Southside wins showdown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 10, 2004

Some old friends renewed acquaintances Friday night at Dallas County as the Hornets hosted county rival Southside for the first time in four years.

It was a hard-hitting, but mistake-filled game as both teams turned the ball over repeatedly. In the end, it was Tony Myles Jr. and the Southside ground game that made the difference as the Panthers took a 21-14 victory.

“That’s the only thing that counts,” Southside coach Chris Raymond said of the final score. “We could have gave up but we’ve been fighting hard all season. I’m proud of them.”

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Both teams fought hard.

The young and scrappy Hornets refused to give in to the favored Panthers and kept the game tied until the final three minutes.

“Our little old kids grew up a little bit tonight,” Dallas County coach Rick Bush said. ‘Southside had got a lot of kids back from last year. They did a heck of a job. That’s probably one of the best games I’ve seen Southside play all year long. It was an excellent football game by both teams.”

After taking a 14-6 lead into the half, Southside watched as Dalton Anthony blocked a punt deep in the Panthers territory, setting up the game-tying score. The game stayed tied until less than five minutes were left in the game and the Southside running game pounded the ball down the field and punched in the winning score.

“They’ve got some big old guys up front and they’ve got some big guys in the backfield,” Bush said. “They wear you down and come after you. They kept their poise, now.

They did the things they needed to do.”

Myles was the workhorse for Southside.

The senior back bulled, and cut his way to 136 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for the Panthers.

“I knew we could do it the whole time,” Myles said, his freshly-shaven head glistening with sweat. The bald look was a popular one amongst the Panthers who shaved their heads in a show of solidarity. “We just came to prove we can play with anybody in the state.

It was a good game. We gave up our hair for this. We had to sacrifice our hair. Anything we have to do to win.”

Senior lineman Latrell Richardson said the pounding ground game suited him just fine.

“I like to run it, that gives me the opportunity to crack some heads,” he said. “Tony did a great job of running the ball and finding the cut-back lanes.”

Myles, who played both ways, recovered a fumble on defense.

“I’m wore out, I should have taken it to the house, though,” he said.

There were plenty of defensive stars on both sidelines.

Michael Carter and Corey Jackson were all over the field for Southside.

For Dallas County, Anthony was Johnny-on-the-spot time and again. He blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and had an interception.

“Dalton had a good night, he did a lot of good things for us,” Bush said.

The interception turned out to be a key play in the game. Anthony picked off the pass, killing a Southside drive. He returned it 50 yards deep into Southside territory. An illegal block penalty brought the play all the way back to the Dallas County 30, drawing howls from the Dallas County stands.

Dallas County was unable to sustain the drive and gave the ball back.

“I’m not going to blame a ballgame on a call because there’s about five or six plays in every ball game that it comes down to, and we didn’t make enough of those big plays tonight,” Bush said.

Freshman T-Ray Mitchell also made several tackles for the Hornets.

Southside quarterback Travis Shine had 50 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions passing. Shine ran for 26 yards as well. Jamarcus Hardy finished with 25 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

“We ran the ball hard tonight, we got pretty good blocking,” Raymond said. “We kept them off balance (too). We completed some passes when we had to.”

Jackson had a 26-yard touchdown catch and Brian Smith a 24-yard catch.

For Dallas County, the offense never really seemed to get going to full speed. Rafel Miller ran for 44 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Derrick McGhee added 43 yards on the ground. He threw for 45 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions late in long yardage situations were he was forced to throw the ball up for grabs.

“Derrick played as well as he has all year long. He played hurt,” Bush said, “with a hurt shoulder.”

DaRon Waters had a 20-yard touchdown catch.

Bush also had some praise for his senior linemen.

“Kyle Frazier is one of our kids that does not get enough attention, Kyle plays center and Jesse Hill plays guard,” Bush said. “Our offensive front is young and these two kids have had to pull them along all year long and those two kids really did a good job for us up front.”

Still Dallas County struggled to consistently crack the Southside defense.

“The defense has been playing well all season,” Raymond said. “Hopefully, we can get it up and put some more points on the board.”

The marched down the field and Hardy punched the ball in with seven minutes left in the first quarter.

An excessive celebration penalty moved the ball back 15 yards and the conversion try failed.

After trading turnovers, including a pretty interception in the back of the end zone by Dallas County’s Walter Hunter, the Hornets managed to knot things up.

After Jesse Bell recovered a Dallas County fumble, Courtney Stubbs recovered a Shine fumble at the Southside 30.

The Panthers moved to the 20 and on third and 11, McGhee hit Waters on a slant pattern over the middle. Waters glided into the end zone.

The teams traded futile drives until Dallas County punted the ball to Southside with 1:19 left in the half.

Three straight runs from Myles moved the ball from the Southside 43 to the Hornets’ 26. With 38 second to go, Shine took the snap and Jackson released into what appeared to be zone coverage up the left sideline.

Neither the corner nor the safety stayed with Jackson as Shine slung the touchdown pass into the end zone with time running down.

Myles punched in the conversion and Southside led 14-6 at the half.

Dallas County wasn’t done.

Anthony smothered deep in Southside territory and Miller punched in the score.

McGhee scored the conversion on a keeper and knotted the game.

The teams battled back and forth, but neither was able to take advantage of the other’s mistakes.

Finally, with time running down, the Panthers turned to Myles.

The senior pounded the ball down the field, with the help of a 15-yard facemask penalty and eventually scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:11 left.

Dallas County tried to pass, but pressure from Southside’s Carter and an interception by Clyde Brown all but sealed the deal.

Dallas County managed to get the ball back with seven seconds to go at its own 30. But Jackson picked off McGhee’s desperation toss.

With the win, Southside improves to 5-1 overall, Dallas County falls to 4-2.