After going 0-10 in their first two seasons in Region 5-2A, the Pelion Panthers play host to Silver Bluff on Friday with share of first place hanging in the balance.
The Panthers (5-3, 2-1) can draw even with the Bulldogs and take the inside track toward earning the region’s No. 1 playoff seed with a win. Pelion’s one and only region championship was an outright job in 2000 during the heyday of the Stepp twins – Josh and Justin.
Pelion rebounded from a bitter overtime loss to Swansea in Week 7 to nip Barnwell 24-22 and stay in the title hunt. The Panthers built a 24-8 lead by halftime, and withstood a furious Warhorses rally in the fourth quarter. In the end, Pelion denied a Barnwell two-point conversion bid to escape.
Silver Bluff (7-1, 3-0) has won seven in a row since falling to 4A Aiken in the season opener.
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Both teams rely heavily on the running game. Pelion’s go-to man is Jamar Pontoon, who has 818 yards and 10 touchdowns on 158 carries. Silver Bluff features Cordrea Tankersley (138-1,219-12) and Andre Washington (125-628-9).
The Bulldogs are 4-0 all-time vs. the Panthers.