Panthers win third straight game, 34-19

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2006

Cornelius McMeans rushed for 225 yards on 36 carries and scored one touchdown as Georgiana won its third consecutive game, beating Hillcrest-Evergreen 34-19 on Friday night.

&#8220He (McMeans) carried the ball good,” said Georgiana head coach Donald Ray Mixon. &#8220We did a good job blocking. Shayne Boyd, Derrick GodwinŠthe whole offensive line did a good job making way for him (McMeans) tonight.”

The Panthers improved to 5-5 on the season, heading into next week's Class 2A first round playoff game at American Christian Academy in Northport.

&#8220We're going to trade tapes tomorrow so I'll get a look at them (ACA),” said Mixon. &#8220I know they like to spread the football around and throw the ball.”

American Christian (8-2) was the champion of Class 2A, Region 4. The Patriots fell to Sweet Water on Friday night, 55-14.

For the Panthers, Friday's game against the Jaguars (0-10) was pulled out late thanks to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns - one by McMeans, which pushed Georgiana's lead to 27-19 with 8:47 left in the final quarter of play. One minute later teammate Dedric Rich sealed the victory with his 3-yard fumble return for a score that gave Georgiana a 34-19 lead with 7:40 left.

For the game the Panthers had 20 first downs to Hillcrest-Evergreen's eight. Besides Rich's score, Mixon's team also capitalized on another Jaguars' turnover when Adones Peterson returned a fumble for a touchdown before halftime.

The Panthers led 20-12 at that point.

Hillcrest-Evergreen had six fumbles on the night, losing four of them to Georgiana.

Georgiana's yards all came on the ground as the Panthers finished the game with 271 yards rushing, including two touchdowns by quarterback Andre Paige. Paige opened the scoring with his 1-yard touchdown plunge with 4:14 remaining in the first quarter. Hillcrest-Evergreen responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass, but Paige added a 16-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, pushing the Panthers lead to 13-6.

The Jaguars finished with 233 yards of total offense, including 156 through the air, but were hindered by 15 penalties for 165 yards.

Mixon, a graduate of Hillcrest-Evergreen, said it felt good to win the game against his alma mater.

&#8220I haven't really had time to enjoy it, though,” he said. &#8220I've already started thinking about ACA.”