GARDEN CITY, GA -- It didn't take long for the Liberty County Panthers (4-3, 4-1 Region 3-3A) to take over the game in their 45-0 victory over Groves (0-7, 0-4 Region 3-3A).
They dominated from the beginning.
After Groves received the ball first, they were forced to a three-and-out by the Panthers defense within the first minute of the game.
James Summersett received a punt from Groves and had a return that would set the Panthers up for a two-play drive capped off by a 30-yard rushing touchdown by Marques Johnson.
On the Panthers' next drive, they scored again following lengthy runs by Carlos Singleton and Johnson.
Tre Foster would finish it off with a 10-yard rushing score to take a 14-0 lead for the Panthers.
When Groves got the ball back, it would be cut short when quarterback Marqus Bythewood was picked off by Kyan Parker at the 50.
On the following play, Singleton found Ron Golden for a 30-yard completion to put the Panthers on the 20.
This drive was put in danger though.
Singleton was stripped sacked at the 20 but Johnson picked the ball up for the Panthers and ran it to the goal line before being stopped.
Two plays later, Dwayne Allen scored on a 1-yard run to bring the Panthers lead to 20-0 to end the first quarter.
It was the same story in the second quarter.
After a bad snap on a Groves' punt while deep in their own territory, the Panthers would take over on their own 6-yard line.
Summersett scored on a 5-yard run two players later to take a 27-0 lead over the struggling Groves.
A crazy play came by Caz Creasy as the Panthers drove to score once more before the half.
Singleton threw Creasy a pass downfield that would turn to a 50-50 ball, with the receiver coming down with it as his helmet came off during the play.
Eventually, the Panthers scored on 15-yard pass from the Singleton-Foster connection to go up 33-0 before the break.
Running clock was put in motion in the second half.
But the Panthers added two final scores in the third quarter before making subs.
First, Singleton and Golden connected for a 20-yard touchdown with 8:52 left in the third.
Then Creasy scored from the defensive end on a fumble recovery.
"The effort was a lot better than last week," Panther Head Coach Kirk Warner said. "We're still jumping offsides and making mental mistakes but those are some of the things we got to work on. We executed well tonight. We just got to cut down on the penalties because if we want to go into the playoffs, we can't have those mistakes because all teams are good."
Next, the Panthers will host region opponent Beach from Savannah on Oct. 29 in the regular season finally.
As the Panthers sit at No. 2 in Region 3-3A, they can jump to No. 1 if and take the region championship crown if Southeast Bulloch defeats Windsor Forest next week.
"We got to scoreboard watch but the main thing is the main thing," Warner said about the possibility of being region champs. "We got to take care of business against Beach because if we let them beat us, everything will be from knots. We need to come back Monday to work on the little things. We just got to work on things we can control and take it into next Friday night."