BATESVILLE – The 9-0 South Panola Tigers have moved to the number one spot in the state after a 28-14 rout of the Southaven Chargers, Friday, October 25.
That was not the only way the Tigers moved up in the polls.
Wayne County, then No. 1, was upset by Hattiesburg Friday night 42-21. Warren Central, then ranked No. 4, also lost to Clinton 6-0, and Moss Point defeated Gulfport 21-7, which left South Panola the only undefeated team in 5A.
"This win was a total team effort," said Tiger head coach Ricky Woods. "We overcame adversity.
"No one wants to drop touchdowns," Woods continued. "No one wants to throw interceptions. No one wants to fumble the ball, but that’s going to happen even when you are trying real hard. We blocked and tackled, and we ran hard. That’s the key to winning any game. You are going to win more than you lose if you do that. We played together as a team."
With the field relatively moist and rain falling intermittently throughout the second half, South Panola did not play the cleanest of games, but the team got the job done.
South Panola had a total of 372 offensive yards, which included 297 rushing yards and 75 in the air. Southaven had 223 total yards, 138 in the air. They were held to 85 rushing yards.
South Panola controlled the clock 31:58 minutes to Southaven’s 16:02 minutes.
Quarterback Rickey Wright scored three touchdowns on the night to bring his total to 13 touchdowns on the year.
Leading rushers for the Tigers were tailback Marcus Griffin with 91 yards on 13 carries, followed by fullback Javar Pollard with 85 yards in 16 carries and one touchdown. Wright had 57 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Tailback Derek Pegues had 57 yards on 10 carries.
Wright threw for 75 yards. Tightend Mario Chapman had 64 yards on two receptions. Pollard had 11 yards on one reception.
Travis Sanford punted three times for 112 yards.
Wright scored the first touchdown with 4:46 left in the first quarter on a three yard run. That play was set up by a 35 yard reception from Wright to Chapman.
The Tigers led 7-0 after Randy Wilson’s extra point kick. The touchdown capped a six-play 51 yard drive, which also included a pass interference penalty against Southaven.