Dallas County hosts Southside for Homecoming
Published 8:49 am Thursday, October 28, 2021
By Lew Gilliland
The Selma Times-Journal
Southside coach Charles Moody said his players experienced a transformation of sorts during last week’s Class 3A, Region 3 game against Thomasville.
Needing a win to secure second place in the region and a home game to open the playoffs, the Panthers got off to an uneasy start in the eyes of their coach. Then things changed.
“What’s crazy is I was able to see our guys mature in the game,” he said. “Early on in the game, I thought our kids’ nerves were getting the best of them. We were doing some things we don’t normally do.
“After we made a couple of plays and everyone settled down, I though the guys did what they normally do and what we believed they could do. A lot of guys were maturing and making big plays.”
The result was a 32-7 victory for the Panthers (8-1), who pushed their winning streak to six and assured they’ll open the postseason on their own field.
“It very exciting,” Moody said. “It’s a very exciting time at Southside High School. The kids are excited. There’s a great aura around our school today. I think the community is excited as well.”
Before the playoffs arrive, however, there is the matter of one more regular-season game Thursday night at 7 at Memorial Stadium against rival Dallas County, which will be celebrating homecoming.
The Hornets (3-4) fell just short of a playoff berth in 4A, Region 3, finishing fifth. Dallas County has lost two straight but could close its season in memorable fashion by tagging the Panthers with a loss.
Moody said his squad overlooking the Hornets was a concern.
“It’s tough when you’re dealing with kids, especially this day and time,” he said. “When I was a kid … everything just wasn’t at our fingertips. They look at the internet, look at MaxPreps, (look at Dallas County) being 3-6, but I look at film and see Dallas County has some really good football players. No matter what their record says, we’ve got to come in there and play ball because that’s a really good team on the other side.”
Moody said the key for his team is going to be slowing Dallas County’s Marquavious Pullom.
The coach said Pullom was Dallas County’s “No. 1 player. He’s a guy who does a lot for them. He can make plays. He’s a guy we definitely have to key on. We definitely have to stop him.”
Moody said Pullom can hurt opponents from multiple positions — quarterback, running back or wide receiver.
“This is a very big game for us,” Moody said. “Momentum is big in everything you do. You look at a train … it takes a while to get its momentum going. But once it gets its momentum going, it’s hard to stop. If we win, this will be the second year in a row we’ve beaten every team in the county, so that would be big for us.”