The Liberty County Panthers will try to end their regular season on a winning note tonight against sub-region opponent Glenn Hills at Donell Woods Stadium.
It will be the second time these two teams have squared off this season. The Panthers (5-4 overall) beat the Spartans, 37-14, on Oct. 5 in Hinesville.
Neither team is eligible for the postseason, but Liberty coach Kirk Warner suspects the Spartans (3-6) would like some payback for their earlier loss.
“We still have the same worries. They are still athletic, and they can beat you with the deep ball, which has been one of our Achilles heels,” Warner said. “We have to try and put pressure on the quarterback and get to him like we did in the last game and hope the same formula works.”
Spartans’ quarterback Santo Nina was 12-of-16 passing for 155 yards against the Panthers in the first matchup. However, the Panther defense did get four interceptions off Nina. Liberty also contributed to the Spartans’ three fumbles in the game and allowed only 61 rushing yards.
On the flip side, the Liberty offense rushed for 297 yards on 37 attempts, led by junior running back Trentice Williams, who had 118 yards on seven carries.
Warner said if his offense can handle the pressure, the Panthers will do better than last week when South Effingham had a big second half to win, 33-16. That loss knocked the Panthers out of a playoff spot.
“They came out with a little bit more intensity and started blitzing us a little bit more, something we haven’t handled quite well all year, but the second half just didn’t go our way,” Warner said about the Mustangs. “They made plays, and we didn’t.”
Warner said his team has some incentives tonight to win.
“We still have plenty of reasons to play hard,” he said. “For one, we want to send our seniors out with a winning record. And our freshman … we told them that if we end with a winning record they would have the chance to do something that no other freshman class has done, which is to have a winning season for all four years.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.