Week off may be blessing for Panthers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

Some coaches would have looked at a week off in the early going of the season as a setback. Georgiana coach Greg Ennis said he looks at the layoff as a blessing.

"We had a hard August, so it was good to get our guys a week off so they could rest and heal up," Ennis said.

Georgiana, like most teams within Region 1, Class 2A took Friday off because of the effects left from Hurricane Katrina.

Georgiana (1-0) was scheduled to face Bayside Academy in Daphne for their region opener, but the game was postponed. Ennis said a make-up date has yet to be set.

So now the Panthers open their region slate with the No. 3-ranked team in Class 2A, Southern Choctaw.

The Indians (1-0) also took Friday off, so they may have to shake the rust off, too.

In order to keep Georgiana's players on schedule, Ennis put the team through a three-hour scrimmage Friday night at Harmon Field.

"We didn't do it like a controlled scrimmage where the number ones were played against our number two defense," Ennis said. "We split it up pretty evenly and played a good scrimmage."

Georgiana is coming off a convincing 45-6 victory over Samson to open the season. Zane Stackhouse rushed for 234 yards on nine carries and four touchdown runs of 44, 53, 33 and 32 yards.

Meanwhile Southern Choctaw beat intra-county rival Choctaw County 41-6 two weeks ago.

Like Georgiana, the Indians have a veteran backfield led by Marty Frost and fullback John Pascley. They are just part of Southern Choctaw's running back-by-committee attack. Dexter Williams, Shannon Dozier and Jay Johnson also will see time in the backfield by coach Larry Boykin.

Ennis said he doesn't see any weaknesses in the Indians.

"Outside of the long bus ride, I don't see how we are going to be able to compete," Ennis said. "They are one of the best football programs in the state. I only dream to have a football program here as good as (Boykin) has there."