Good news for the fans of the Liberty County Panthers: Win or lose, they are in the playoffs after clinching third place in Region 3-AAA. However, Panther coach Kirk Warner said they still want to go out on top as they battle the Wildcats in Richmond Hill to finish the regular season.
The Panthers have next week off for their bye week.
"We want to come out and have a good showing before we have our open week," he said.
He said the Wildcats have speed and need to be contained before they hit the secondary.
"Our goal is to get them at the line of scrimmage," Warner said. "We can’t give up any plays that are more than 10-15 yards."
Warner said it was two offensive turnovers that cost them the game against Baldwin. Both turnovers put the Braves in scoring position and, as he said, took the wind out of the Panthers’ sail.
"We helped them on all three of their scoring drives," he said. "You can’t do that against good teams."
Marcus Jefferson leads the defense with 76.5 tackles for the season, Thomas Penny has 73. Tucory Rhodes, Aaron Bennett, Shakur Cook, Byron Johnson and Demetrick Mothershed round out the rest of the defense with 59, 51, 37, 32.5 and 31.5 tackles respectively. Cook also had an interception against the Braves last week. The Panther offense had 232 total yards.
Liberty is 2-6 against the Wildcats who are 3-5 overall and 0-4 in the region. Liberty is 6-3 and 3-2 and sitting at third. Warner said depending on how the rest of the region plays out tonight and next Friday they can anticipate either playing LaGrange or Carver-Columbus.
But Warner said they will concentrate on the Wildcats before scouting their post-season opponents.