Panthers hosting Wildcats

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 Fort Payne (2-1, 1-1) at Southside (3-0, 2-0)
Last week’s results: Southside 28, Scottsboro 6; Fort Payne 20, Arab 15
2012 result: Fort Payne 45, Southside 20
Series record: Fort Payne leads 14-8

By Gene Stanley/Correspondent

Fort Payne may not be an Etowah County school, but because of the regional ties and the fact that Southside hasn’t had much luck lately against their neighbors to the north, the Panthers look at it as a big rivalry.

“People make a lot about county rivalries, but our guys are really excited about this Fort Payne game,” coach Ron Daugherty said.

“We started out 3-0 last year but (Fort Payne) brought us back to reality.

“The kids are just as excited about this game as if it were Etowah, because (Fort Payne) has been the measuring stick in this region for a few years.”

Even though the Wildcats have a young team, Daugherty said there’s no lack of talent – or playing time.

The last few years, Fort Payne’s starters have done a great job of building a big lead to allow the younger guys to get field time.

“They’ve got two or three skill guys who are hard to tackle,” Daugherty said.

The Wildcats defeated Arab with almost no offense. On the last play of the first half, Tyler Fraebel returned an interception for a touchdown, and then Desmon Turner returned the second-half kickoff for another touchdown.

“Those guys are hard to tackle,” Daugherty said. “Their quarterback (Alan Smith) also does a good job of distributing the ball. And if he has to, he’s a pretty good runner.”

Last week against Scottsboro, Aleric Williams had 89 yards rushing on just two carries.

Dantley Coker ran 19 times for 87 yards, Blake Devine ran seven times for 63 yards and Holt Keeling ran five times for 50 yards.

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