“We want to finish 6-4,” Dampeer said. “Very few teams in the state win their last game and that is kind of what we have been hanging our hat on. We want to go over there and put on a good show. Tuscaloosa County is the same time we would have played if we won last week, so this is definitely round one.”
The Panthers (5-4) had a chance to clinch a berth in the postseason last week, but the Pell City was unable to slow down Racean Thomas. The Auburn commit finished with 237 yards on 28 carries and four touchdowns.
“Right there in the middle of it they scored three times and we answered them all three times,” he said. “The missed extra point is when it started swinging. The one they took and drove for the fourth time, we didn’t come back and answer. Then they had a 70 yard run. They are a good team and we just didn’t keep answering the call when they were scoring. It is hard to slow that guy down. When you have a guy like Roc (Thomas) running the ball and a player like the (Tredarian) Gamble kid that you can throw it up too, that is a weapon. We never took advantage of winning the special teams. We didn’t get beat in special teams, but thought we needed to get a leg up and we were even keel.”
With the playoffs being out the picture, Dampeer and his players don’t intend to hold anything back to ensure a win in their season finale.
“We had a pretty good week,” Dampeer said. “We are laying all out on the line and letting it all hang out this week.”
Tuscaloosa County (7-2) enters tonight’s game looking to regroup from a 41-0 pounding last week to Hoover. The Wildcats offense only managed 59 yards against top ranked Hoover.
“They are a quality football team, “Dampeer said. “They are very physical. They are 7-2, their offensive line and their defensive line is very big. We knew that from last year. They run a 4-3 on defense. They are one back on offense. They are a zone read and one back power. They do a lot blitzing on defense and defensive line movement. We have to be on the top of our game to pick up that stuff and distribute the ball. It is looking like it is going to be a wet surface, so we have to take care of the ball and hang on that wet thing. We probably see a couple guys touch the ball and looking forward to see if we can finish well.”
Dampeer said the Panthers are going to have score points in the air and on the ground tonight. He believes if the in the special team match they will have a chance to leave Northport with their sixth win.
“We are going to have to figure out a way to get into the end zone,” Dampeer said. “We are going to have to take over the ball. They are the best special team that we have played all year, so we have to make sure we don’t give any plays in special teams. We have to slow down their running attack, No.1 is the receiver and he is a little but he is a great player, he is a real speedster, so we have to contain him. It is going to be wet so whoever wins the turnover battle is going to be huge.”