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Selma spanks Southside

Ask any coach what must be avoided to win a game, and the answer will undeniably come back the same each time — turnovers.

Selma took advantage to two of Southside three first half turnovers to build a 24-6 halftime lead, then cruised to a 32-6 win over their arch rival Friday evening at Memorial Stadium.

“We’re happy to get the win, but we’re not satisfied,” said Davis. “We made far too many mistakes.”

Selma jumped out to a lead midway through the first quarter.

Southside quarterback Jermel Dudley fumbled, and Selma defensive back Jeremy Harrison pounced on it in the end zone for the score. Mark Brooks ran in for the two-point conversion.

The Saints had found themselves in an equally fortuitous position earlier in the quarter, recovering a fumble at the Southside 35, but failed to turn that miscue into points.

“The defense did a great job,” said Davis. “They forced a lot of fumbles, but we expected that from them. They’re going to have to be our strong point this season.”

The Panthers quickly returned the Saints score on their ensuring possession. Running back Earl Bender raced 57 yards for a touchdown with 3:22 left in the quarter.

However, that would be the Panthers last highlight of the evening.

They opened the second quarter with a snap over the head of punter Wilbert McComico. He got the punt off, but the Saints still gained 10 yards without doing anything.

Five plays later, Keenan Woods plunged over from the goal line. He scored the two-point conversion as well to make it a 16-6 ball game.

Another Southside turnover led to Selma’s next points.

“We turned the ball over more times than we would’ve liked,” said Southside coach Lemuel Jones. “That goes back to coaching. We’re going to improve on that.”

Selma defensive tackle blindsided Southside quarterback Darian Alexander, and linebacker Renardo Reynolds fell on the ball at the Southside 49.

Five plays later, Saints tailback Eddie Johnson ran over Panthers defensive back Bartavious Hall en route to a 25-yard touchdown. The conversion failed, but Selma led 22-6

Dudley was tackled by Selma defensive lineman LaRendrick Adams for a safety to close out the half and give Selma a 24-6 lead.

“We want to apologize to the Southside nation that we didn’t play as well as we should have,” said Jones. “We’re going to be a solid lineup by the end of the season.”

The second half was mired with penalties and sloppy play expected from teams with new coaches. Selma closed out the scoring late in the fourth quarter with a goal line dive from fullback Alfonso Phillips. He scored on the conversion as well to seal Selma’s 32-6 margin of victory.

“ It’s always good to play your next door neighbor,” said Jones. “But it’s always bad to lose to your next door neighbor.”