It was a well-timed off week for the Liberty County Panthers — even if their practice schedules were curtailed.
The Panthers are 0-2 and host Pierce County, the No. 3-ranked team in Class AA, on Friday night. While Hurricane Idalia cancelled school — and all school activities, including football practice — the Panthers tried to get things right after two disappointing defeats.
“We were thankful we didn’t have a game last week,” Panthers coach Tony Glazer said. “It would have been hard to prepare for with being out of school. We were able to get some good work in when we were able to practice. It was a productive work. We could rest up and go back and try to correct some things.”
Not having a full scrimmage to get see where the Panthers needed to work on things has meant using the first two games to get looks at what works and what doesn’t.
Facing a top-10 team, even in a lower classification, also helps the Panthers get ready for a region schedule that includes two of Class AAA’s top 10 teams.
“We always look for a chance to get better,” Glazer said. “A good opportunity to get better is to play a really good football team. You learn some things about yourself and it prepares you for your region schedule, which determines whether you get to play an 11th game or not.”
The Bears (2-0) are coming off a 47-10 rout of Metter and opened the season with a 42-0 win over Jeff Davis. Quarterback Caden McGatha is 26-of-37 for 230 yards through the air.
Glazer was impressed by how physical the Bears are and how hard they play.
“They play whistle to whistle and they come off the ball,” he said. “You can tell they are a strong football team.”
The Panthers also expect to get some ailing members of the team back to full strength, thanks to the off week. It’s Region 3-AAA play after this week’s Pierce County contest.
“The bye week came at a good time,” Glazer said. “We also know we have a big stretch of some very physical football games. So we have to try to prepare and get as close to 100% as we can.”