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Panthers aiming for first 7-0 start since 1994

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell enters his fourth year with the program. In the past three seasons, he’s led the Panthers to a combined 24-6 record.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell enters his fourth year with the program. In the past three seasons, he’s led the Panthers to a combined 24-6 record.

At 6-0, the Georgiana Panthers are off to its best start of the 21st century.

The last time the Panthers made it to Week 7 without a loss was 1996, though hopes are still alive for the 2016 Panthers to echo 1994’s perfect regular season.

But before that, they’ll have to contend with a drastically improved Red Level Tigers team.

Just three years ago, Red Level wrapped up the 2013 season without a single victory on record.

A year later in 2014, the team only claimed a pair of wins.  2015 saw that number rise to four, which included a thrilling showdown with the Brantley Bulldogs that narrowly ended in defeat.

The climb continues in 2016 as the Tigers sit at 3-2 (2-1 in region play), suffering a pair of close losses only to Cottonwood, a Class 2A School, and region opponent Houston County, a strong contender in their own right.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the key to victory on the road Friday night in Red Level would lie in realizing that it wouldn’t come easy.

Fortunately, last Friday’s battle with the 1-4 St. Lukes Wildcats, whose talent betrayed their record, was a wake-up call.

“It was one of those things where they learned that you can’t take any opponent lightly, no matter when you play them on the schedule,” Powell said.

“You’ve got to be ready to play on every Friday night.”

For Powell and the Panthers, Red Level will be a similar story.

Despite starting the season with a pair of back-to-back losses, the Tigers of Red Level went on to win their next three games by a margin of 165-37.

The Tigers’ offensive capability has to be curbed at the line of scrimmage, according to Powell.

““For one, let’s be physical up front on both sides of the football and dominate the line of scrimmage,” Powell said. “Because if we can’t, it makes it hard for backs running the ball and linebackers getting to the play.

“And then we have to play assignment football.  Offensively, we can’t have a letdown; we’ve got to continue to click and run the football with some assertiveness, and be able to throw it when they stack the box to take the run away from us.”

The Panthers travel to face the Red Level Tigers Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.