Winner of Keith-Southside rivalry game set to take series lead

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keith running back Rodney Ellis, right, tries to break away from a Southside defender during last year's meeting between the two county rivals -- File Photo

While Friday’s annual meeting between the Southside Panthers and Keith Bears isn’t a region contest, the game still holds significance for both teams, even beyond bragging rights.

The Panthers (1-3, 1-2 Class 3A-Region 1) will host the Bears (4-0, 3-0 Class 1A-Region 3) Friday at 7 p.m. with the winner set to take the all-time lead in the series.

After 38 meetings between the two, the series stands tied at 19-19, and after winning last year’s matchup 37-7, the Bears are looking for their third straight win over the Panthers on Friday.

Email newsletter signup

It’s a series that means a lot for the Bears, said Keith head football coach Harry Crum.

“It’s for bragging rights because it’s not a region game. It does have significance, it has meaning, of course. It’s like winning the Ellwood game — this is one the kids want to win,” Crum said. “We’re going to play hard and we’re going to play to win. I just found out we played 38 times and the series is tied at 19-19, so whoever wins this will have the series lead. So it’s important for the kids and they’re definitely going to play to win.”

Daniel Flowers, head football coach of Southside, said he and his players would enjoy adding another win on the season, but to do that they’ll have to slow down the Bears’ wing-T rushing attack.

“First of all, we’re going to try to keep them off the field,” Flowers said. “Eventually, that offense will get it going because of the style of offense they run. So we’re definitely going to have to tackle well. I mean, missed tackles cost us in the last few games. I think we have to tackle extremely well and limit their big-play opportunities.”

Crum said while the Bears haven’t had a chance to scout Southside, they’ve been working on polishing their own game.

“We have not seen them on film. You hate to go into a game cold, but back in the old days, that’s how it was done, so we’re going to just have to play solid football and brush up on doing what we do best,” Crum said. “It’s going to come down to blocking and tackling, so that’s something that we work on a lot, and we’re just going to establish the run, which I guess goes without saying with Keith.”