SOUTHSIDE — It took a while for Southside to shake off the homecoming and senior night jitters, but the Panthers pulled away for a 54-21 win over Crossville at Barney Hood Stadium on Friday night to clinch the No. 2 seed from Class 5A, Region 6.

The game opened as many Southside games have recently — with a long touchdown run from Kenneth Bothwell. The senior took the second play of the game 44 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead.

Crossville's Trenton Bryant put the Lions back in it by stepping in front of a pass in the flat and taking the interception 60 yards for a touchdown.

A 46-yard run by Andrew Dunston got the Panthers in scoring position, and Bothwell scored to make the score 14-7.

However, another Panther miscue led to points for Crossville as Bryant picked up a fumble and returned it to the 1-yard line, where Hunter Haston punched it in.

From there on out, it was all Southside.

A long pass from quarterback Michael Rich to Carnel Davis set up a 9-yard touchdown run for Bothwell, then an interception by Brennan Stokes put Dunston in position for a 1-yard score to make it 27-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Bothwell had a 48-yard touchdown reception to start the second quarter, but it looked like Crossville might also find the end zone before the Southside defense forced a fumble.

On the next play, Bothwell raced 98 yards off the right side to stretch the lead to 41-14.

Southside's defense set up a pair of scores late in the second quarter.

An interception led to a 14-yard touchdown run from Bothwell and a covered fumble set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Dunston.

Another interception by Stokes ended the half.

The lone points in the second half came when Crossville scored with 42 seconds left.

 

Star of the Night

Bothwell had six touchdowns — just in the first half. Five of those were rushing (44, 1, 9, 98 and 14 yards) and one was receiving (48 yards). Bothwell ended the night with 221 yards rushing and 48 yards receiving.

 

Play of the Game

The Southside defense had just come up with a huge stop inside the 5-yard line when Bothwell took the handoff, hit a hole off the right side and put the Crossville defense in the rearview mirror on the way to his 98-yard touchdown.

 

Coachspeak

"Sometimes kids get in this situation on homecoming and senior night, and they want to do a little more than their job and don't take care of the little things. We put the ball on the ground, and we threw it to them one time, that type thing, but in the end they did what we needed to do to get a win, and we had some areas that we got better on. That's what we want to do every night." — Southside coach Ron Daugherty on the team's slow start

 

By the Numbers

6 — Number of touchdowns scored by Bothwell in the first half... 6 — Number of turnovers forced by the Southside defense... 4 — Number of wins in a row for Southside... 197 — Points scored by Southside in the last four games... 35 — Points scored by Southside in the first four games of the season.

 

They Said It

"We're looking good right now, but we've got to keep improving each and every day and got to come out even stronger." — Stokes

 

Up Next

Southside (5-4, 5-1) will travel to Cherokee County (4-5, 3-4) in a non-region regular season finalé before hosting Brewer in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.