“We are sitting in the same spot,” Dampeer said. “We are both 3-1 in the region and fighting to get in the playoffs. This is just the next step to get in the postseason. I think basically right now, we are basically trying to see how that will finish out with us three. I am not sure if Gadsden still has a chance or not, but we are playing for second place all the way down to fourth place. They are a great football team; we beat them with 30 seconds left in the game on fourth and 12. Those guys up there do a good job up there.”
Dampeer said the Panthers had a good week of preparation for this week’s game.
“We had a good week of practice,”Dampeer said. “We’ve had some cool weather this week, so everybody has a little bit more life in them.”
The Panthers are coming off a 37-7 win over the Gadsden City Titans. Pell City (4-2, 3-1) took advantage of Gadsden City’s miscues, which helped them put the game out of reach early.
“The big thing is that we capitalized on opportunities,” Dampeer said. “We got a pick and got a short field and scored. We came back out, we stopped them again and we drove in for a score. Our first three series we scored 21 points and they scored before the half. My message was to set the tone. We had a big 66 yard kickoff return by Cody Roberts. We had a horse collar penalty for 15 more yards. We scored on the next play from nine yards out. We just capitalize on opportunities on their mistakes that is the biggest thing that happened. Our defense flew to the ball. We had three picks. Jarel Shepard picked two more balls off. Joe Pittman played well and had a couple of sacks. It was a good night. I am proud of our kids and our staff for the way they prepared.”
The Panthers of Huntsville (4-2, 3-1) enters tonight’s game looking to get back-to-back region road wins. Huntsville defeated Albertville in a thriller last week, 28-27.
“They are a good football team,” Dampeer said. “The only loss they have is to Oxford and they lost to Bob Jones by one point. They are a good team. They have some kids that have been playing a lot on offense and defense. The running back is a really good player; he has put on some weight since last year. The offensive line has been players on it, so the defense is going to have to step up and stop those guys. Offensively, they bring a 3-3-5 stack and bring a lot of pressure, so it will be like a Chinese fire drill. They will be bringing pressure and we have to be able to handle that.”
Dampeer said that Pell City has to play mistake-free on offense, swarm to the football on defense and have fun in order to leave Pete Rich with a 5-2 record and take a step closer to clinching a playoff berth for the second year in a row.
“We got to stay healthy, we have to protect the ball, we got to win special team,” he said. “Ryan Curran has been kicking really good. He has been kicking the ball in the endzone and we have to continue to capitalize on that. We were swarming to the ball and we were having fun. I think that is a big key, keep having fun.”
Last season was the first time these two teams have matched up and the black and gold Panthers won the game 35-28.