Rivals Selma, Southside square off Friday in Queen City showdown

Published 1:46 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Queen City’s biggest rivalry takes place Friday night at Memorial Stadium when Selma entertains Southside.

The two crosstown rivals each bring first-year head coaches into their annual battle for bragging rights: Willie Gandy of Selma and Southside’s Charles Moody. It’s the season opener for both schools.

Gandy and Moody are both aware of the heated rivalry, which Selma won 60-20 last year at Panthers Stadium.

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“Any rival game can go either way,” Gandy said. “We just have to worry about us and get better at what we do.”

Moody is a veteran head coach who has seen plenty of rivalries during his career.

“I think that Selma and Southside is a great rivalry,” Moody said. “It will bring a lot of excitement to the city. This game really gives both teams a lot to work for. We’re excited to be part of it.”

Selma and Southside each have talented quarterbacks. The Saints are led by Keondre Hope, while Christopher Thomas leads the Panthers.

Here are the other Dallas County contests:

Edgewood at Morgan Academy: The eighth-ranked Senators (0-1) host No. 9 Edgewood in a AISA Top 10 clash at Morgan Stadium.

Kicker Wade Mason and quarterback Andrew Thomas, a pair of sophomores, made clutch plays in their debut for the Senators. Mason nailed two field goals at the end of regulation and in the first overtime.

“We’re lucky to have Wade as our kicker and Andrew Thomas was playing in his first high school game,” Senators coach Josh Thacker said.

Keith at Vincent: The Bears (1-0) travel to Shelby County for a contest against Vincent at Harold Garrett Stadium.

Keith overcame heavy rainstorm and lightning to beat Billingsley 20-18 in its season opener, led by quarterback Jared Edwards.

“It’s a team we haven’t seen in a while,” Bears coach Anthony Lumpkin said. “I know they have some good speed and we have to prepare for that. They like to throw the ball deep and we can’t give their quarterback that kind of time. We have to keep pressure on him.”

Dallas County at McAdory: The Hornets travel in their season opener under first-year coach Heath LeVert. Calvin Griffen takes over at quarterback, while Carl McGhee will play wide receiver and defensive back.

“We want to play fast and physical for the whole game,” LeVert said. “We want to be physical at the line of scrimmage.”

Ellwood Christian Academy at Beulah: The Eagles open their season on the road.  ECA has plenty of experience returning, including running back Emanuel Blanks and wingback Londarius Dean. Blanks ran for over 600 yards last year and made The Selma Times-Journal’s All Dallas County team.

Meadowview Christian at Russell Christian: The Trojans open against Russell Christian.

“They’re a pretty good team,” Trojans coach Bob Taylor said. “They have good skilled people. They have a good receiver who played quarterback for them last year.”

All games kick off at 7 p.m.