Sports / Outdoors – 10/22/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 22, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 10/22/04  issue of The Panolian


Section of the month
Chosen as the section-of-the-month for the South Panola High School band by the directors was the percussion section. Its razzle, dazzle on the field every Friday night brings the crowd to its feet.

Percussion section members include in random order Geffery Bean, Ashley Bobo, Keyauna Capman, Celeste Cole, Ericia Cox, Jeremy Davis, Kayla Draper, James Gaters, Tierra Gleaton, Joey Grant, LeAdra Hubbard,Jamie Jones, Krystal Jones, Antonio LeSure, Jesse Lloyd, Jessica Lloyd, Sabrina Love, Demond Madkins, Julia Malone, Tatiana McKinney, Marlon Nash, Travonya Nash, Malcolm Rogers, Dion Sanford, Ebonie Shegog, Corey Smith, Shaatrie Tunson, Adam Weed and Jennifer Westerfield.

Prize Fight Boxing to Host Fawl Brawl at New Casino
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

SOUTHAVEN – Prize Fight and Isle of Capri Casino & Resort in Lula announce "Fawl Brawl," an eight-bout professional boxing card Sat., Oct. 23. Two heavy hitting heavyweights clash in the 8-round main event, with the Mid-South Heavyweight Title at stake. Current champion Marvin Hunt, 14-11 (10 KOs) will face Frank Wood, 22-3 (16 KOs) which according to fight promoter Brian Young, promises to be a war.

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"Both fighters can punch and are very durable, so I see it probably ending in a late round knockout."

The main event plus one to two undercard bouts will be shown on a tape delayed basis on UPN ch. 30 Oct. 30 from 10 to 11 p.m. ABC ch. 24 sports anchor Greg Gaston will host the show and handle the blow-by-blow while Jake Ford will be the color commentator.

Featured on the exciting seven bout undercard will be Southaven’s Christy Nickel, 4-1 (4 KOs) in a four-round bout against Cassandra Lindsey from Columbus, who is making her professional debut.

Lindsey’s trainer Oliver Miller said, "Cassandra has an amateur background and she knows what she is doing, and therefore it’s going to be a slugfest."

In a six round Jr. Lightweight bout between current USBA Regional Champion Antonio Davis, 13-1 (6 KOs) squares off against savvy challenger Terrance Roy, 8-6 (6 KOs) from Covington, Tenn.

"These two will go toe-to-toe from the minute the bell rings," said fight matchmaker Frank Herring.

Anthony and LaMont Peterson, along with heavyweight Charles Ellis, who were all finalists at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials this past February in Tunica, will see action in four rounders. All three fought at the Fedex Forum last month on the Roy Jones Jr. undercard.

Sardis native Pete Johnson will face undefeated Jr. Middleweight Curtis Hinton, 2-0, from Jackson.

Prize Fight, based in Southaven, promoted the record setting Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis Heavyweight Championship June 2002 and other big name matches. Prize Fight has sold out 20 straight boxing cards at Mississippi casinos. Due to their popularity, UPN ch. 30 is now televising the matches.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the first bout starting at 7:30 p.m. Ringside seats are $25 and reserved seats are $20. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Isle of Capri Casino Banana Cabana gift shop at (662) 363-4600 or toll free 1-800-789-5825.

North Division Road Runs
     Through NWCC
The No. 3 ranked Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers will rely on leading tackler Jonathan Webster when they host the Northeast Tigers Saturday, Oct. 23 in Senatobia. Strong safety Webster, a sophomore from Courtland, has 70 total tackles this season and one interception.
By Brett Brown
NWCC Sports Information

There are two reasons why the road to the MACJC north division championship runs through Senatobia.

The first is the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers are defending north division champions.

The other is because the Rangers can clinch another north title when they host the Northeast Tigers Saturday, Oct. 23 in Senatobia. Kickoff for the homecoming contest is set for 2 p.m., at Bobby Franklin Field at Ranger Stadium.

Live radio coverage will be provided by WQLJ FM 93.7.

Both teams enter the conflict ranked in the latest NJCAA Top 20 poll. For the seventh consecutive week, Northwest is ranked No. 3 in the country. Northeast checks in at No. 20.

The Rangers, 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the north, are riding a 13-game win streak against opponents from the MACJC north division. Northwest has also won 19 of its last 20 regular season contests.

Northeast, 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the north, began the season with a record of 5-0, but has lost back-to-back games since then. The Tigers fell to Mississippi Delta 17-16 in Booneville, then lost to Jones County 24-14 last week in Booneville.

Northwest wants to stick with the same formula against Northeast that it has used the previous seven weeks – an explosive ground game and solid defensive play.

The Rangers lead the nation in rushing offense averaging 333 yards a game. Northwest is third in the country in total offense averaging 458.1 yards per contest.

Ranger tailback Eldra Buckley has been nothing short of spectacular so far this fall. Buckley, a sophomore from Charleston, leads the NJCAA in rushing with 157 yards a game. Buckley, who has 120 carries for 1099 yards, ranks second with 11 rushing touchdowns.

Buckley shares the spotlight in the backfield with quarterback Lewis Kuffuor.

Kuffuor, a sophomore from Atlanta, Ga., is third in the nation in total offense averaging 220.4 yards per contest and 14th in the country in rushing with 110.7 yards. Kuffuor has rushed for 787 yards and eight touchdowns on 86 carries. He has also completed 58 of 141 passes for 768 yards and six scores.

Defensively, Northwest is sixth in the country in total defense allowing just 210.7 yards. The Rangers are second in pass defense surrendering 91.9 yards per game.

Sophomore strong safety Jonathan Webster of Courtland leads the team with 70 total tackles, while freshman defensive end Jeramie Holifield of Hoover, Ala., and sophomore linebacker Roderick Brown of Taylor have 51 tackles each.
Brown and freshman defensive end DeVon Hicks of Trilby, Fla., lead the team with six quarterback sacks.

Sophomore cornerback Marcus Connor of Batesville is third in the state with four interceptions, while sophomore free safety Timothy Jones of Horn Lake has three picks this season.

The series between the Northwest and Northeast began in 1969 with the Rangers holding a 27-6-2 edge. Northwest won last year’s meeting 34-26 in Booneville.

Fighting on Field Not Allowed

Middle of October with the first real chill in the air and football everywhere – it just doesn’t get any better. Add to that Major League Baseball has the LCS games happening which means it’s almost World Series time so there’s plenty to watch during the week. October is just pure heaven. Even round-ball types are happy with the NBA in their pre-season mode.

You’ve heard me say all these "expert predictions" on who’s supposed to win a game aren’t worth their weight in toilet paper and that’s why we play the games and don’t just computer model them. A couple of cases in point are LSU at Florida and Tennessee at Georgia. Doing one between the hedges is always a real treat with over 92,000 pushing the decibel meter over 100.

The level for a jet engine running is around 125 and I have experienced that first-hand crawling under a running F-16 to pull the safety pins from the landing gear. I had on military hearing protection but it didn’t seem to help too much.

So when I say the levels on the field at Knoxville, Baton Rouge, Gainesville and Columbia come close, I do know what I’m talking about. Stanford Stadium was very loud on the field – for a while. But when Tennessee got to moving the ball like they didn’t against Auburn the week before the Georgia types knew it was going to be a long afternoon and it quieted down somewhat until the last quarter. It was a great game for TV too with the final outcome not sure until it was under 10 seconds left in the game.

While everything went well in the games last week, I did see where some other leagues had some problems with players deciding to do their imitation of Mohammed Ali and Joe Fraiser during some games.

In high school and college football, a player penalized for fighting is ejected from the game and possibly part of the next one. It all depends on when the foul occurred. If in the first half, the offender is out for the rest of that game only. If in the second half, he’s out for the rest of that game plus the first half of the next game.

If the foul occurs in the second half of the last game of the season, he will be ineligible for the first half of the next game of next year’s season provided he has eligibility left. If not, then he is required to run gassers every day for the next month – just kidding.

For the most part the players realize the seriousness of this and it is rare to eject a player from a game. Then it’s usually just a shoving match and we get them separated in a hurry.

If a penalty is required it will usually be an unsportsmanlike conduct without an ejection. We basically do everything we can to keep from having to eject a player from a game. The rulebook says we are not supposed to touch a player but times come when we have to grab a couple of facemasks and shove two away from each other.

We realize the people paying to see the game came to see the players in the game. Never is a situation involving unsportsmanlike conduct easy. I had a situation in a high school game once where a player from the team who was winning handily decided to start shoving and using some foul language toward an opposing player.

As I got to the two face-to-face players I grabbed the primary offender’s facemask and backed him away telling him to shut it down or go sit down the rest of the game. He backed down and did okay the rest of the game but then I had his head coach start in on me about "touching his player."

It sure seems tough to come out ahead sometimes but I know for a fact he didn’t want me to send this player out for the rest of the game and I handled it the right way. We can even send one out for a few plays when we feel like they need to cool down some.

Before a Tennessee at Alabama game a few years ago, I had to grab three Alabama players and push them back to their side of the 50 yard line which is the boundary for pre-game warm-ups after there’s less than 40 minutes before kickoff.

The two teams were both wound up tight and started mouthing and it almost erupted into something bad. That’s why we are required to be on the field to watch warm-ups one hour before kickoff.

One of the Alabama players was Freddy Milons and I told him he didn’t want to do anything dumb and not get to play in this one. Then I told him I had worked a high school game at Southaven the night before and saw his little brother who was a running back for Starkville at the time.

His demeanor changed as he asked, "Yeah? How’d he do?"

Good ending to an almost bad situation. Get out and go to a game – see some football! See you next week.


Tigers Set for the Chargers
SP Moves to No. 14 in the Nation
South Panola tailback Darius "Tigg" Barksdale left the Tupelo defender in the dirt Friday night. South Panola hosts Southaven in the final home game of the regular season tonight at 7 p.m.
BATESVILLE – The South Panola Tigers continue to build up accolades as the regular season gets closer to the end.

The Tigers moved up in the national polls. They are ranked No. 14 in the USA Today poll and No. 19 in the poll.

The Tigers are the undisputed No. 1 team in Mississippi in the Associated Press poll and The Clarion-Ledger Super 10 poll.

South Panola (8-0 overall, 4-0 district) will host the Southaven Chargers (3-5 overall, 1-3 district) in its final game of the regular season tonight. Senior football players, cheerleaders and band members will be recognized. The football players and cheerleaders will be recognized pregame, band during halftime.

Though Southaven’s record does not reflect it, the Chargers are better than their record states. In the last three district games, the point spread in wins and losses have been four, three and three, respectively. The biggest loss was a 36-18 defeat by Olive Branch.

Southaven’s only district win was over Columbus 21-17, Oct. 1.

Southaven enjoyed a win over South Panola back in 2001. Though no one would publicly admit it then, the Chargers’ main goal that year was to defeat South Panola. Last year was really no contest as South Panola won 48-11.

Each week the same players are continuing to stand out and lead the Tiger team to 23 straight victories and a 37-1 record the last three years.

In some corrected stats for quarterback Derek Pegues, his total rushing and passing yards for the season are 1,091. He has 720 rushing yards on 63 carries and nine touchdowns. He has completed 22 of 45 passes and four touchdowns.

Germichael Sanford has 875 rushing yards on 111 carries and 14 touchdowns. Darius Barksdale has 391 yards on 50 carries and four touchdowns.

Fullback Jeramie Griffin has rushed for 329 yards on 32 carries and five touchdowns. He also has two receptions for 14 yards.

Backup quarterback Karreem Carr has 298 rushing yards on 29 carries an two touchdowns. Other rushers are Rickey Sanford for 128 yards, 23 carries, 1 touchdown; and Carlos Robinson, 124 yards, 12 carries and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver/ defensive back Travis Sanford has a slew of positions he plays each week. As a receiver he has 260 yards on 11 catches and four touchdowns. On defense he has 24 total tackles and five interceptions. He has punted 18 times this year for 528 yards, averaging 29.3 yards per punt. He was the kickoff man but that job has recently fallen to Russ Belk.

Belk also handles the point after touchdown (PAT) attempts and field goal duties. He has made 41 of 46 PATs and three of four field goals for a total of 50 points.

On defense Marcus Johnson leads in tackles with 50 total and four and a half sacks. Leading in sacks is Brandon Burnett with seven and 21 tackles, two fumble recoveries. Santarious Armstead has 34 total tackles and three sacks.

John Jerry has 31 total tackles, caused one fumble, has one interception returned for a touchdown and two sacks.

The team is beginning to receive the recognition that the only nationally ranked team in the state should receive. Television stations and more print media are being seen along the sidelines to cover the team which is slowly but surely inching up the national polls.

The Tigers have outscored their opponents 340-67 this year so far with three games left on the schedule. They are the only undefeated team in north 5A. Three teams remain undefeated in south 5A, Meridian 8-0, Gulfport 8-0 and Ocean Springs 7-0.

Kickoff for tonight’s game is 7 p.m. Ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $5. Reserved tickets are $8.

Cougars to Take on No. 14 Senatobia
North Panola’s Rick Cox, No. 61, takes down a Cleveland runner from behind. The Cougars will travel to No. 14 Senatobia for their final district game of the season.
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

SARDIS – An overthrow of the king would not be amiss for the North Panola Cougars tonight.

The Cougars travel to Senatobia Warrior Country tonight to take on the undisputed king of 3-3A so far this season for their final district game of the season.

It is not often the Cougars (3-5 overall, 3-2 district) will go against a top-ranked team, but Senatobia (7-1 overall, 4-0 district) comes into the game ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Polls.

Oct. 1 the Warriors, whose only loss was at the hand of 4A Hernando Sept. 3, proceeded to knock out then No. 18 Cleveland East Side in an upset.

The Warriors handed East Side its one and only loss.

The Warriors are not afraid to go against teams in a higher district than they are. They handed 4A Oxford a 21-3 loss Sept. 10, and they have also played some 2A teams. They defeated Hollandale Simmons (4-4, 2-2) 34-0 in the first game of the season and last week defeated Water Valley (4-4, 2-2) 34-25.

Cougar head coach Demetrius Hill is still wiping his forehead over the close one-point win over Cleveland last week.

"It was a tough fought game," Hill said. "We had to step up on both sides."

Hill was very pleased with the effort of the defense, but said the offense did not execute well.

"The defense did what needed to be done. It was determined not to lose the game," Hill said. "The whole defense could be the players-of-the-week."

Going into the game with Senatobia, Hill said the Cougars are their own weakness.

"As I have said every week, if we do what we are supposed to do and play the way we are capable of playing, we can compete real well," Hill said. "That has been the key all season. We can compete and win against anyone we play. Athlete for athlete we matchup with Senatobia real well."

Kickoff for the game in Senatobia is 7 p.m.

ND and Bayou to Clash Tonight
By Angie Ledbetter
Contributing Writer

The North Delta Green Wave, 9-0 overall, 4-0 district, will host the Bayou Academy Colts (2-7 overall, 1-4 district) tonight on Green Wave field in one of two district games left in the regular season.

The Colts come into this game after a big 34-26 district win over Carroll Academy last week. The Colt’s only other win was against Marvell August 20.

In the district matches, the Green Wave remain in first place as the playoff picture begins to wind down with only tonight’s game left and one more next week. Indianola is in second place and Lee Academy is in third place with each one having one district loss.

Indianola will host Lee Academy tonight in a big district game, and that outcome will be very important as far as the district. Marshall Academy is in fourth place right now with a record of 2-3. They will not play a district game tonight. They will be back in district action next week for the last regular season game when they host the Green Wave team to determine the winner of District 1-AA.

Going back in school history, the North Delta Green Waves have never been 9-0 at this point of the season. The 1994 AA State Championship team lost to Lee Academy and Kirk Academy that year and went on to win the championship. The 2000 AA State Championship team lost to Lee Academy in the second game of their season and went on to win the championship.

The 2004 Green Wave team will go down in school history for being the only team to go 9-0 at this point of the season. If they remain undefeated after tonight and next week, they will be the only team in school history to go undefeated.

The Green Wave team will have to focus tonight on the Bayou Colts. Even though Bayou has struggled this year, they are a dangerous team and they have some important key players on their team.

"They have probably one of the better players in the league in Ben Stallings," said Head Coach Rick Johnston. "He is an inside linebacker, fullback/tailback. I think that he is coming off of a performance last week against Carroll with about 350 yards total offense and five touchdowns. He is about 6’1, weighs 245 lbs. and runs a 4.9 40 in the backfield. He is a load to bring down. He is an athlete, a real good kid, and a fine football player. We will have to get him stopped definitely before he gets started and that isn’t an easy task. He is a player. They are going to use some different formations and try to spread us out defensively. I look for them to run some options at us. We have just got to stay at home, be disciplined, read our keys, and react."

"The quarterback, Jae Medders, is another real good athlete," said Johnston. "He does a good job running the option and does a good job throwing the football. He is definitely a threat. He is one that we will have to contain. When they run the option with him and Stallings, it’s a pretty good tandem there. We will definitely have to contain both of those guys if we want are going to be successful."

The Green Wave pep rally is at 2:30 today in the school gym. Head Coach Rick Johnston will shave his head for the team. He committed to the team that he would do this if they beat the Indianola Colonels last week and they did. Johnston has been a coach with North Delta for ten years and he has never done this before.

Tonight will be a very special night for the Green Wave team. It is senior night, and senior football players and cheerleaders will be honored before the game with their parents. 

Tune in to the pregame show at 7:00 p.m. with Mickey Aldridge and Head Coach Rick Johnston on FM 106.9. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.