Panthers must win, receive help

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Brewer (1-7, 1-5) at Southside (5-3, 3-3)
Series record: Southside 2, Brewer 0
Last meeting: 1991 – Southside 34, Brewer 14
Last week: Southside 27, Etowah 26; Fort Payne 49, Brewer 12


By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent

In a nutshell, Southside needs a victory in this one to have any shot at the playoffs.

Even accomplishment doesn’t guarantee a slot, but a victory over the Patriots puts the Panthers in a position to go to the postseason, according to how the other teams fare.

The winner of Etowah-Boaz is automatically in the playoffs but along with the loser of that game and Arab, Southside will be in a footrace for the other two spots – and it will come down to the dreaded tiebreaker system.

“Knowing that is what brought the kids back to Earth after our big win,” Panthers coach Marty Smith said. “They understand that if our playoffs basically start this weekend and if we don’t win, we won’t play in Week 11.”

Last week, Southside beat Etowah for the first time since 2008. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1995 to find a Southside win in the county rivalry.

“These guys never quit in a game, no matter the score,” Smith said. “When your team has that type of mentality, good things can and do happen.”

Southside scored late to defeat the Blue Devils last week.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position with this win, but put ourselves in a precarious one by losing to Arab,” Smith said. “Now all we can do is control what’s in front of us and see what happens with the other teams.”

Two weeks ago, the Panthers lost an overtime heartbreaker to Arab.

Against Etowah, Patrick Lister completed 7-of-11 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns.

Dantley Coker rushed for 114 yards on 22 carries, while Holt Keeling added 52 yards on six carries.

Blake Devine had three receptions for 93 yards, while Coker caught three passes for 34 yards.

Nobles led the Panthers in tackles with 12, followed by Hunter Armstrong with 10 and Keeling and Hunter Sparks with six each

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