Sports / Outdoors – 10/14/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 14, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 10/14/03  issue of The Panolian


Local Teams Beat the Odds and
   All Won Friday Night

North Delta’s cornerback Harrison Nickle did all he could to try to strip the ball and prevent the Strider touchdown, but the Strider receiver caught the ball and hung on for the score. North Delta came out the victors 35-20 and will take on undefeated Marvell at home Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Before Strider knew what had happened, the North Delta Green Wave was in route to a blowout Friday night.

Strider found its balance to mount some points and the Green Waves walked away with a 35-20 non-conference win.

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Dustin Maples had 270 rushing yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Green Wave.

The team had a total of 453 yards, including 444 rushing yards on 43 carries. Following Maples was quarterback Rush Wilbanks with 147 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

The Green Waves scored 21 points in the first half to leave the Rams scratching its head at halftime.

The Green Waves scored on their first three possessions behind the strength and legs of tailback Dustin Maples.

Maples scored on a 71-yard run on the first possession. The two-point conversion gave the Green Waves an 8-0 lead.

On the next Green Wave possession, Maples broke for an 80-yard run. Pittman Harrison’s extra point kick was good to give the Green Waves a 15-0 first quarter lead.


North Panola vs. Cleveland

North Panola’s Tecory Walton crosses the end zone for his first score of the evening against Cleveland East Side Friday night. Walton finished the night with 38 carries, 221 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-6 district win. The Cougars travel to Cleveland to take on Cleveland High School Friday night at 7 p.m.

Though they probably were not the favorite to win this year, the North Panola Cougars have sent the message they are a force to be reckoned with in 3-3A.

The 28-14 win over Cleveland East Side went a long way in solidifying the Cougars a playoff berth for the first time since 1996.

The season is far from over and the challenges for this underdog team will continue to mount.

Playing Cleveland East Side at home before a capacity crowd moved the Cougars to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in district. The lone district loss was to Independence earlier in the season.

Cleveland East Side did score first on a six yard run but did not convert the extra points. That would be all the leeway the Cougar defense would allow.

It was the Tecory Walton show as Walton scored two touchdowns and rushed for 221 yards on 38 carries. He scored on a three-yard run just as the second quarter got started with 11:25 on the clock. Then he scored on a six-yard run with 1:56 left in the first half.

Albert “A.J.” Johnson kicked both extra points to give the Cougars a 14-6 halftime lead.


SP vs. Columbus

It might not have been a mud bowl, but the field was slippery and wet as the No. 1 South Panola Tigers visited the then No. 7 Columbus Falcons.

There was high anticipation as these very tough Falcons were hoping to do what no team has been able to do this season: hand the Tigers a defeat.

It was not to be as the Tigers did what they did best and defeated Columbus 40-6.

The Tigers held Columbus to 88 total yards while racking up 501 total yards. The Tigers rushed for 464 yards.

Quarterback Derek Pegues had almost half of the rushing yards with 225 on 13 carries.

Tailback Marcus Griffin had 119 yards on 18 carries.

The Tigers limited Columbus to only two first downs while making 22.

The first half of the game was as intense and as close as Columbus had hoped. The Columbus defense targeted the ball all night long and along with the weather caused four Tiger fumbles.

The Tigers got on the boards at the 6:21 mark of the first quarter with the first of three touchdowns by quarterback Derek Pegues.

Pegues scored on a 20-yard run and after Russ Belk’s extra point kick the Tigers led 7-0.

Cheerleading squads from South Panola High School, Batesville Jr. High, Pope Jr. High and North Delta Jr. High participated in the Deep South Cheerleading competition this past weekend.

South Panola placed first in the varsity advanced category; Batesville Jr. High placed first in the junior high advanced category; Pope Jr. High placed second in the junior high advanced category; and North Delta placed first in the junior high intermediate category.

Pictured are all the cheerleaders from the four squads who participated in the competition.

Fall and Summer Seasons
    Too Short


These days the old remote is getting a good workout going between the two LCS games and then add in Thursday’s ESPN game with Kentucky at South Carolina. Then the boys and I go out to Northwest for their last Thursday night game of the season in the rain. I sure wish it all could be spread out more. Summer and fall are just too short if you ask me.

South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium is strange to see from a distance at night with the lights on. Or even more so during a heavy rain when it is almost dark at mid-day like I saw it for the first time.

They don’t have the usual light towers like most stadiums. The lights are lined up along the length of the stadium above the upper deck and from the outside, the round shape of the place and the round lights above it looks like a UFO or something similar.

I remember one game I was in there asking the poor student manager who had to follow Coach Holtz up and down the sideline what he had done to deserve that assignment. He just frowned and said, "I’ve been a bad boy," and walked off shaking his head. His job is to catch the headset and drag the cord behind Lou as he paces up and down the sideline. I’ve noticed their coaches have wireless headsets now but the lowest man on the totem pole still has to be there to keep up with the headset when he throws a fit.

I was talking to my boss, the SEC Supervisor of Officials, last week about some items from a game and he asked about a situation that occurred in a recent game involving one of our teams and a non-conference opponent.

In NCAA rules, the offensive team cannot break their huddle with more than the legal 11 players. This is to keep them from doing any last minute substitutions or "deliberately misleading the defense."

With the now common practice of adjusting a defense because of the offensive personnel on any given play, this has really become a hot topic.

There had been a situation where the offense tried to wait until the 25-second play clock had run down to 10 seconds and then substitute a receiver and running back with the hope the defense couldn’t react in time.

No foul was called but the guilty coaching staff was strongly warned that any more could result in a penalty. It can become a delay of game situation for the offense if the defense sees the substitution and then tries to make their own changes to match what the offense has done.

We have provisions to call a foul on the offense for delay if we believe they were doing the subbing to try and catch the defense with the wrong people on the field.

I don’t think we’ll ever get into a baseball-type roster checking situation but it has almost gotten that bad. The rules basically say if the offense substitutes late in the 25-second count (inside of 10 seconds left on the play clock), the defense must be given time to make their subs or the offense is vulnerable to a delay of game foul.

Previously and in high school rules now, there was no such provision and in the same circumstances the defense could draw a foul for an illegal substitution because of people running on and off the field at the snap.

The rules committee felt that this might be a loophole where the offense could intentionally cause a foul with an unfair act. It’s a tough situation to watch for but it’s part of the game as fast as it is these days.

If it’s 4th down and the offense holds its team at the sideline and then rushes the punting team onto the field, the Referee will delay the ready-for-play signal and the Umpire will stand over the ball until the defense can get their punt return team on the field.

It works the same if there’s a fumble or interception and the offense gets out on the ball real quick and the defense is trying to get there but is slower in the changing of teams. The Umpire will stand over the ball and not let the offense get a "cheap" play or if they take too long, the defense can be charged with delay of the game.

The whole idea in all of this is to keep the playing field as level as possible and to not allow any unfair acts.

As I write this, I’m getting ready for a run to LSU for the Florida game on CBS. Once again I’m hoping for a great game and have a feeling it might be a little different.

At least I hope so. Besides, the game will be history by the time you read this. Then it’s over to Oxford for the Alabama at Ole Miss game. Could be interesting too………..See you next week.