Photo: Southside’s Mason Teague stretches for yardage while being tackles by Etowah’s Cam Naylor during the Panthers’ 45-17 victory in high school football on Nov. 3 in Attalla. (Chris McCarthy/ Messenger)
With no less than a region championship at stake, Southside saved its best for last on Nov. 3 in Attalla.
Trailing Etowah by nine points midway through the third quarter, the Panthers (8-2, 5-1) scored 28 unanswered points to post a 45-17 victory and claim the Class 5A Region 7 title outright.
Southside, Moody and Leeds finished in a three-way tie for the region last week, but the Panthers’ win against Etowah gave Southside the region’s top playoff seed.
The Panthers last won a region championship in 2014. The victory also broke a two game-losing streak to Etowah while improving Southside’s record in the 44-year old series to 13-30-1.
Southside will host Boaz in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs on Friday, Nov. 10, while the Blue Devils (3-7, 3-3) visit West Morgan.
As usual, the Panthers’ bell cow on offense was senior running back Mason Teague, who rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Teague now has 1,955 rushing yards and 25 TDs on the year.
Jordan Bryan was 6 for 10 in passing for 136 yards and two TDs. He also ran seven times for 61 yards and one touchdown. Kody Kueny had three receptions for 79 yards and a score.
Blake Philips led the way defensively with 13 tackles, followed by Silas Osborne and Titan Rich with 10 each, Kolby Dodd with nine, Brayden Bowers and Cameron Flowers with eight each and Koal Garrett with four. Flowers had two sacks and Rich had an interception.