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Panthers host region opener
Tonights game at Donell Woods Stadium is at 7:30
Panther running back Mike Rodriguez looks downfield for room during last week’s 24-21 loss to Glynn Academy in Brunswick. Rodriguez and the Panther offense will face their first region test as they host Washington County tonight at 7:30 at Donell Woods Stadium. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Liberty County High School will host Washington County tonight for their first region game at 7:30 on their home field, Donell Woods Stadium.

After suffering their first loss last week against Glynn Academy, football coach Kirk Warner said the region opener is a great opportunity to regain the confidence his 3-1 team earned early in the season while managing an improved spread offense.

It’s also a perfect time to avenge one of last season’s two shutouts against the Panther squad.

Last season, Washington shut out the Panthers 42-0 in Washington County. Baldwin handed the Panthers their second shutout (0-35).

Warner said the offense worked on the hard count and snaps to avoid the false-start penalties that cost the team forward momentum last week. According to coach Brian Griggs, the Panther offense drew 11 penalties against Glynn, but drew only eight total offensive penalties in their first three games.

In addition, the coaching staff worked on the kicking game.

"We had two breakdowns in the kicking game that gave them (Glynn Academy) those 10 points in the fourth," Warner said. "They blocked our kick and had to go less than 20 yards for the touchdown to tie the game. Then when we did punt it, we gave up a 50-yard return, placing them within field-goal position."

Before the loss to Glynn, the Panther defense gave up only 18 points in three games. Last week, they gave up 24 points despite forcing two fumbles and recovering one for a 55-yard touchdown.

Washington County has allowed 28 points, but has scored 163 and are undefeated at 4-0.

"They were a young team last year so they are probably a year older and a year stronger," Warner said of the Golden Hawks. "They are an outstanding team so we have to play our A-game, and I think if we bring our A-game, we can definitely stay in the game."

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