Turnovers cost Georgiana

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2005

Bodie Pickens

Leroy, the defending Class 2A state champions, took full advantage of key Georgiana turnovers in the first half en route to a 47-7 win at Harmon Field Friday night.

&uot;You can’t expect to win when you turn the ball over as many times as we did tonight,&uot; Georgiana coach Greg Ennis said.

Besides a turnover on downs, the Panthers (2-4) gave up an interception for a touchdown, and three more fumbles resulted in two touchdowns as well as a field goal.

In addition to the turnovers, Leroy opened the scoring as senior Josh Reed took the punt return for an 80 yard touchdown with 8:32 left in the first quarter.

&uot;We’ve been plagued by turnovers all year,&uot; Ennis said.

However, on their first possession, the Panthers briefly had momentum via the rushing attack.

The Panthers rushed for 212 yards on the stiff Leroy defense. However, Georgiana only had 6 passing yards on one completion.

Senior Will Langham led the team with 53 rushing yards on seven carries. Langham scored the lone TD in the fourth quarter with 7:26 left in the game.

&uot;William is the best football player I’ve seen,&uot; Ennis said. &uot;He’s a rare breed and coaches love to coach players like him.&uot;

Not to be outdone, junior Cornelious McMeans had 46 yards on just eight carries while seniors Steven Cambell and Zane Stackhouse had 40 and 41 yards, respectively.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers held the top-ranked team in the state to 194 yards of total offense.

&uot;Defensively, we had our back against the wall because they had great field position off our turnovers,&uot; Ennis said.

Furthermore, all of Leroy’s points resulted from Panther turnovers.

&uot;As far as effort is concerned, I have nothing to complain about,&uot; Ennis said. &uot;Everyone came out and played hard the entire game.&uot;

Though the Panthers fell behind 6-0 on a punt return for a TD, they continued to run effectively.

However, the Bears defensive line penetrated and snagged a fumble recovery off Georgiana’s sophomore quarterback Andre Page.

Soon thereafter, Leroy scored for the 14-0 lead with 5:05 left in the opening quarter.

The Panthers did not panic as the running game put together a 12-play, 48-yard drive to end the first quarter. Langham and senior Oderia Mobley had gains on the drive along with Page.

When it looked like the Panthers were poised to punch one in and get back in the game, Leroy beared down and took over on downs at their 32-yard line.

From that point, the Bears scored four consecutive TDs in the second quarter to close the half at 41-0.