By Taylor Beck/Sand Mountain Reporter
Southside High spoiled Douglas’ homecoming with a 63-0 shutout in Class 5A, Region 6 action last Friday (Oct. 5).
It was the first game between the teams since 1981, and only the fifth meeting recorded. Southside is now 5-0 against Douglas.
The Panthers (2-4, 2-1) all but sealed the game in the first half with an explosive offensive output, finding the end zone early and often to race to a 49-0 lead.
Andrew Dunston put the first points on the board for Southside with 7:12 left in the first quarter. He pounded the football in for a touchdown from 11 yards away to put the Panthers ahead 7-0 after a successful PAT from Nolan Johnson. Johnson finished the game 9-of-9 on PATs.
About two minutes later, The Panthers scored again on a 14-yard run by Kenneth Bothwell, Jr., to increase their lead to 14-0.
On the Eagles’ following possession, Southside’s Colton Morrison intercepted a pass from Douglas quarterback Riley Baugh. Three plays later, Dunston found the end zone for his second touchdown of the night on a seven-yard carry, extending the Panthers’ lead to 21-0 with 2:25 remaining in the first quarter.
The Eagles (1-5, 0-4) were forced to punt the football away after only three plays on their next offensive series. On the next play from scrimmage, Panther quarterback Michael Rich threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Bothwell to go up 28-0. Rich finished the game 6-of-7 in passing for 122 yards.
With 9:54 left in the second quarter, Bothwell took a four-yard carry into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game, extending the Panther lead to 35-0.
At the 4:53 minute mark, Southside scored a touchdown for a sixth time in the same number of possessions. Blake Reed burned the Eagle defense from 46 yards out to increase the lead to 42-0.
On the next play from scrimmage, Panther defensive back Blake Habyan picked off a pass from Riley Baugh and returned it 25 yards to score Southside’s final touchdown of the half for a 49-0 lead.
In the second half of play, Douglas surrendered two more touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter. The first came from a 35-yard run by Bothwell with just under nine minutes left in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 56-0. The final score of the game was by way of Brennan Stokes, who carried the football 40 yards for a touchdown with 10:23 remaining in the game.
Bothwell finished with 69 yards on six carries, 76 yards on three receptions and four
Both teams continue region play this week. Southside visits Alexandria, while Douglas travels to Etowah.