Liberty County High School and Bradwell Institute are looking to go 3-0 tonight as both play home games. It’s the Tigers’ first home game of the 2009 season, and it’s the Panthers’ first game in Donell Woods Stadium.
Liberty will host Effingham County and Bradwell will play Houston County at Olvey Field. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
Panthers host Effingham County
at Donell Woods
Coming off last week’s 21-0 shutout of Beach High, the Panthers are prepared to face a comparable Rebels squad tonight, despite Effingham’s 0-2 record after losing to Burke and Appling counties.
"We are looking for a hard fought game," Panther coach Kirk Warner said. "Defensively, they have an excellent defense and we have an excellent defense, and it’s going to boil down to which offense can move the ball more consistently. So, that is what we are working on this week. We are just trying to get some continuity."
Warner said the newly engineered soil installed at Donell Woods is ready for the game.
"The facilities are looking great. We just need to translate that into a victory," he said.
Last season, the Rebels held the Panthers to less than 200 yards rushing, but this season Warner thinks the tables have turned, thanks to his younger players’ improved skills.
"I think our young guys have done remarkably well," Warner said. "We want to use them in the running game as well as the passing game, and I think that gives us another dimension that they don’t quite have as far as the run/pass option. They still have a great full back that had some great gains in their first two games so we still have our work cut out for us on defense. We want to stay balanced because if we want to accomplish our goals, we definitely can’t be one dimensional. So, we still want to look at the passing game to help our running game."
To commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedies, the Panthers’ ROTC will perform a ceremony during halftime.
Tigers host Houston County at Olvey Field
The 2-0 Houston County Bears will face the Tigers at Olvey, and Tiger coach Jim Walsh Jr. said the Bears are in the same boat as the Tigers with several younger, inexperienced players on the roster.
"They are going to have size and they got speed, but both of us are fighting the same monster," the coach said. "We got youth and as a result there are a lot of mistakes being made. They are in a region that is obviously a very proven region. The bottom line is this is the last game we play before we get into region play. And we can’t make mistakes against Houston and expect to win."
Against Wayne County last week, the Tigers appeared sluggish for the first half of the game. The offense was reignited in the third quarter due in part to seniors Wilson Brown and Sheldon Barnes. Barnes, the full back, ended the night with 184 yards and Brown, the quarterback, scored two of the three touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets.
"We know it’s going to be a tough game," Brown said during practice. "Being from that region, they (Houston) are going to be bringing that heat. We’ve had a good week so far at practice and as long as we can execute, and being at home, I think we will have a little advantage."
Brown expressed satisfaction with his performance so far this season, saying he will do whatever it takes to win.
"As long as we can stay motivated and have energy, we are good to go."
Defensively, the Tigers are strong. Delrish Moore got two sacks against Wayne County. Ulrick john recovered two fumbles, one for a touchdown. Darvean Herron leads the tackles with 18 for the season to date. Greg Howard, David Swinford, Moore and Corey Gailliard each have nine tackles so far, according to stats provided by defensive coordinator Jeff Miller.