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ASHS heads into gridiron playoffs with tilt against Howard

By MICHAEL MURRAY

AMERICUS – After drawing the curtain on their regular season with an impressive overall record, the Americus-Sumter High School Panthers have earned the opportunity, once again, to advance into the postseason.
After carving up the Carver Tigers on Nov. 3 in their regular-season closer, the Panthers stand tall with an 8-2 overall record and wrapped up the regular season with an undefeated region record after seven contests.
The Panthers will now put their skills to the test once more in the playoffs, hosting the Howard High School Huskies, of Macon, on Nov. 10 at Finklea-Robinson Field in Americus.
The Huskies ended up in fourth place in Region 2-AAA and will enter the postseason with a 6-4 overall mark and a 2-3 region record.
Many of the Panthers’ team members have experience playing under the pressure of a postseason match-up, as the ASHS roster currently includes several players who were on the team that traveled to Thomson to battle the Bulldogs last year. Many of these players also likely still feel the sting of the defeat that the Panthers suffered at the hands of the Bulldogs in that match-up.
These factors, among others, could potentially benefit the Panthers in the upcoming contest, as the team will certainly be hitting the field with something to prove. Coupled with the home-field advantage and a ton of momentum at their backs, the Panthers stand a good chance of earning a win this Friday.
That’s certainly not to say that the game will be a cakewalk for the hosts, however.
This year reportedly marks the first time that the Huskies have clinched a playoff spot in the program’s history, so they will certainly be traveling with something of their own to prove.
Throughout the season, the Huskies have shown time and time again that they are capable of producing points under pressure and, occasionally, delivering an upset.
One weapon at the Huskies’ disposal is junior quarterback, Quintan Sewell, who helped lead the team to an overtime victory over Perry High with three touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Another Howard threat, sophomore running back Jeremiah Kelley, was also instrumental in that victory, as he added a 93-yard touchdown return on the game’s opening kickoff. Other talented receivers, including Lorenzo Hargrove and Javarsia Meadows, could also prove to be thorns in the Panthers’ sides in the upcoming battle.
Fortunately, for Panther fans, the ASHS squad has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to overcome obstacles this season. With a lot more hard work and a little bit of luck, the Panthers should have no problem giving the visitors a run for their money this Friday.
The winner of Friday’s tilt will go on to face the victor of a battle between Salem High School and Thomson High.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 on Nov. 10.