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FMB AOTW: Rawls ignites PHS offense

FMB AOTW: Burgess helps SEB to region title

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    The Portal Panthers got their first win of the season in a 52-29 homecoming victory Friday against Calvary Day, and the offensive charge was led by senior quarterback Octavious Rawls.
    Rawls helped the Panthers put together the offense with 13 carries that went for a game-high 161 yards and three scores.
    “It wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the offensive line,” said Rawls. “(We were) running behind big Joe Brown and Nick Prescott. … The backs came out blocking, too.”
    Rawls moved from running back to the quarterback position after a switch from an option-based offense into a spread, and has been the signal caller for the past three weeks, swapping spots with junior Steven Cox, who is now a running back in the spread. Rawls, said offensive coordinator Grayson Huskins, needed to get more involved in the scheme.
    “We knew starting the season we needed to get the ball in his hands,” said the PHS coach. “Putting him at quarterback taking the snaps gives him the opportunity to touch the ball every single play.”
    The Panthers picked a good time to start clicking on offense as they take on one of the top teams in the state — Emanuel County Institute — on the road at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Twin City.

Burgess helps SEB to title
    Sarah Burgess has been running for a long time. At the age of five, her father introduced her to the sport of corss country. Twelve years later she’s one of the best runners in the state.
    Burgess finished in a modest fourth place at this week’s Region 3-AA meet in Louisville, Ga. Pretty good for someone who was battling a cold.
    “I did OK,” said the senior, a Stilson native. “I would have done better if I wasn’t so sick. Something went around and I’m still kind of congested — I was coughing up blood.”
    Burgess still holds the two-mile record at Southeast Bulloch Middle School, has competed at the Junior Olympics twice, ran the Great American Race and still holds the to female time for the Vidalia Onion Run.
    Burgess hopes to run for the Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall. The thrill of competition is what keeps her going in cross country.
    “It’s part of my life, it’s something that I love to do,” she said. “It’s how my dad and I bond. I’m a really competitive person and it just gives you that natural high. I love to do it.”
    Burgess and the Lady Jackets will travel to Carrollton, Ga., for the GHSA Class AA meet on Nov. 10.
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