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Southside, Dallas County to meet for bragging rights in Dallas County Schools System

Southside and Dallas County are playing for more than bragging rights in the Dallas County Schools System on Thursday in Plantersville.

The Panthers (5-5, 2-4) need a win to make the Class 3A state playoffs at Martin Stadium.

Southside is tied with Hale County and Monroe County for the final spot in Region 3, Class 3A. The tiebreaker is the non-Region schedule, as the Panthers are 3-1.

“The scenario for us is way bigger than the bragging rights,” Moody said. “It’s a huge game in so many ways and we are excited about the opportunity.”

Dallas County (4-6, 3-4 Region 3, 4A) and Southside are playing for the first time since 2015. The Hornets lead the all-time series 30-17-1, including a 41-14 victory five years ago.

Dallas County didn’t make the Class 4A state playoffs, but Hornets coach Heath LeVert said winning the county championship is important to the team.

“We’re just trying to send our seniors off the right way and put down a stepping stone to build off for next year,” LeVert said.

LeVert said the Hornets’ defense must stop a high-powered Panthers offense that features quarterback Christopher Thomas, receivers Mariyon Johnson and Tae Spears and running back KeAndre Williams.

“They are athletic,” LeVert said. “We are going to have to rely on our experience and do our best to contain their quarterback as well as control the deep ball.”

Moody said the Panthers must make big plays against a hard-hitting, physical Dallas County defensive squad, led by linebacker Markeice Stallworth, The Selma Times-Journal defensive MVP from last year.

“They are an athletic and big football team, we have to match their intensity, focus, and urgency,” Moody said. “This will be the first time we have played in a few years! We are renewing a rivalry.”

Keith at Isabella: The Bears (6-2) tune up against Isabella on Thursday for the Class 1A state playoffs that starts next week.

“Isabella is a tough team,” Bears coach Anthony Lumpkin said. “We have to play excellent against them defensively. We have to tackle well and play with some mental toughness and play physical. Offensively, we have to execute our game plays. If we do that, I love our chances going on the road and coming away with a win.”

Jayln Jones, Quintavious Woods, Keyshawn Tolbert were among the standouts in the Bears’ 31-0 shutout over J.F. Shields last week to earn a home first-round playoff game on Nov. 6.