The Liberty County Panthers (10-1) made history last week when they defeated the Pike County Pirates to get to double-digit wins in a single season for the first time ever.
They look to make even more history by getting to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs when they host the Sonoraville Phoenix on Friday in the second round.
The Panthers dominated Pike County from start to finish in the first round, getting five touchdowns through the air from senior quarterback Jaalon Frazier.
They hope to do the same this week when they welcome the Phoenix, the third seed out of Region 6-AAA who upset the Franklin County Lions in the first round.
Liberty County is currently ranked eighth in AAA by MaxPreps, while the Phoenix are ranked 15th. The teams have never played each other in the past, but it is clear the home team is the favorite.
The Panthers have scored an average of 42.3 points per game, including 56 points in each their last two games, while allowing just 17.9 points per game. The Phoenix average 25.7 points per game offensively and allow 21.2 points.
Despite this, Liberty County head coach Kirk Warner knows he wants to keep his players on the straight and narrow and to not look past their opponent this weekend.
“We definitely are going to keep our guys level-headed,” he told the Courier after Friday’s win over the Pirates. “(The players) listen to the coaches and do what we ask them to do. We came out with some intensity and had a few mental lapses in the second quarter. We just gotta eliminate those type of things to have the season that we are capable of having.”
A win in Friday’s game would mean a first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight for the team and would set a match-up against either the Spartans of Greater Atlanta Christian or the Rams of Worth County.
Friday’s game is in Donell Woods Stadium with a tentative 7:30 kickoff. Tickets are $10.