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Sports editor

The Camden Fairview Cardinals (2-3, 1-1) will travel to Columbia County to take on long-time rival Magnolia Panthers (3-2, 0-2) on Friday night.

Like all good rivalries, there is the component of equal success, ironic storyline and most of all, spirited competition.

C.F. Head Coach Jacob Monden and Magnolia Head Coach John Panter both spent time as defensive coordinators at El Dorado - the third part of what many in the area refer to as the golden triangle of south Arkansas. Monden is a native of Oklahoma, where Panter started his career as coaches assistant.

Over the last two seasons each team has a home win. The Cardinals haven’t defeated Magnolia in Magnolia since 2012 (2014 loss 29-0 and 2016 loss 45-24) - the same year C.F. won the 5A State title.

Panter’s squad makes the best of its talented and dangerous backfield with its flexbone offense. University of Louisiana Monroe commit Kadyn Roach is a two-time All State running back. He showed no signs of slowing down after a shoulder injury in Week 4 against Texarkana by returning to rush for 243 yards on 17 carries against Hot Springs Lakeside in a 71-48 loss. The game was tied at 28 at the half before back-to-back fumbles led to consecutive Lakeside touchdowns.

The Panthers have a stable of short and shifty slot backs that can also carry the ball well and have break away speed such as Octavius Smith and Maurice Strickland. Junior quarterback Braelyn Beasley got the start last week and rushed for two touchdowns.

The Panthers are very young on the defensive side of the ball and several of its offensive standouts are playing on both sides of the ball. However, the Panthers have proven to be in decent shape.

The Cardinals will enter Friday’s contest after going toe-to-toe with the No. 3 ranked Arkansas High Razorbacks - a team that beat Magnolia 41-7 - on the road last Friday. The Cardinals trailed by one point late in the third before the Razorbacks scored twice in the last 19 seconds of the quarter.

The game will kick-off at 7 p.m.

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