Sports / Outdoors – 10/26/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 26, 2004

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


The North Panola Cougars and the Lafayette Commodores will play Thursday, Oct. 28 instead of Friday Oct. 29,
at Lafayette High School.  The decision was made late Monday afternoon.  Kickoff is 7 P.M.

NP Takes One on the Chin from Senatobia
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

SENATOBIA – The North Panola Cougars take one step forward and then get pushed a couple of steps back.

The Cougars (3-6 overall, 3-3 district) got pummeled by the Senatobia Warriors (8-1, 5-0) 56-12 in an important district match for the Cougars. This was the Cougars’ final district game of the season.

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A Cougar win would have solidified fourth place in the district race. Now the spot is up for grabs between the Cougars and Rosa Fort. Rosa Fort has to face Cleveland East Friday night to finish its district season.

Rosa Fort defeated Greenwood-Elzy 38-22 in a non-conference game.

North Panola defeated Rosa Fort earlier in the year. Rosa Fort holds a 3-2 district record. If Rosa Fort defeats East Side (8-1, 4-1) Friday, they will get the fourth place spot. Otherwise, the Cougars would most likely get the playoff nod from the powers that be.

East Side defeated Independence in a district game 41-14.

The schools in 2A, 3A and 4A of the Mississippi High School Association and all the schools in the Mississippi Private School Association will end their regular season Friday night.

School in the MHSAA 1A and 5A will end their seasons on Nov. 5.

It was a barn burner in the first quarter. Senatobia scored on a 95-yard kickoff return and then on a two-yard run. With one point after touchdown (PAT), Senatobia led 13-0.

North Panola answered on a 50-yard run by Dexter Thomas. The PAT failed but the lead was cut 13-6.

Senatobia started again and scored on an 18-yard run and 2-point conversion for a 21-6 lead.

The Cougars pushed themselves to get into Warrior territory and scored on an eight yard run by Tecory Walton. The PAT failed again and the score stood 21-12.

Senatobia scored on another big run, 60-yarder, and the PAT for the 28-12 first quarter score.

The rest of the game belonged to the Warriors as they scored 14 points in the second quarter for a 42-12 halftime lead. The Warriors also scored seven points in each of the third and fourth quarters for the final scores of the evening.

To end the season, North Panola will travel to 4A Lafayette County (8-1, XX-xx) to finish out the regular season. Lafayette County defeated Hernando, 27-10, Friday night to finish out its district season.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Green Wave Pounds Bayou; Secures District Championship
The North Delta Green Wave team clinched the Mississippi Private School Association 1-AA District Championship with a win over Bayou Academy last Friday night. This is the second straight year the Green Wave has won the district and will make its fifth straight playoff appearance.
By Angie Ledbetter
Contributing Writer

The North Delta Green Wave claimed the Academy 2A District 1 champions for the second straight year after defeating Bayou Academy 54-14 Friday night and was able to continue its undefeated season with a 10-0 overall record.

The Green Wave clinched a playoff spot and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs which will be on Nov. 5.

Lee Academy clinched a second place playoff spot by shutting out Indianola 40-0 Friday night.
Showcasing their talent and their determination, the Green Wave put the first points on the scoreboard.

Leading rusher and scorer Dustin Maples scored on a four-yard run. The point after touchdown (PAT) by Jonathan Shedd was good with 8:26 on the clock to give the Green Wave a 7-0 lead.

Clint Egbert broke for a 63-yard run but was stopped short of the endzone.

Maples scored on a one-yard run and the PAT by Shedd was good to give the Green Wave a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston started substituting the backup players at the end of the first quarter.

The Green Wave fumbled the ball to start the second quarter and Bayou recovered it on the Green Wave 42 yard line but a collision with the Green Wave defense put a stop to any Bayou thoughts of scoring.

A few minutes later, quarterback Forrest Wilbanks scored on a 19 yard run. With the extra point, the Green Wave led 21-0.

The Colts fumbled and Green Wave Jacob Gurley recovered it on his own 23 yard line.

Wilbanks, Maples and Hunter Coy carried the ball down the field. With 3:30 on the clock, Coy scored on a 22 yard run and the PAT was good.
A few seconds later, the Colts fumbled the ball and Adam Goodwin recovered it on Bayou’s 27 yard line.

With 3:08 on the clock, Maples scored on a 27 yard run but the PAT failed.

The Green Wave led 34-0.

The Green Wave defense kept up its dominance with a Bryce Raddatz interception with 2:01 on the clock.

Evan West help moved the ball down the field and with 1:08 on the clock, Patrick Ellis took the ball 46 yards into the endzone. With the PAT, the Green Wave led 41-0 at the half.

Playing for the Green Wave were Brandon Smith, J.R. Walker, Justin Howell, Jim Beard, Nick Douglas, and Hunter Calvert.

At the half, the Green Wave had a total offense of 288 yards.

The Green Wave received the kickoff from Josh Fields to start the third quarter. Harrison Nickle came in as quarterback for the Green Wave. With 2:35 left in the third quarter, Evan West scored his first touchdown of the season on a two-yard run. The PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 48-0 lead.

With a few seconds remaining on the clock, Jae Medders scored on a 68-yard run for the Colts and the PAT by Josh Fields was good to put the Colts on the scoreboard at the end of the third quarter.

To start the fourth quarter, Dakota Wills scored on a 40 yard fumble return, and the PAT by Fields was good to cut the Green Wave lead to 48-14.

On the next few drives, Nick Douglas, Adam Goodwin, and Harrison Nickle drove the ball down the field.

With 2:35 left in the game, the Green Wave were faced with a fourth down and four yards to go with the ball on their own 39 yard line. The Green Wave were penalized twice and backed up to the 28 yard line. With only eight seconds left in the game, Nickle took the ball 72 yards for the final score in the game.

The Green Wave had 40 carries for 421 yards and one passing yard for a total offense of 422. The Green Wave fumbled four times and lost two. Jonathan Shedd made 7 of 8 PATs. Ross and Gurley each had one fumble recovery. Raddatz had one interception.

The Colts had 22 carries for 103 yards rushing and they were three for 11 for 36 yards in passing for a total offense of 139 yards. The Colts fumbled three times and lost two.

Maples said it feels great to win the district.

"We still have a long road a head of us with a four week season with the playoffs coming up," said Maples. "The game with Bayou was a great game. We only got to play a half, but it was pretty good. It was sloppy at the beginning, but we were up 41-0 at the half."

Maples was asked what it took for the team to get this far and be 10-0.

"It was a lot of hard work during the summer and being pushed every day really helped to get you motivated to come out and win on Friday nights," Maples said.

In the weeks ahead, Maples said they were going to work hard and hope for the best.

Adam Goodwin said, "It feels pretty good to be district champions. We are the first team at North Delta to be 10-0 at this point of the season and I think that we have practiced really hard and we played really hard. It has taken dedication and heart and just trusting each other for us to be undefeated.
"I think that we have a chance to do something special in the weeks to come," Goodwin continued. "I think that we can win state with hard work and dedication. We will just hope for the best."

Jacob Gurley said that it feels great to be district champions.

"We have been working hard and it is starting to pay off. We have been working hard all summer and everybody has been putting in time. The hard work has definitely got us undefeated. The coaches pushed us all summer and that has paid off now. In the next few weeks, I do know that our guys are going to give it all that they have got and hope for the best to turn out."

Brandon Ciaramitaro said it feels really good to be district champions.

"We worked really hard all during the summer and all through the season to get here," Ciaramitaro said. "We had to work through a couple of injuries with some guys, but overall, I think that we did pretty good.

"It feels great to be district champs, but it is only one step to the big goal that we set our minds to," Ciaramitaro added. "We just have to take one step at a time. It has definitely taken hard work and dedication to get this far. The guys came out every day in the summer and they spent three hours in the heat. Working hard, listening to your coaches, being very coachable, and dedication is the key. Right now, we are preparing for Marshall. We need to get that job done first and become a 11-0 team and then we will be off to the playoffs."

Scott Ross said, "It feels good to be district champions. We have a lot more games to play. The real season starts with the playoffs. I am just proud that we made it that far. It took a lot of playing together to get to this point. We don’t have a whole lot of big time players, so we just all played together. We are all real good friends on and off of the field. We just play as a team. If we come out and keep playing like we have been playing, playing together, then I think that we will have a really good chance to take it all the way."

Coach Lance Thomas agreed it feels good to be district champs.

"I think that our preparation for every game has been really good. The kids have stayed focus. They prepared themselves during the summertime. We have had some really good practices during the week this year, really good film sessions and good senior leadership that has got us this far. Looking ahead, we are going to treat every game the same. We are going to do our best, regardless of who we play."

The Green Wave will be on the road for the final regular season game in Holly Springs at Marshall Academy. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

City B’Bball League to Sign Up
Registration for the Batesville Men’s basketball league will be held Monday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Batesville Intermediate gymnasium.

Teams should bring a $100 deposit to insure a place in the league.

Practice times will be set at the meeting, so all teams need to have a representative present.

For more information, call Coach McMinn at 563-7611.

SP to Host Cheer Competition
The South Panola cheerleaders will host for the third consecutive year the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s North Regional Cheerleading Championships on Saturday, Nov. 6.

There are approximately 60 squads from across northern Mississippi scheduled to compete.

The competitive squads from South Panola High School, Batesville Junior High School and Pope Junior High School will also compete. All three squads are defending regional champions in their classifications.

Pope Junior High, coached by Angela Hanaford and Danielle Willis, will take the floor for competition at 10:15 a.m.

Batesville Junior High, coached by Misty Kilgore and Tammy Wilkinson will compete at 11:30 a.m.

South Panola High School, coached by Tammy Wilkinson will compete at 3:55 p.m. Choreography and tumbling is done by Johnny Taylor.

The coaches and cheerleaders would like to extend an invitation to the public to attend.

"Last year, approximately 8,000 people came to the competition throughout the day. This is a great opportunity for people in our area to see competitive cheerleading at its best," Wilkinson said.

The competition begins at 9 a.m. and will end at approximately 4:30 p.m.

It will be held in the gymnasium of South Panola High School. Admission to the event is $5 per person.

Concessions will be available with all proceeds from concessions going to South Panola Cheer. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Tammy Wilkinson at 563-4503 or 563-4756.


SP Whips Southaven to Stay Undefeated
South Panola defensive coordinator Willis Wright directs the defense from the sideline Friday night.
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

BATESVILLE – The South Panola Tigers showed why they were No. 14 in the nation as they downed Southaven 48-16 Friday on Tiger field.

In the final home game of the regular season, the Tigers honored senior players, cheerleaders and band members.

The Tiger offense pounded out 449 rushing yards and no passing yards. Three Tigers rushed for over 100 yards.

Germichael Sanford led the Tigers with 186 yards, 21 carries and three touchdowns. He averaged 8.9 yards per carry. Sanford now has 1,061 yards on the season, 132 carries and 17 touchdowns.

Quarterback Derek Pegues had 124 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns. Pegues has 844 yards, 70 carries and 11 touchdowns for the season.

The other 100-yard rusher was backup quarterback Karreem Carr with 102 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns. Carr has 400 yards on the season, 36 carries and four touchdowns.

The Tigers wasted no time bustin’ loose and getting on the scoreboard. Pegues broke for a 63-yard run, weaving in an out between defenders, with 10:30 on the first quarter clock. Pegues finally left defenders in the dirt to make the score.

Russ Belk kicked six of seven PATs. He has made 47 of 55 PATs for 56 points this year.

Sanford scored his first touchdown with 3:44 left in the first quarter. He ran 33 yards for the touchdown, capping a seven-play 75 yard drive.
At the end of the first quarter, Southaven put together a sustained drive to attempt a 37-yard field goal but missed it at the beginning of the second quarter.

Pegues scored his second touchdown of the evening with 7:43 left in the first half. The 18-yard touchdown capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive. With the PAT, the Tigers led 20-0.

South Panola scored once more before the end of the first half.

Sanford capped a six-play, 47-yard drive with a 15-yard run up the middle. The PAT gave the Tigers a 27-0 lead.

Southaven finally got on the boards with a 35-yard field goal with 4.5 seconds left in the first half to cut the Tiger score 27-3 at halftime.

On the Tigers’ first possession of the third quarter, Sanford scored his third touchdown of the night. He was sweeping from side to side, cutting back and basically running over defenders as he pounded out 28 yards for the score. The PAT gave the Tigers a 28-3 lead and some of the starting players took to the bench.

The backup Tigers went to work on the next possession after Southaven turned the ball over on downs.

Karreem Carr took over quarterback duties. He scored his first touchdown on an 11-yard run, capping a six-play, 52-yard drive with 4:31 left in the third quarter. The PAT gave the Tigers a 41-3 lead.

After the Southaven punt on the next possession, the Tigers took the ball 58 yards on five plays for Carr to score a four yard touchdown run with 32.9 seconds left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter Southaven scored on runs of one and four yards for the final point of the game. The Chargers scored one PAT but missed the final 2-point conversion.

Southaven had 167 rushing yards and 63 passing yards for a total of 230 offensive yards.
The Tigers will be on the road Friday to take on the Starkville Yellowjackets in a key, emotional district matchup.

At the Miss. State ballgame, talk was already going around about the South Panola/ Starkville matchup. Starkville is coming off a big upset loss to Olive Branch 7-3.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

In other 1-5A shakeup action, Horn Lake won its first district game of the season with a 20-16 win over Columbus.

West Point defeated Tupelo 20-13.

Keeping an eye on other 5A action, Grenada defeated Murrah 22-7; Hattiesburg 21, Oak Grove 14; Madison Central 32, Vicksburg 0; Meridian 17, Brandon 7; and Moss Point over previously undefeated Gulfport 23-20.

Directions: I-55 South to Winona exit; Take left onto 82 West all the way to Starkville. Going into Starkville take right at first light; At the first light, take left onto Highway 12 West go to 4th light (Louisville Road or Highway 14) Go across railroad to the first light and take a left. Will be in front of the school.

Johnson Returns to Ring for "War" with Skipper
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

Prize Fight and Fitzgerald Casino announce "Brawl in the Fall," an eight bout professional boxing card to be held Sat., Nov. 6. The card will feature two highly touted and hard-hitting light heavyweights in the six-round feature bout for the Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship.

This bout will consist of undefeated top prospect and Batesville native John Johnson 6-0 (5 KOs) against Bo Skipper 12-2 (7 KOs) from Meridian.

Over the past six months, Johnson has taken the mid-south by storm as he has been featured numerous times in the Commercial Appeal along with making several appearances on television and radio stations. In John’s last fight, he was featured on the undercard of the Roy Jones Jr. fight held at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn. Conversely Skipper is an experienced fighter who possesses a thunderous right hand and has knocked out seven of his opponents.

"John Johnson has never seen anybody like me before," Skipper said. "I’m no joke. I have too much power and I’ll knock him out in three rounds."

Prize Fight’s Brian Young said, "This is going to be an all-out war between John Johnson and Bo Skipper."

The main event of the evening will feature the world’s best pound-for-pound female fighter, Ann Wolfe (17-1, 12 KOs) of Austin, Texas. Wolfe is a four-time world champion and current IBA Light Heavyweight Champion. Top challenger Cassandra Geiger 6-3, (6 KOs) of Fayetteville, Ark., has earned her opportunity to fight Wolfe with her ferocious punching power as evidenced by all her wins coming by way of knockout.

The undercard will consist of No. 1 world ranked contender Cristy Nickel 4-1 (4 KOs) of Southaven, as well as fellow female fighter Samantha Browning 3-0 (2 KOs) from Tupelo.

Also included on the undercard are 2004 Olympic Trial Finalists Anthony Peterson, LaMont Peterson, Rayonta Whitfield and heavyweight sensation Charles Ellis.

In addition, USBA Regional Champion, Antonio Davis 13-1 (6 KOs) of Atlanta, Ga., will be in a scheduled six-round bout.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the first fight scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Ringside seats are priced at $30 with reserved seats being $25. Tickets can be purchased by calling Prize Fight at (662) 349-6263 or the Fitzgerald’s Casino gift shop at (800) 766-5825 or (662) 363-5825.

Dawgs Like Gater Meat……mmmm

"And how," to quote Alfalfa of the Little Rascals.

Saturday, the goalpost came down in Starkville.

Then Monday, Florida coach Ron Zook got fired for the "embarrassing" loss.

Everybody was making up excuses why Florida lost but not many but Bulldog head coach Sylvester Croom was saying why the Dawgs won.

Croom said this was a different team than the one seen six or seven weeks ago and finally everybody was doing their jobs and played the best game they were capable of playing with their talent level.

Many people, like yours truly, probably were not very anxious to take that long trip to Starkville which was going to be a slaughter.

Why not think that? The game against Auburn was a slaughter. The Dawgs couldn’t beat the Commodores of Vandy. Why would they even go into the game thinking they had a chance against Florida?

Like many fans and reporters, we made the trip anyway. The rain was falling. The roads were wet. The skies were cloudy. A great day for slaughter on the gridiron.

Arriving at Scott Field a little early, the media spent some time in the press box area and then mosied on down to the field for the familiar pregame activities.

I was planning to record the noise level so you can see how the noise looks in the newspaper but I had left my recorder in the car.

That was when the difference was noted. It was not 3 and out. The Dawgs kept making first downs. What’s wrong with State. They have held the ball too long. Then they held it some more. They refused to give it up. With 8:58 on the first quarter clock, instead of giving the ball to Florida, the Dawgs scored on the opening possession. Then took a 7-0 score into the second quarter.

Florida tied the game up, but State did it again and went up 14-7. Then scored on a field goal at 5:27 and was UP 10 points. Florida cut the lead to 3, 17-14, with 57 seconds left in the half.

Whoa – this really happened as the nation watched on Jefferson Pilot sports.

Many who were planning to leave at halftime stayed to see what was going to happen next. Those who were close and decided to stay home, came on to the game to bring the official attendance to 43,170.

The cowbells sounded good.

Florida tied the game and State would go ahead – tit-for-tat throughout the second half. That score with 32 seconds left in the game after the interception was just sweetness itself.

At that point, I asked a fellow photographer could he have predicted this game. He said he had been covering the Dawgs for 52 years and all he could say was with the Dawgs you could never tell.

The Dawgs held the Gaters and did not let them move the ball in those last few seconds.

That was a pretty cool play Florida tried with 5 seconds left in the game, but the Dawg defense had to perform one more time and did. They stopped the scoring threat and ended the game.


It was only right. The fans stormed the field and brought the post down where it belongs.

Not long afterwards Farm Bureau Insurance agreed to replace it in time for Saturday’s game against Kentucky.

A couple of quotes from fans were "Can’t mess with Starkville, Florida"; and "Who’s bait now?"

In the press conference after the game, head coach Sylvester Croom said, "We won this game on guts and hearts."

One reporter asked if Omarr Conner was the heart and soul of the team what was Jerious Norwood?

Croom responded, "He is the intestinal fortitude."

Croom bragged on the team that they kept Florida off balance most of the time.

"We are not the same team we were six or seven weeks ago," Croom said.

According to Croom, he and the team had a family talk Wednesday night.

"Today, we believed we could win," he said.

Complimenting his coaching staff, Croom said at the beginning he believed he had a great coaching staff.

"Today, I know I have a great coaching staff."

The Dawgs scored every time they were in the redzone which is the opposite thing from what happened against Maine. Croom was asked what did they do differently.

"We didn’t change anything," he said. "We just made plays."

Croom said his patience has paid off.

Batesville players Mario Bobo and Rickey Wright did not play due to nagging injuries. Bobo has a high ankle sprain but said he was going to play Saturday against Kentucky.

Wright was not seen so the extent of his injuries is not known.

It was really nice to be a part of this history-making event. As the fans still talk about that win over Alabama in the early ?80s, they will talk about this win over Florida. It will be something the players, coaches and fans never forget.

Had the other 8,000 plus fans showed up to rock that stadium there wouldn’t have been an eardrum left. The ground literally shakes when the cowbells and yells get together.

Maybe we fans won’t miss such an important event any more.

See you on the sidelines…