Photo by Travis Greene
By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Southside High head football coach Ron Daugherty must have bought an alarm clock last Friday (Oct. 12).
Something or someone served a wake-up call on the Panthers, as they pounded visiting Alexandria, 35-14. The win propelled Southside into third place in Class 5A Region 6 standings at 3-4, 3-1. The Valley Cubs dropped to 4-3, 2-2.
Alexandria out-gained Southside 292 yards to 210 but the Panthers were the recipients of four Valley Cub turnovers – three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
“We did not play well this year until this game,” said Daugherty. “Alexandria is a good team, and they battled to the end. Our kids got off to a rough start, but we are getting better every week.”
The game was a defensive struggle throughout much of the first half, which ended with the teams going to the locker room tied 7-7.
The second half, however, would see two different teams take the field.
Alexandria drove 78 yards in only four plays to go up 14-7 with 9:49 to go in the third quarter. The Valley Cubs scored on a 7-yard run by Nate McCallum.
Southside answered six minutes later when quarterback Michael Rich found Kenneth Bothwell for to a 44-yard touchdown pass.
The Panthers then took the lead with 29 seconds to go in the third quarter when Bothwell scored on a 3-yard run. The score capped a 29-yard drive set up by an Alexandria fumble.
Southside added another score when lineman Chance Moon scored on a 1-yard run to put the Panthers up 28-14 with 5:47 remaining in the game. The four-yard scoring drive was set up by a Ryan Martin pass interception. Martin (pictured above) picked off two passes in the game.
The Panthers added an exclamation point to the win when Bothwell scored on a 20-yard run with two minutes to go. Bothwell finished with 90 yards rushing.
The Panthers continue region play this Friday (Oct. 19) with a visit to Boaz.