Sports / Outdoors – 10/21/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 21, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 10/21/03  issue of The Panolian


Teams face down challengers Friday night
North Panola 20; Cleveland 26

The North Panola Cougars even surprised themselves when they played the Cleveland Wildcats as close as they did.

In a bid for dominance in 3-3A, North Panola (4-4 overall, 3-2 district) traveled to Cleveland to meet up with the Wildcats (6-2 overall, 4-0 district). Cleveland defeated the Cougars 26-20 in four hard fought quarters of football.

The Cougars were threatening at the end of the fourth quarter to score and take the lead. The Cougars had the ball at the eight yard line, but quarterback Robert Glover was the victim of two back-to-back sacks which pushed them all the way back to the 28 yard line. The Cougars were not able to convert the fourth and goal from the 28 to a touchdown.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Then when the Cougars got the ball back at the end of the fourth quarter, they had run out of timeouts and were not able to stop the clock to score and possibly go ahead for the win.

The Cougars did have to go to their air game for this all-important game. Glover completed six of 15 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown.

North Delta 27; Marvell 20

The Marvell runner got by the other North Delta defenders but not by Jacob Gurley, No. 12. Gurley holds on to stop the runner in his tracks Friday night as the Green Wave handed Marvell its first defeat of the season 27-20.

The Marvell Eagles came to Green Wave field a 7-0 undefeated team but left with the biggest loss of the season when the North Delta Green Wave sent them back to Arkansas with a 27-20 loss Friday night.

It was senior night for the Green Wave and what better way to celebrate it with the six senior football players and seven senior cheerleaders for their last regular season home game.

The big talk coming into this game was the 13 seniors who lead the Marvell Eagle’s lineup this year. Counting any of the North Delta Green Wave out Friday night would have been a big mistake.

Forrest Wilbanks, Green Wave sophomore quarterback overshadowed his Marvell counterpart, senior Jared Fannon, in a showdown. Wilbanks threw for 24 yards, ran 74 yards and scored a touchdown.

Sophomore runningback Dustin Maples had 166 yards on 35 carries and scored two touchdowns against Marvell’s senior runningback Blake Ligon.

North Delta, Marvell, and West Memphis are all 3-1 in district play. North Delta is currently in first place after defeating Marvell. The district championship will come down to next Friday night’s game with North Delta and West Memphis.

South Panola 61; Tupelo 17

Leaving them in the dust is South Panola’s Marcus Griffin’s answer to bothersome defensive players who insist on stopping his run. Griffin ran through, around and on top of Tupelo players who tried to stop his run for three touchdowns and 164 yards Friday night.

The 2003 version of the South Panola/Tupelo game is in the record books, but not before there were some taunts, challenges and yellow flags thrown out.

The No. 1 South Panola Tigers (8-0 overall, 4-0 district) downed the Tupelo Golden Wave (3-5 overall, 0-4 district) 61-17 last Friday night.

The Tigers rushed for 521 yards on the night as tailback Marcus Griffin scored three touchdowns on 164 yards and quarterback Derek Pegues scored two touchdowns on 100 yards.

Visiting the Tigers on the sideline were Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, U.S. Representative Roger Wicker, and former Tiger players Deshea Townsend and Eddie Strong.

The Tigers had nine players carrying the ball Friday night in addition to Griffin and Pegues. Scoring one touchdown each were Kareem Carr, Jeremy Jones and Carlos Robinson.
The Tiger score was also aided by a 98 yard kickoff return by Gilbert McThunel, his first of the season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Michael McKinney intercepted his third ball of the season.

The defense allowed a minus 43 yards of rushing. Tupelo threw for 175 yards for a total of 132 yards for the evening.

Tempers were again a little short as these two teams came together on the gridiron. With the agitation, the yellow flags flew all through the game, mostly against the Tigers.


The Manning Men
All the Manning men were together after the Ole Miss/Alabama game Saturday afternoon and posed for a very rare shot together.

On hand were (l to r) Peyton, Cooper, Eli and Archie Manning. Eli led the Ole Miss Rebels to a big 43-28 victory to remain undefeated in the conference.     

Como Middle claims successful season


The Como Middle School Cougars have had a successful start to this year’s season. With three wins under their belts (14-8 over Pope and two wins over Coldwater, 16-6 and 22-0) and only one loss (to South Panola 20-6), head coach Ron Hughes is proud of his team’s accomplishments.

The team has been led by quarterback Bruce Wilbourn and running backs Derrick Burdette, Henry Ford Jr., and Templeton Hardy.

The line has played well this season with outstanding performances by Roger Chalmers playing defensive and Mauricues Arnold at tight end.

The seventh grade team is also having a successful year. They have won two games and lost one. David Armstrong, David Turner, and DeDe Jackson are definitely players to watch in the future according to Coach Hughes.

"I am very pleased with our entire team’s attitude and performance thus far this season. These are good young men who deserve recognition…

Referee Notes by William Corerro
What a way to end a season
What an ending for the ALCS game.

Hard to beat those pinstripes. The Cubs got so close in the NLCS series and all will say their downfall started in the sixth game.

By the way, those of you who think the teams intentionally make the series go for the full seven, they have no reason to. They get paid for the series with no extra base salary if games five, six or seven are played.

To some, the curse of the goat came in the sixth game of the NLCS when a Cubs fan might have caused their left fielder to miss catching a foul into the seats.

This poor guy was just doing what anyone would – try to grab a souvenir. The ball was not interfered with outside the railing and who’s to say Alou would have made the catch even if no one had been around?

Blaming their losing on this one incident is like blaming a football loss on one call. What about that missed grounder by the shortstop a few pitches later? If he’d made the catch and turned the double play, the inning would have been over and the Marlins wouldn’t have scored all those runs to seal the win.

One thing we always strive for is when the game is over, no one knew we were even there. But in a close game and there’s a pivotal call for a penalty in no way caused the loss. All factors of the game have to be figured into the equation and one call does not a game make.

How about the other fouls, blown coverages that allowed a score or missed blocks? Maybe the defensive coordinator decided to blitz and the offense picked it up and found a wide-open receiver for a touchdown.

No official wants to call back the winning touchdown because of a clip or block in the back. But we have to be consistent.

We would never call a holding away from the play or illegal equipment late in a close game. Fouls such as encroachment or lining up "offsides" or sideline warnings should be taken care of early on in the game.

There are hundreds of foul – situation combinations that are "game dependent" regarding whether or not they are called and enforced.

And the ability to handle those correctly is only learned through experience.

Speaking of "offsides," there is no such foul found from youth to high school football. Offside comes into play in NCAA rules and that is only for the defense.

If a defensive player is in the neutral zone when the ball is snapped or makes contact with an opposing player while in there, he is guilty of offsides.

If there is no contact, the foul is not a "dead ball" foul and a flag is dropped but the play continues.

Then the penalty may be accepted or declined. If contact is made then it becomes a dead ball foul and the play is not allowed to start.

In high school and below, ANY violation of the neutral zone by either team is a foul for encroachment and all are dead ball fouls.

It has been this way for many years and I still hear announcers in high school games describe encroachment fouls as "offsides."

So, whenever you hear that in a high school or youth game just smile and tell anyone who will listen what you just learned here. You don’t have to say who taught you that either.

Well, time is getting close for the first BCS rankings. I love to hear these so-called "experts" on sports talk radio go off about the BCS and how terrible it is.

But then I’m one who likes to hear their expert predictions on how an upcoming game will turn out or at least the point spread so I can pull for the other team to goof all that up.

The BCS is not perfect by any means and the best way to solve it all would be to have a real playoff system in NCAA Division I football. But since we don’t have it and won’t likely have one anytime soon, at least the BCS keeps the rankings from being solely determined by sports writers.

And that’s a good thing……..See you next week.