Selma teaches Southside a lesson

Published 1:38 am Saturday, August 29, 2009

SELMA — Selma head football coach Foster Davis could see where his Saints could use some improvements.

Southside coach Lemuel Jones knew his team didn’t play as well as it could.

In the end, however, the Saints opened the season for both teams Friday with a 50-6 victory over Southside’s Panthers at Memorial Stadium.

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“We still made too many mistakes,” said Davis, whose Saints racked up 28 points in a first quarter that lasted 45 minutes.

Selma, however, had penalties that totaled 137 yards — 55 yards in the first quarter.

Overall, Davis was pleased with the effort.

“You’ve got to get those kinds of games while you can,” he said after the contest. “It was a good team effort all the way around.

Among the individual standouts for Selma was junior Eddie Johnson, who rushed five times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a pass for 25 yards. On defense, Johnson had six tackles and an interception.

Southside’s Jones said Selma may have been too much for his Panthers.

“This game may be too tough for our players,” he said. “I know we’re better than that.”

Jones said the experience may cause his players to mature in a hurry.

“This is the kind of game that will make them grow up,” he said. “It’s a big part of growing up. They’ve got to decide if they want to be football players.”

Selma got on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the game when the Saints went 54 yards in three plays, capped by Johnson’s 40-yard run over the left side. After an interception by Selma on Southside’s next series, Saints quarterback Darion Alexander connected with Kendrick Woods for a 38-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

With Keenan Woods’ 2-yard touchdown scamper over right guard with 6:08 left in the first, Selma had jumped ahead 20-0.

Selma’s offense continued to pound out the yardage through the rest of the game. The Saints piled up 239 yards on the ground and 15 first downs. Meanwhile, Southside had less than 10 yards rushing for the game after negative yardage in the first half.

Southside managed its only points of the game at the 1:01 mark of the fourth quarter through a series of miscues and turnovers.

Southside’s Courtney Woods recovered a fumble at the Panthers’ 13-yard line to stop Selma’s offensive push. But after a net loss of 3 yards on three plays, Southside punted from its own 10-yard line.

The Selma punt returner inadvertently touched the bouncing punt, and Panther Demarcus Smith recovered the ball on the bounce and returned it to the Selma 32-yard line. Two plays later, Southside quarterback Bartavious Hall is hit while trying to pass and Selma’s Roderick Brewer intercepts and returns the ball to the Southside 2-yard line.

But wait. A pass interception infraction negated the return, so Selma took over on its own 10-yard line. Two plays later, Selma fumbled and Southside’s Darius Sheridan recovered at the Selma 3-yard line.

Two plays and an encroachment penalty on Selma later, Southside scored on a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Jemal Dudley with 1:01 to go in the game.