Sports / Outdoors – 10/12/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 12, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 10/12/04  issue of The Panolian

With a Shutout, Tigers Move
     to No. 19 Nationally
South Panola quarterback Derek Pegues smoked Columbus’ Timothy Bush enroute to a touchdown Friday night.  
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

BATESVILLE- For the first time this season, the No. 21 USA Today nationally ranked South Panola Tigers shut out an opponent.

The Tigers (7-0, 3-0) shutout the Columbus Falcons (3-4 overall, 1-2 district) 24-0.

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The Tigers jumped two spaces in the Tony Poll, released Monday, to become ranked No. 19 in the nation. the Tigers still hold their No. 1 spot in The Clarion-Ledger poll released Monday.

The drizzly weather put a damper on many things including the size of the crowd at the beginning of the game. Eventually, the home crowd showed up but not so for the visiting Falcons.

Even the Tigers did not seem to play with the enthusiasm they had shown the past six games of the season.

Senior offensive lineman Scott Honnoll said they are doing pretty good, but they have to get better next week, "get better each week."

Senior dandy dozen defensive lineman John Jerry, "Baby J" or "Big John" said, "We know we have to come out and play better. We had a lot of mistakes and mental errors. We will do better next week. "

Jerry said the team has to practice a little harder and team members cannot be missing practice

"We can’t have that. We are going to get beat," Jerry said.

The score said Columbus had a better defense and stopped the Tiger scoring better than Olive Branch last week, but that was not so.

This Tiger team Friday night was not the team the crowd had seen the past six weeks. Though this was the first time the Tigers have played in rain this season.

In the past few years, rain has been present in the game against Columbus and sometimes has been a factor.

Also the Tigers just came off a very emotional trip to Olive Branch last week and were challenged mightily.

Tiger Germichael Sanford was the leading rusher of the night with 224 yards on 14 rushes and two touchdowns. He averaged 16 yards per carry.

Sanford scored on 98-yard run after the Tigers were backed up to the two yard line when quarterback Derek Pegues was sacked.

This was the first score of the game with 6:02 left in the first quarter. Russ Belk’s point-after-touchdown (PAT) was good to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

The only other score in the first half was a 20-yard field goal by Belk in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 10–0 lead at halftime.

Though the rain had let up during the first half, it started to fall again in a fine drizzle in the middle of the third quarter.

The Tigers did lose a ball on a fumble in the first quarter but Columbus’ possession ended in a punt.

The Tigers and the Falcons exchanged the ball a couple of times in the third quarter before Pegues got loose on an 81-yard run, breaking tackles and smoking the competition.

With 2:41 Belk’s PAT gave the Tigers a 17-0 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter with 10:53 remaining, Sanford took the ball 45 yards for a touchdown to seal the Tiger victory.

Belk’s PAT gave the Tigers the final score of the night.

The backup team with Karreem Carr under the center took over at the end of the ballgame.

Rushing for the Tigers in addition to Sanford were Pegues, 97 yards, 10 carries, 1 touchdown; Darius Barksdale, 67 yards, 6 carries; and Jeramie Griffin, 16 yards, 5 carries.

Pegues completed two of five passes for 14 yards to Travis Sanford.

The Tigers had a total of 413 rushing yards on 39 carries. Columbus was limited ot 61 rushing yards on 30 carries.

The Tigers’ total yards for the night were 427 and the Falcons had a total of 234 yards.

The Tigers will be on the road Friday to the always competitive Tupelo Golden Wave. Tupelo (4-3 overall, XX-XX district) defeated Southaven 10-7 Friday night.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Directions: Take Highway 6 East through Oxford. Stay on Highway 6 and take a right to go to Pontotoc. Go to the 4-way stop and take a left. At the first traffic light, take a right onto highway 15. Watch the signs. Keep on this road until get into Tupelo. The first big light in Tupelo is at Cliff Gookin. Take a right. The school is on the right about a mile down the road.

Clarion-Ledger Super 10
1. South Panola (7-0)
Last week: Beat Columbus 24-0.
Friday: at Tupelo.
Notable: Tigers’ seniors are 36-1 over three seasons.
2. West Jones (7-0)
3. Wayne County (7-0)
4. Gulfport (7-0)
5. Meridian (5-0-1)
6. South Pike (7-0)
7. Warren Central (6-1)
8. Olive Branch (6-1)
9. Ocean Springs (6-0)
10. West Point (6-1)
One Game at a Time…
NP falls to East Side
Commentary by Ken Daughterty
NP Resource Teacher

A short game in the rain and lessons on living.

Well, Mr. John Sullivan and I rode down to Cleveland this past Friday night; we talked about this Cougar story. The Cougar football team was taking on the East Side Trojans and before we could realize it, the Trojans had tallied a new chapter by attaining a 13-0 lead at the half.

The Law of Diminishing Utility could have come into effect, because the Cougars had just won the biggest game of the year by defeating Rosa Fort in last week’s Cougar Homecoming.

Also, the Trojans had just lost their only game this past week to Senatobia, and maybe the Trojans were hungrier than we were. Anyway, the second half followed the first with a final score of 28-0. The 5-1 Trojans improved their record to 6-1 while we were moved to 2-4 on the win/loss record.

Why did we let the Trojans take the victory?

Was it because of the ancient curse of the Trojans?

Well, realistically, it could have been that the Cougars didn’t know how to play in the rain, but on the other hand, the ball was wet on both sides. Maybe neither side paid much attention to the rain?

Secondly, our reason for not winning could have been that we didn’t play good fundamental football. This includes doing what the coaches told us to do, according to John Sullivan.

"Every group has got to have discipline to be effective," Sullivan said, as we continued the 93-mile return trip back to North Panola.

The principal and I continued to talk about the game as we rode back up H.W. 61. I suppose that not getting the job done at Cleveland was the main topic. Yet, we did let the game reflect some fundamentals of school philosophy in general.

Mr. John Sullivan has never been one who was indifferent to winning in professional practice or sports. He has always tried to do his job, and he rarely has accepted excuses from himself or others when it comes to meeting the expected outcomes.

In his many years of school practice he has always practiced the theory that one cannot let one bad apple ruin the whole barrel. Thus, he concluded that he hoped that this bad apple game would not discourage the Cougar team. He still believes they can take care of the business of playing like champions, because champions don’t give-up when the going gets tough.

Yes, the Cougars still have a chance at making the playoffs if they can win one more district game. If they will regroup and focus on tomorrow, they may still be the surprise team of 2004.

"If you make the playoffs, all you have to do is to upset somebody to create some unforgetable events," according to Sullivan.

By the time that we got back to the Panola County line, I was beginning to realize that what we had talked about was more than a short game in the rain.

It was about finishing any race with our very best. We do not always win in the game of life, but if we will keep believing in our team and ourselves we can make a difference.

"Every player must do his or her part," Sullivan said. "A team has to believe in itself, too, and every player can make a difference," he said.

What about the Cougar football team?

Will they crack?

Not a chance!

Will they unite and find a way to finish this season as a group of champions?

I suppose that only the team can answer this question, because they know that CHAMPIONS give their best in all types of weather.

I am grateful to all the Cougars supporters who are willing to take on the weather, too.

Next week, the other side of Cleveland will come to Cougar Stadium to take or be taken. Let’s just play ball. Game time is 7 p.m.


Green Wave Cruises Past Lee, Ark.
     in Downpour
North Delta’s Patrick Ellis was the first to tackle this Lee, Ark. player Friday night.

The North Delta Green Wave continued its winning streak on the road, Friday night, October 8, in Marianna, Ark., where they drowned their opponents, the Lee Academy Cougars, 46-14 on a night of rain at the W. H. "Bill" Gerrard Field.

The rain was not enough to stop the Green Wave support of fans who followed the team about two hours to Arkansas to watch their team come out with another victory and go forward with an 8-0 overall, 3-0 district season.

The Green Wave defense stepped up in the second half of the game and showed exactly what it was made of in this very physical game. They held the Cougars to only 27 yards in the second half of the game and allowed only two first downs in the second half.

Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston was not pleased with the effort of the defense in the first half.

"We kind of took some bad angles on the defense and didn’t tackle real well at all," said Johnston. "We did much better in the second half. We talked about it at halftime and made one minor adjustment, nothing major. It was an alignment problem and we were able to limit what they could do in the second half.

"Still overall, we didn’t have a very good defensive effort Friday night," Johnston continued. "It is just because we didn’t tackle well."

Johnston said one problem was due to players out of position.

"They just didn’t tackle well, once they got there." Johnston said.

"We had some kids come in on Sunday afternoon and we worked with them on some film and then we got back at it on Monday," said Johnston. "We have got to tackle this bunch better coming in here this week, I do know that. They have got some really good skilled people and they run the football hard. We have got to do a much better job than we have the last two weeks on tackling."

Junior running back Dustin Maples stole the show from the Cougars. He broke a record with 246 yards on 20 carries and scored four touchdowns.

Maples put up the first score of the game with an 18 yard run with 50 seconds left in the first quarter and the two point attempt failed for the Green Wave team.

The Cougars bounced back with :09 seconds left and scored on a 36-yard pass to Daniel Parten from Landon Bullard. The two point attempt failed. The game was tied 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.

To start the second quarter of the game, Cody Hallmark scored on a 17-yard run but the extra point was no good.

A few minutes later, Maples scored on a two-yard run and the two point conversion to give the Green Wave a 20-6 lead over the Cougars.

With :45 left in the second quarter, Cougar Jonathan Higgins scored on a four-yard pass from Bullard and the two point conversion by Parten gave the Cougars their last score of the game. The Green Wave led 20-14 at halftime.

The second half of the game was all Green Wave football. Maples scored on a 54 yard run with 10:41 on the clock in the third quarter.

With 6:59 on the clock, Cody Hallmark had a 41 yard run that was called back due to a holding penalty on the Green Wave.

The very next play, Maples scored on a 45 yard run.

With 3:59 left on the clock, quarterback Forrest Wilbanks rushed for 24 yards to help set up the next play. He scored a touchdown on a five-yard run. Jonathan Shedd’s extra point was good to give the Green Wave a 39-14 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The only scoring in the fourth quarter came on a one-yard run by Hunter Coy and Shedds’s extra point was good to give the Green Wave the win 46-14.

"Offensively, I thought that we played pretty well on Friday night," said Johnston. "We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with penalties, but other than that, I thought we did a good job.

"We have got some talented backs," he added. "Dustin Maples is definitely a talent and he has played really well the last three weeks. He made a couple of super runs Friday night keeping his balance. Dustin is quick side to side. He is not the fastest guy on the team, but he is definitely the quickest. He gets to full speed in a hurry. He can go side to side and stop on a dime, so he is running the football well. He is a great kid. He works hard and plays hard. I am glad that he is on our team."

Going into Friday night, Maples had carried the ball 63 times, as Johnston ran down the list. Wilbanks had over 50 carries. Adam Goodwin also had over 50 carries. Coy has carried the ball 45 times.

"We have been trying to concentrate on having a balanced attack so nobody can just concentrate on stopping just one person," Johnston said. "I think that it has helped. Cody Hallmark is chipping in on the offense side of the ball now. I think going into Friday night, he had 25 or 26 carries and he carried the ball well on Friday night. He and Patrick Ellis are doing a good job in their blocking for us, too.

"Dustin had some good size holes to run through Friday night," Johnston continued. "The offensive line has opened up some holes. Those two backs are blocking for him also. That is what makes it go. Everybody working together. Our guys are playing together and that is the key."

According to Johnston, The players have bought into the team’s concept of playing together and they truly care about each other.

"It is fun to watch. That is what we preach since day one in the seventh grade. We are a team, we are family, and if we get this thing done, it is going to be done together. Everyone has worked hard and hopefully we will get this thing done this weekend," Johnston said.

Johnston knew this was going to be a very physical game for his team.

"They surprised me in some things that they did. You have to hand it to them, you don’t lose just one time, no matter what league you are in, without having a good football team. You have to give them a lot of credit. They played hard and the kids ran the football hard. I thought that they were prepared to play and I thought that they played well," he said.

Johnston was very pleased with the crowd that made the trip to Lee Marianna.

"We had a big following over to Marianna Lee and some of their folks came up to me after the game was over and they really commented on how many people followed to watch us play," said Johnston. "That makes you feel good. The administrator over there is a classy guy and I am just happy to go over there and come out with a win and now we are focused on Indianola."

The Green Wave team had 42 carries for 383 rushing yards and Wilbanks was 2 for 4 passing for 59 yards for a total offense of 442. Harrison Nickle had one receiving pass for 46 yards and Clint Egbert had one for 13 yards.

Wilbanks had 6 carries for 41 yards and 1 touchdown. Hunter Coy had 7 carries for 30 yards and 1 touchdown. Cody Hallmark had 2 carries for 25 yards and 1 touchdown. Adam Goodwin had 6 carries for 33 yards and Patrick Ellis had 1 carry for 8 yards.

The Cougars had 29 carries for 90 yards rushing and they were 9 for 18 for 97 yards passing for a total offense of 187 yards. One hundred sixty of those yards came in the first half of the game.

This is the last non-conference game for the Green Wave before it starts a three week district showdown in 2A action. The next two games will be at home. It will start the showdown with Indianola Academy on Friday night at Green Wave field.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Clarion-Ledger Academy AA
1. Simpson (8-0)
2. Oak Forest, LA (7-1)
3. North Delta (8-0)
4. Lee (5-2)
5. Centreville (7-1)