Big plays lift Southside past Dallas County

Published 9:48 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

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By Travis Gupton
The Selma Times-Journal

A big first half was enough to lead the Southside Panthers past the Dallas County Hornets 56-36 on Thursday night despite one of the best games of the season for the Hornets.
“Since I have been here we are 10-2 vs our county opponent,” Southside head coach Charles Moody said. “We have never had a losing season since I have been here. Those are the types of things we want to make the norm.
“We want to make it our tradition. We are very proud of what we were able to do tonight. This game meant a lot to both sides. We were able to come out on top and I am proud of that.”
Southside received the opening kickoff, but they fumbled the kickoff giving the Hornets the ball first. Dallas County was not able to move the ball anywhere and Southside took over. With 9:06 left in the first quarter, wide receiver Derick Smith took it 74 yards for a score. The two-point conversion was good and Southside held a 8-0 lead.
Southside quickly got the ball back on a fumbled kickoff by Dallas County. With 8:49 left in the first quarter, the Panthers struck again on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Roosevelt Towns to Smith for another score. The 2-point conversion made it 16-0.
The Hornets found their offense on the next drive connecting on a long pass to get the Hornets inside the five-yard line. The Hornets got on the board with 6:56 left in the first quarter. Brandon Sparks scored from three yards out to cut into the Panther’s lead. The 2-point conversion was good making it 16-8.
Less than a minute later the Panthers found the end zone on a 52-yard run by Earnest Campbell with 6:09 left in the quarter. The 2-point conversion was no good making the score 22-8.
Dallas County started to find success running on the outside against the Panthers. They had several runs that would get 10-plus yards. At the end of the first quarter, the score stood at 22-8 Southside.
Early in the second quarter, the Panthers extended the lead on a 19-yard quarterback keeper by Towns with 11:14 left in the first half. The 2-point conversion was no good but the lead extended to 28-8.
The Panthers started to put the game out of reach in the second quarter as after another struggling drive by the Hornets the Panthers got the ball back and moved it well. With 9:58 left in the first half Smith scored his third touchdown of the night on an 85-yard run. The 2-point conversion was good giving Southside the 36-8 lead.
The Hornets did not stop battling though. With 6:46 left in the half, Dallas County scored again. Michael Harris scored on a 12-yard run to cut the lead again. The 2-point conversion was no good but the lead was smaller with Southside leading 36-14.
The Hornets found the end zone again in the second quarter with 46.6 seconds left. Isaiah Tillis found the end zone from eight yards out. The 2-point conversion was good giving Southside only a 36-22 lead at the end of the first half.
Early in the second half, Southside put a little more distance between the Hornets. With 6:48 left in the third quarter, Deandre Garner scored from 81 yards out. The 2-point conversion was no good but the lead was 20 at 42-22 Southside.
Going into the fourth quarter Southside put the game out of reach for the Hornets. With 7:10 left in the game, Derick Smith scored on a keeper from 49 yards out. The 2-point conversion was good making the Southside lead 50-22.
Dallas County would not go away quietly. With 3:11 left in the game, Harris scored from three yards out. The 2-point conversion was good making the score 50-30.
Late in the game, Southside found the endzone one last time on a Tyree Cooper touchdown catch from four yards out. The 2-point conversion was no good making the score 56-30 southside.
The final play of the game was the final points of the game as Dallas County scored with no time on the clock on a Terrence Hosea six-yard touchdown reception.
“I’m proud of the way we fought tonight, knowing they never quit and gave it their all,” Dallas County head coach Douglas Laister said. “Our young boys fought and stood up against a real talented team until the end. I see some real promising things for the future.”
Laister said the game between two Dallas County School team was physical.
“It was a real physical game, a big rivalry game,” Laister said. “Two Dallas County schools gave it their all. It was a good clean game, good sportsmanship. Hats off to Southside. They’ve got a great team.”
Dallas County finishes its season with a 1-9 overall record. Southside will play next Friday on the road against Dadeville in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

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