The pregame message last Thursday night to the Liberty County Panthers was similar to the one delivered the week before.
The results were similar, too.
The Panthers scored on five of their six first-half possessions and rolled to a 41-0 blowout of Groves at Islands High School, moving to 2-4 on the season and 2-1 in Region 3-AAA.
“We wanted to come out and stay hot,” Panthers coach Tony Glazer said, “play physical and play fast and do what we were here to do, which was execute and put the pressure on them.”
Liberty County will host Savannah Country Day (4-2, 2-1) on Thursday night. The Hornets are coming off a 65-6 win over Beach as Barton Mixon threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 122 yards and two scores.
Mixon has thrown for 1,102 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Hornets.
In the Panthers’ rout of Groves, Carlos Singleton threw for four touchdowns in the first half, including a 63-yard strike to Jeremiah Payne, and ran for another as the Panthers put the game away early.
Singleton capped a 15-play, 71-yard drive that consumed 4:46 off the clock with a 4-yard run on the Panthers’ opening possession.
After a Groves fake punt attempt at the Rebels’ own 24-yard line went awry, the Panthers struck on the next play, as Golden jumped over a defender to haul in Singleton’s pass.
Singleton connected with Hurd on a 9-yard score on the next drive for a 21-0 lead.
Liberty extended its lead to 28-0 as Singleton hit Payne down the right sideline for a 69-yard scoring strike with 3:04 left in the first half. The Panthers took over at their own 47 with 1:14 remaining, giving them enough time to stretch the margin to 34-0 on Singleton’s 15-yard TD pass to Hurd.
A three-and-out, a turnover and a long missed field goal ended the Panthers’ first three second-half drives. The Panthers put the finishing touches on the game with Xy’lanjen Dozier’s 1-yard run.
“We didn’t come out with the same energy we had at the beginning of the game,” Glazer said. “But we snapped back into it. Penalties hurt us in the second half, kind of like last week. But at the end of the day, we kept battling. Be physical, be fast and play hard, that’s what Panthers football is and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
After scoring just 26 points in the first four games, the Panthers have posted 83 points in the last two, with two of those touchdowns coming from the defense.
But getting more production out of the offense was a point of emphasis after the Panthers fell to 0-4 with the loss to No. 1-ranked Calvary.
“I think we’re playing fast on offense right now,” Glazer said. “It starts with being physical. You can’t be physical if you can’t get any yards on first down. Our whole goal has been trying to get better since Calvary.”