holt 13

R.C. Hatch vs. Marbury

R.C. Hatch dropped their season opener to Linden 70-0, and head coach Jamie Abraham says it’s worse than it sounds. &uot;We pretty much held them in check through the first two quarters of the ball game,&uot; said Abraham. &uot;We lost our outside linebacker and that is when Linden really started to take control of the ball game and put up points.&uot;

R.C. Hatch will have to really look to their offensive, and defensive line to step up and be aggressive Friday night. &uot;We are going to have to have a much better performance out of our lines on both sides of the ball come Friday,&uot; said Abraham. &uot;Our receiving core is really going to have to step up and be much better this week than last week also if we are going to have a chance to win the ball game.&uot;

The one thing that R.C. Hatch has going for them this week is the fact that Marbury has a young team also, but it want be enough to put them in the win column this week. The longest losing streak in the state will stay intact for at least one more week as Mabury should edge Hatch on Friday night.

Mabury 35 R.C. Hatch 6

Francis Marion vs. Northside

Francis Marion was strong in their season opener last Thursday night when they defeated Sunshine 18-14.

The loss of most of the lights at the game last week left throwing out of the questions for both teams. That didn’t seem to pose much of a problem for Francis Marion though, they managed to amass 334 yards on the ground. Jeremy Johnson picked up most of those yards rushing for 205 yards, and he picked up all three of the Rams touchdowns.

Don’t expect much to be different this week when the Rams take on Northside for their home opener.

Look for a strong rushing attack anchored by Johnson to be the key to Francis Marion picking up their second win of the season.

Francis Marion 21 Northside 7

Wilcox Central vs. B.T. Washington

Wilcox Central dropped their season opener 42-14 against Sidney Lanier, and they look to use last weeks game as a learning experience.

With another week of practice under their belt Wilcox Central looks forward to Friday nights game. &uot;We are just really looking forward to getting out there and playing a ball game,&uot; said Felder.

The extra week of practice is still probably not going to be enough to push Wilcox Central over B.T. Washington on Friday night. The lack of experience will be the key factor in what should be a loss for Wilcox Central.

B.T. Washington 35 Wilcox Central 14

Keith vs. Goshen

Keith High takes on their first region challenge tomorrow night against Goshen in Orville at 7:30 p.m.

The Bears demolished A.L. Johnson last week behind a solid running attack of Emit Dukes, and Tim Gaines, and don’t look for anything different this week. Dukes and Gaines combined rushed for over 300 yards, and accounted for four of the five Keith touchdowns.

Head coach for the Bears Harry Crum want quite tip his hat as far as the game plan for Friday night is, but you can bet if they can run the ball they will.

Look for Keith to roll over Goshen on Friday night with a strong running attack.

Keith 27 Goshen 14

Morgan vs. Faith

After an impressive win where Morgan Academy defeated Tuscaloosa 21-6 in their season opener they now must face traditional power Faith Academy.

Faith and Morgan seem to be pretty evenly matched in all areas except for a few.

The Senators, who relied heavily on the rushing performances of Owen Peak and Travis Lyons in last week’s win, should do pretty much the same this week.

This game should be close all the way down to the end of the game with the difference being a touchdown or less heading into the fourth quarter. Expect Morgan to edge out a victory at the end based on their skill at the running back position though.

Morgan Academy 21 Faith 17

MCS vs. Monroe

Meadowview having dropped their season opener to Cottage hills 20-14 look to right the ship this weekend when they face defending 3A state champs Monroe.

Monroe has won 14 games in a row, and beating them at home will not be an easy task. &uot;All we can do is try to improve from last weeks performance,&uot; said Meadowview head coach Rick Jackson. &uot;Most teams do most of their improving from their first week’s game to their second, and we hope that will be the case with us.&uot;

Monroe has done a good job with getting area participation for their football program.

&uot;They have a good overall atmosphere for football at Monroe, we have been able to tell it just from watching the game film from last week,&uot; said Jackson.

Monroe edges the Trojans at about every position on the football field, and should have very little trouble disposing of the Trojans on Friday night. Look for Monroe to run the ball hard behind an excellent offensive line. Monroe’s defense should be stingy and not really allow the Trojans offense to get on track all night.

Monroe 42 MCS 7

Wilcox vs. Sumter

Wilcox had a strong win last week in their season opener against Greenville coming out with the win 36-7. Things should be a little bit harder for their first home game of the year win they take on Sumter Friday night.

Sumter seems to be a very well rounded football team with speed at most of the key positions this year. &uot;They are very quick, and we are going to have to play very well to be able to hang with them for the entire ball game,&uot; said Burford.

The thing’s that will be key for Wilcox on Friday will be the offensive line, and defensive line. &uot;Our running game performed well last week, and in order for that to happen this week we will have to block well at offensive line,&uot; said Burford. &uot;They have two running backs that are very quick, and our defensive line will have to step it up, and make good decisions this week.&uot;

Look for this to be a very well played ball game, but Wilcox Academy should walk away with the victory due to a good running game.

Wilcox Academy 14 Sumter 10

CCA vs. Abbeville

The impressive victory that Central Christian put up last week against Ashford (34-0) left everyone on the team hungry for more.

This week Central gets a chance to flex their muscle again against Abbeville, there’s only one problem most of the team has been sick with the flu at one point or another over the last week.

It’s bad enough that they already have one strike against them with some of the players having been sick this week, but they have to face a talented Abbeville team.&uot; They have a good team, and they are big at offensive line and defensive line,&uot; said Niblett. &uot;Their linebackers are very talented, and they have as much speed as any team we have faced in the past few years.&uot;

One of the things that Central can do is use their powerful fullback Javaris Burden to try to eat up as much time off the clock as possible. &uot;We are just going to have to try and take as much time off the clock as possible with our run game,&uot; said Niblett.

The good thing is that it is not a region game for Central so it want count against them in the standings. The bad thing is they probably want have the depth or the speed to hang with Abbeville all night. Look for Abbeville to edge the Warriors in the second half to win the game.

Abbeville 21 Central Christian 7

MMI vs. Shelby

Marion Military Institute opens up their season Friday night at Shelby Academy.

MMI should have it a little easier than they have in the past. This year they have more returning players than any past year of head coach David Ivey.

Dropping down to 1A will not hurt their chances of having a better year much either, but only time will tell.

We will all have to wait till tomorrow night to see how they will perform, but I don’t see them getting their first notch in the win column just yet. Experience will be the key to getting wins for MMI, and that will take time.

Shelby 21 MMI 0

Lowndes vs. Southern

Lowndes dropped their home opener to Hooper Academy 32-8. This had to be hard one for the Rebels to handle, due to the fact that the game against Hooper has evolved into a bitter rivalry over the last few years.

This weeks game against Southern will hopefully be what Lowndes needs to get themselves back into the win column. The Rebels will have to had made great strides over the last week of practice to get a win on Friday night.

Look for Lowndes to fall to 0-2 just on the fact of inexperience.

Southern 14 Lowndes 7