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Southside High tunes up for Selma High

Southside High wanted a tune-up before its season-opening showdown against crosstown rival Selma.

Holtville prevailed 21-20, on Thursday, but Panthers coach Charles Moody Jr. saw a positives from the contest on the road.

“We really wanted to get a look and get some film so we can let the guys see and improve,” Moody said. “We made correctable mistakes, so I feel we will improve.”

Quarterback Christopher Thomas had a solid performance, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns.

Receivers Mariyon Johnson and MJ Reese each caught touchdown receptions from Thomas.

The running game was strong as tailback Keandre Williams scored a touchdown on the ground.

The Panthers’ defense also came up with a couple of turnovers.

Jarrett Barnett and Jay Gunn each had interceptions

Southside was scheduled to visit Francis Marion on Thursday, but Perry County School officials canceled fall sports.

Moody credited Holtville for agreeing to compete against Southside in a jamboree that doesn’t count in the standings.

“We made correctable mistakes, so I feel we will improve,” Moody said.

Moody, the Panthers’ second-year coach, said it was glad to get some of the younger players game experience.

“I feel that we had some kids that didn’t really feel that we would get an opportunity to play football this year, and it hit them late that we were playing,” Moody said. “So they know we are playing now.”

Southside hosts Selma next Friday night at Panthers Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.  The Saints have won 31 of the 37 games in the intense, heated rivalry.