Georgiana pummels Red Level

Published 12:44 am Saturday, October 24, 2015


The Red Level Tigers (3-6) had their hopes crushed Friday night as they faced the Georgiana Panthers (8-1) with a spot in the playoffs on the line. The Panthers used a balanced offensive attack and a suffocating defense to dominate Red Level 50-0 in front of an excited Red Level home crowd.

Red Level’s Wesley Holley runs the ball Friday night.

Red Level’s Wesley Holley runs the ball Friday night.

The Panthers amassed 474 yards of total offense – 213 yards on the ground and 261 yards through the air – and the Tigers couldn’t find a way to slow them down. Georgiana’s defense held the Tigers to just 108 total yards for the entire game, with only 70 yards coming from Red Level’s usually-potent running game.

Red Level played the game without starting quarterback Dylan Jordan, who head coach James Wise said had some nagging injuries heading into the game.

“I didn’t want to put him out there and make things worse,” Wise said of his senior quarterback’s injuries.

Running back Wesley Holley and quarterback Kenneth Cale shared the quarterback duties during the game in a two-quarterback rotation. Holley spent the majority of the game running the read option as more of a wildcat-style quarterback, while Cale was more of the traditional quarterback.

Red Level started the game out going three-and-out on their first drive before punting, which became a reoccurring theme on the night. Red Level was forced to punt after three-and-outs six times, and turned the ball over on downs twice.

Georgiana struck quickly as quarterback Jamichael Stallworth completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to receiver Demarcus Rich. On Georgiana’s second drive the Panthers made what would end up being one of their few mistakes in the game, as Stallworth threw an interception. However, Red Level couldn’t manage to turn it into points.

Stallworth would then throw two more touchdown passes in the first half, a 15-yard TD pass and a 10-yard TD pass, to take a 22-0 lead late in the half. Red Level finally managed to get things going late in the first half as Holley rumbled for 10 yards on fourth and one in Panther territory. John Lee managed to get the ball inside the 10 as the clock ticked under a minute. Then, a high snapped sailed over Cale’s head, though he managed to fall on the ball. As the clocked ticked down the Tigers were forced to go for a desperation attempt to convert on fourth down with less than 20-seconds left in the half. Cale was sacked again and it looked like the half would come to a close with Red Level’s best chance at points falling apart, but with four seconds left in the game Georgiana wasn’t done yet.

Georgiana running back Jacquez Payton took a simple handoff on the Panthers’ own 20 yard line and raced 80 yards for one of most electrifying runs of the year to put Georgiana up 28-0 at halftime.

The Panthers got things going in the second half deep in their own territory when Stallworth completed a 30-yard pass to receiver George Feagin, and then Payton took a short pass 49 yards for his second touchdown of the game. After another three-and-out for the Tigers, Payton returned the Red Level punt 50 yards and a few plays later Stallworth threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game.

Stallworth would finish the game completing 13 of his 16 passes for 261 yards with five touchdowns and the one interception. He also managed to spread the ball around quite a bit as Payton had 69 yards and one TD receiving, Rich had 70 yards and two TDs, and Feagin had 73 yards.

The scoring came to a close in the fourth quarter as Payton returned a Red Level punt 80-yards for yet another electric score, finishing the game with 306 all-purpose yards and three total TDs. He scored a touchdown rushing, receiving, and on a punt return.

Wise spoke about Payton’s ability after the game and suggested that teams simply shouldn’t punt the ball to him. “In hindsight just don’t punt the ball to #10 (Payton), go for it every time. He’s a great athlete and great athletes are going to make plays.”

Red Level just never seemed to be able to slow down Georgiana’s offense or get anything clicking on offense either. Despite the lopsided score Wise said that he was proud of his team for not quitting during the game.

“I know the scoreboard doesn’t indicate it, and people that don’t understand football won’t (understand), but I told them that I can go home and lay down in my bed to go to sleep knowing in my heart they didn’t quit,” he said.

Despite the loss of any playoff opportunities next week’s final home game against Fruitdale will be senior day for the Tigers and Wise said that he has challenged his underclassmen to send the seniors out with a win.

“I challenged the underclassmen to send our seniors out winners because they deserve it, and they owe them that. I also challenged our seniors to lead like this game is the last game they will ever play in their lives,” Wise said.

The Tigers close out the 2015 season at home next week against Fruitdale.