Stackhouse leads Panthers#039; rush to season-ending victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

Georgiana coach Greg Ennis said that he saw something Friday night that he had not seen in quite some time.

And what Ennis saw was a Panther squad that totally dominated its opponent on both sides of the ball to close out the season with a 38-6 victory over an overmatched St. Jude team Friday night at Harmon Field.

&#8220What I saw tonight was a Georgiana team that I remember of years ago,” Ennis said. &#8220We played well from the opening whistle until the end.”

Georgiana tailback Zane Stackhouse closed out his career Friday on a high note by rushing for almost three times as many yards as the visiting Pirates managed to amass as a team. Stackhouse rushed for 280 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns on runs of 49, 7 and 52 yards.

St. Jude, with a roster of just over 20 players, managed to avoid the shutout early in the second quarter on a 60 yard fumble return for a touchdown, but could not get anything else going all night.

Pirate players were falling quickly to injury including one player who hurt his neck and had to be transported to the Georgiana hospital with just under 11 minutes left to play in the game. Not knowing the player's status, St. Jude coach Ricky Cotton elected to forgo the rest of the game so that he could be with his player.

Georgiana closes out the season with a 4-6 record, while St. Jude fell to 2-8 on the year.

While St. Jude managed just 70 yards of total offense, Stackhouse could not be stopped rushing the football. He got off to a fast start on the opening play of the game.

After taking the ensuing kick-off at the St. Jude 49, Stackhouse took the handoff and jogged to the right side and sprinted to the end zone with 11:41 left in the opening quarter to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.

The Pirates later tied the game with 8:21 left in the first half on a Charles Knight fumble recovery return for a touchdown, but Georgiana regained control of the ballgame on its next possession.

Stackhouse capped a seven-play, 53-yard drive with a 7-yard run late in the first half. Steven Campbell found the end zone for the two-point conversion to give Georgiana a 14-6 lead with 5:29 left before intermission.

The Panthers managed to put the game away for good just before the half when senior fullback Will Langham scored his first of two touchdowns on the night. Langham barreled in from the 1 for the score with 45 seconds left to go to give Georgiana a comfortable 22-6 lead.

St. Jude continued to struggle on offense in the second half with its deepest penetration coming in the closing minutes of the ball game. The Pirates reached the Georgiana 1 yard line, but managed to shoot itself in the foot a number of times until the game was called.

Meanwhile, the Panthers continued to put touchdowns on the board.

Stackhouse scored his final touchdown of the game on a 52-yard sprint with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

Langham later scored from a yard out with 18 seconds left in the same quarter to cap off a 38-6 victory.

While Georgiana did close out the year on a winning note, there was a subdued feeling inside the Panther locker room.

Georgiana loses 16 seniors including the running back tandem of Stackhouse and Langham.

&#8220I couldn't ask for a better bunch of guys to play with,” Langham said. &#8220We played together through a lot of (adversity) and we stayed together as a team.”

Georgiana finished the night with 389 yards of total offense, while St. Jude had 70.