Liberty County has a long road trip for Friday’s game. The Panthers advanced to round two of the state playoffs last week, beating Upson-Lee 31-22 at home.
Unfortunately, advancing to round two means a trip to Cartersville, northwest of Atlanta.
It also means the Panthers are about to face their toughest opponent to date. The Hurricanes boast an undefeated 11-0 overall record and 7-
0 mark in Region 7-AAAA.
The Hurricanes have a solid quarterback in senior Trevor Lawrence. He has completed 171 of
257 passes for 2,845 yards and 35 touchdowns with only three interceptions this season. The Hurricanes are predominantly a passing team.
Cartersville has rushed for 1,283 yards and 27 touchdowns collectively this season. If you take into account that Panther running back Jacquez Williams has rushed for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns alone it gives you a better perspective of just how much the Hurricanes rely on Lawrence’s arm.
Collectively, the Panthers have rushed for 2,999 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Panther passing game is still something to respect and gives Liberty a one-two punch the Hurricanes might lack. Quarterback Jaalon Frazier is 76 of 157 for 1,377 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Richard LeCounte has taken snaps under center, going 20 of 38 for 429 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Even sophomore Aaron Kuhl has seen action, going 1 of 5 for 25 yards.
It remains to be seen whether the Hurricanes can keep up with the speed of the Panther offense in Williams, LeCounte and Elisha Polite. In addition to leading the rush, Williams had five 100-plus yard games.
LeCounte has 824 yards on 93 carries with four 100-plus yard games and seven touchdowns. Polite has 407 yards, with four touchdowns and one 100-plus yard game.
Should the Hurricanes key in on those three, the Panthers still have hidden gems in Kevin Malwah, who has rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown, and Frazier, who has the run ball for 123 yards.
If the Panthers plan to take away the Hurricanes’ pass, they need to focus on Terrius Callahan. The senior receiver has 45 receptions for 934 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior Miller Forristall is another threat with 36 catches for 631 yards and seven touchdowns.
It will be up to Panther Calvin Holmes to have another big defensive game. He currently leads the team in interceptions with four, two of which came in last week’s playoff win. LeCounte has two interceptions as well and leading the Panthers in total tackles with 92.
Should the Hurricanes gain momentum on the ground, the ball will likely get into the hands of Tiamon Pennymon. He has 496 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Trey Creamer has 355 rushing yards for the Hurricanes and eight touchdowns.
Panthers Jeremiah Gilbert and Antonio Golden need a strong rush against the quarterback to force interceptions or make the sacks. Gilbert has five sacks to date and Golden has 4.5. Traveon Freeman and Jacari Roberts each have three sacks.
The road trip comes with a costly bill and the team is seeking community help. The team thinks it will cost roughly $5,000 to charter team buses and provide meals. Donation are tax deductible. For more information, call Douglas Harn, 912-977-6804 or Kim Warner, 912-271-9576.
Friday’s game is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $8.