Georgiana finds first season win in home territory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2004

The Panthers put the first win on the board Friday night with a 21-14 victory over the Bayside Academy Admirals.

"We held on to the ball a lot better this week," Coach Keith York said. "It was a good game but these close ones really wear on me."

Their first home game this year, the Panthers came up short last week with a 12-15 loss to Samson after 16 turnovers.

"We gave them a few early on but then we tightened up," he said. "We had to work for it but I'm really proud of these guys."

Bayside opened up the game with a drive ending in a 16-yard reception by senior Destin Williams from Stephen Ballard. The extra-point failed to leave them up by 6 with 7:10 left in the first.

Zane McMeans answered back for the Panthers with a 65-yard dash into the end zone on the next possession. The PAT was good to give the Panthers a 7-6 lead.

McMeans broke another run, this time for 80 yards, with 3:12 left in the first. The extra point was good and the Panthers had a 14-6 lead going into the second quarter.

Bayside got in for its only other score of the night with 8:18 left in the half as Jordan Watkins caught a 38-yard pass. But the extra point try failed and the half ended with the Panthers on top.

The third quarter was a seesaw battle as the Panthers drove down to within scoring distance but failed to capitalize due to fumbles. Bayside proved no better off as a few plays later they gave the ball right back. The Panthers tried again but the ball popped out and Bayside scooped it up only to turn it over to Georgiana again with a pass interception by Chris Wright on the Bayside 46 yard-line.

In the fourth, the Panthers were driving again but were stopped on the 10-yard line by a turnover Bayside recovered on their 17-yard line. Driving out to the 38-yard line, the Bayside quarterback fumbled the ball behind the line and William Langham got in to make the sack. Bayside turned over the ball on downs and two plays later McMeans went 18 yards for the third touchdown of the night. The low kick split the uprights and with 3:54 left in the game the Panthers were up 21-12.

The Georgiana defense held the Admirals to a minimal yardage as the clock ticked away, eventually stopping them. Getting the ball back on downs, they ran the last minute off for put away their first win of the season.

Zane McMeans had 18 carries for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback, Joel Maye, completed three of six passed for 36 yards. The total offense for the Panthers was 377 yards. Bayside had 166 yards on the ground and 140 yards in the air completing seven of 17 with one interception.

Stewart Crittenden received a serious injury during a running play in the third quarter and had to be taken off the field in a gurney.

"He got a little sting in his back,"York said. "But he was feeling his leg a lot better when we took him off the field."

He was taken to the hospital but York said he is expected to be fine.

Next week the Panthers will travel to Silas to play South Choctaw.