Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
Courtesy of al.com
Three big plays and a feisty defense helped Southside upend Class 5A No. 6 Leeds, 23-13, on Friday, Oct. 6, at Barney Hood Stadium.
With the win, the Panthers (6-1, 4-0) assumed control of Class 5A, Region 6.
Although pleased with the win, Southside head coach Miles Holcomb cautioned against overconfidence.
“The job’s not done ‘til the job’s done. Tonight, we just found a way to just keep playing until it was over.”
Defense largely controlled the game. Leeds (4-2, 2-1) mostly held Southside senior running back Mason Teague in check until it mattered the most.
With the Panthers leading 16-6 and facing a third-and-10 situation, Teague (pictured above at left) shifted to behind center, taking a direct snap. He navigated his way through the Green Wave defense for a 53-yard touchdown, punctuating a 171-yard effort on 25 carries.
“Just punch and punch and punch, and soon enough you find one to break,” Holcomb said. “Mason found one to break at the right time.”
On the other side, the Southside defense gave up 351 yards but was able to keep the visitors off the scoreboard for the game’s first 42 minutes. Leeds did itself no favors in committing nine penalties and turning the ball over on a failed fake punt attempt in the second quarter. That play resulted in a Southside field goal that made the score 9-0.
Leeds quarterback Conner Nelson finished with 304 yards rushing and throwing and scored both Green Wave touchdowns. It was Nelson’s counterpart, however, who contributed the two biggest blows for the home team.
Southside quarterback Jordan Bryan (pictured above at right) completed only five passes for the night, but two of those went for long touchdowns. His final TD, a 54-yarder to Cayden McMichael on third-and-19, effectively clinched the victory.
Bryan was 5 for 9 in passing for 132 yards, while McMichael caught four passes for 70 yards. Kody Kueny had two receptions for 69 yards.
Brody McCutcheon, Brayden Bowers and Blake Phillips each had 10 tackles, followed by Koal Garrett with eight and Silas Osborne and Tytan Rich with seven each. Bowers and Matthew Buttram both had a sack.
The Panthers have an open date this week before hosting region rival Alexandria on Oct. 20.
Chris McCarthy contributed to this article.