Southside aims to sink Pirates

 Boaz (5-1, 3-1) at Southside (4-2, 2-2)
Series record: Boaz 10, Southside 9
Last meeting: 2011 – Boaz 20, Southside 0
Last week: Arab 20, Southside 19 OT; Fort Payne 24, Boaz 6

    By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent

    Beating Boaz tonight (Oct. 12) would go a long way toward putting Southside in the state playoffs. But even a loss doesn’t necessarily put the Panthers out.

    In fact, there is a tournament-like situation coming up to finish the season, with all four of the contenders – Southside, Etowah, Boaz and Arab – playing each other.

    Fort Payne already has a berth wrapped up.

    “It’s going to be a lot of fun, these next three weeks,” Southside coach Marty Smith said. “It’s the type of situation we play for. And if you can’t get excited now, you can’t get excited about football.”

    As of right now, Etowah, Boaz and Arab are tied for second place, with Southside one game back. But the Panthers came so close to beating the Arabian Knights last week.

    “We had the ball inside the 10 twice in the first half and got zero points,” Smith said. “We missed an extra point in the second half, then in overtime we scored first and went for two. We missed and Arab got a touchdown and won it with an extra point.

    “We keep emphasizing to these kids that you’ve got to play four quarters if you want to be a good team. A bad play anytime in the game can come back to haunt you. The fourth quarter doesn’t always define a game.”

    A good thing for Southside is that if there winds up being a three- or four-way tie for a playoff spot, the Panthers hold the tiebreaking edge, by virtue of having defeated Springville.

    The tiebreaking situation calls for wins against teams from your class and above – and their number of wins.

    Springville has won two games thus far. Etowah played no teams in 5A or above in non-region weeks. Boaz’s only such win is over Albertville, which has zero wins. And Arab also beat Albertville. The Knights have Hay-den coming up in Week 10 but the Wildcats are winless so far.

    Last week against Arab, Dantley Coker rushed for 139 yards on 19 carries, while Hunter Armstrong ran 12 times for 57 yards and three touchdowns. Holt Keeling added 44 yards on four attempts.

    Patrick Lister was 5-for-8 in passing for 74 yards. Coker and Blake Devine each had two catches.

    Chase Nobles led in tackles with 12, followed by Armstrong with nine and Saige Dale with eight.

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