Strong fourth quarter lifts Southside past Keith

Published 11:21 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

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MJ Reese and Derick Smith connected on two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Southside defeated Keith 22-0 on Friday night at Panthers Stadium.

Southside (3-2) took a precarious 8-0 lead into the game’s final 12 minutes before pulling away from Keith.

Reese and Derick Smith connected on scoring tosses of 38 and 23 yards in the fourth. Reese connected with Erick Smith on a two-point conversion.

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Southside head coach Charles Moody Jr. said he wasn’t surprised at the Bears’ defensive strategy.

“It was a great game plan by Keith coach Anthony Lumpkin,” Moody said. “They slowed us down. We have a great, friendly rivalry with Keith. The coaches and Principals like each other.”

The Bears (3-2) had several chances in the third quarter to tie the game. Keith reached Southside’s 30-yard-line twice, but the Panthers’ defense turned the Bears away each time.

Keith head coach Anthony Lumpkin did not make excuses after the game. He refused to take a moral victory against a quick-strike Southside passing attack.

“We slowed them down, but we did not execute our offense,” Lumpkin said. “We moved the ball in the first half, but our offense stalled in the second half. But hats off to Southside.”

Southside took an 8-0 halftime lead on Reese’s 27-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. Derick Smith ran in the two-point conversion.

Southside hosts Prattville Christian Academy next Friday, and Keith entertains A.L. Johnson.