Sports / Outdoors – 11/9/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: November 9, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 11/9/04  issue of The Panolian


Local Cheer Squads Win Divisions;
SP Qualifies for State

They yelled, tumbled, roared, flipped, flopped and threw each other around. Thousands of cheerleaders invaded Batesville as South Panola hosted the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Regional Cheerleading Competition Sat., Nov. 6. Over 8,000 participants and spectators passed through the halls of the Tigers.

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Junior high squads competed in the morning for the coveted regional championship trophy and patches. Pope Jr. High won small 2A division championship. Batesville Jr. High won 5A small division championship.

The afternoon was set aside for the high school championships.

South Panola was the only squad in large 5A division but they also put up enough points to qualify for the state competition to be held Dec. 18 in Jackson. South Panola also had the highest score of all the squads participating.

North Panola Rolls
From the Belzone to the Endzone
Commentary by Ken Daughterty, NPHS

On Nov. 5 the North Panola football team loaded up at around 1:30 p.m. and traveled to Humphreys County in a first round playoff game. In other words, they flew south to the Belzone to the end zone. The weather was perfect for a football game, according to North Panoal High School principal John Sullivan.

"Where’s the varsity?"

The above question was yelled by some of the Cowboy fans at Belzone during the pregame warm up time. Yet, having a running back that is about 6′ 2" and over 200 pounds, number 3 for the Cowboys, doesn’t always win the game.

In the end, the Cowboys would underestimate the smaller North Panola Cougar players. Maybe most football upsets have these kinds of roots?

The Cougars jumped out to a 2 to 0 lead in the first minutes of the game when a safety was captured against the Cowboys by Cougar Justin Burdette. Humphreys County tried to run the ball, but the Cougar defense caught them in the end zone. The speed of the smaller Cougar players started to show early, and it gave them the momentum.

At the half, it was 16 to 0 in favor of the Cougars due to a seven yard run by Dexter Thomas. The two-point conversion from quarterback Perry Trammell to Roderick Jefferson gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead.

Then Thomas completed a drive in the second quarter with a two-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed.

In the second half the Cowboys seemed to take the Cougars more seriously. They scored 12 points to cut the Cougar lead 16-12.

Then, the Cougars intercepted a couple of passes, recovered a fumble, and the Cowboys fumbled a punted ball from the Cougars. Thus, the Cougars scored another touchdown to end the scoring at 22 to 12.

It was Thomas again on a three yard run to put the game back outof reach of the Cowboys in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion failed.

The Cowboys end the season at 8-4, and the Cougars move to 4-7 in the win/loss department. Friday, the Cougars will play Winona, who defeated North Pontotoc Friday night. This week, the Cougars were rated as the last place team in their district, and they were playing the first place winner at Belzone.

Next week, it will be likely that the opponent will take them more seriously. Let’s hope that the Cougar quickness will continue to surprise the opponents.

Sullivan was on hand for the game, and he credited the Cougar victory to the fact that the tough schedule that the Cougars have played helped them to play at the level needed to win in the playoffs.

He noted that the teams that have beaten North Panola were championship level teams. South Panola, Senatobia, Lafayette County, Eastside Cleveland, and Senatobia were some of these teams.

Nevertheless, Sullivan said that the Cougars played like a flock of geese. When one goose would get tired, this one would move to the back and let another goose lead. Thus, the total team output equaled a lot more than any one output or effort from just one goose.

Head Coach Demetrius Hill said that he was extremely proud of the Cougar team. This is his first head coaching job, and it has been a long time since the Cougars have won a playoff game.

His days of football started as a high school player at Meridian, Mississippi State University letterman and standout, and two years as a defensive lineman with the New York Giants. He suffered through some knee injuries as a Giant, but today, he is just happy to be a Cougar. He does have some aspirations to coach at the collegiate level in the future.

Hill said his assistant coaches and players have helped to make his first head coaching assignment the best that it could be.

Having these factors takes a lot of pressure off of the head coach, according to Hill. He concluded that the Lord has brought him to North Panola for a good reason, and he hopes he will not be on vacation when it comes to doing his part.

He thanked the friends or quiet angels who help the Cougars, but never get any recognition for it, too. Everybody has a part to play, according to Hill.

Green Wave Shuts Out Leake
55-0 in 1st Round
North Delta’s Adam Goodwin cuts back through to avoid the tackle by Leake Academy in the Green Wave’s 55-0 shutout Friday night.
By Angie Ledbetter
Contributing Writer

The undefeated North Delta Green Wave hosted the Leake Academy Rebels on Friday, November 5, in the first round of the MPSA AA playoffs.

The Green Wave shut out the Rebels 55-0, the Green Wave’s first of the year, before a huge crowd at Green Wave Field.

Leake finished the season with a 7-3 record after coming into this game as the runner up in District 2 under Simpson Academy.

Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston said, "Our second team came in and made some big plays. They held them out there at the end on three downs inside our five yard line. Those guys are getting better and better every week. They are pushing the other ones and there is a lot of competition out there. I think that they showed that tonight. They protected it and protected the shutout. The kids played real well and I am happy for them."

By defeating the Rebels in the first round of the playoffs, the Green Wave advanced to the second round and will host the undefeated Simpson Academy Cougars for the title of 2004 AA North Half Champions Friday night.

Simpson Academy defeated Lee Academy 48-19 on Friday night to advance to the second round. Since the Green Wave and Simpson are both undefeated, a coin toss determined the venue and the Green Wave won.

The Green Wave racked up on a total offense of 551 yards with eight touchdowns. The leading rusher was Dustin Maples with 270 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns, all in the first half of the game. Adam Goodwin had 132 yards on 7 carries with 1 touchdown. Hunter Coy had 76 yards on 9 carries with 1 touchdown. Forrest Wilbanks had 5 carries for 49 yards with 1 touchdown and a two point conversion. Cody hallmark had 1 carry for 20 yards with 1 touchdown and a two point conversion. Patrick Ellis had 3 carries for 10 yards.

Hunter Coy, Harrison Nickle and Nick Douglas each had one interception. Clint Egbert recovered a fumble.

The Rebels were limited to 72 yards rushing on 28 carries. They were 11 for 27 for 102 yards passing for a total offense of 174 yards.

The game started with the Green Wave receiving the opening kickoff. It did not take the Green Wave long to get on the scoreboard. With 10:31 on the clock, Maples took the ball 39 yards into the endzone for the first touchdown of the evening. The PAT failed and the score stood 6-0.

A few plays later, the Rebels fumbled the ball and Clint Egbert recovered it for the Green Wave.

On a quarterback keeper, Forrest Wilbanks scored on a 49 yard run with 6:46 left on the clock. The two point conversion failed but the Green Wave were up 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.

To start the second quarter, the Rebels’ quarterback was sacked by Patrick Ellis for a loss of 6 yards. The Rebels had to punt the ball and a few minutes later, Maples took the ball from 42 yards out into the endzone. With the two point conversion by Hallmark the Green Wave led 20-0.

With 7:09 on the clock, Maples scored on a 76 yard run. The two point conversion by Forrest Wilbanks was good and the Green Wave went up 28-0. A few minutes later, Harrison Nickle intercepted the Rebels’ ball and returned it to the 20 yard line of the Rebels. With 6:42 on the clock, Hallmark scored on a 20-yard run.

The PAT by Jonathan Shedd gave the Green Wave a 35-0 lead. The Green Wave defense stepped up again and held the Rebels.

With 3:34 left in the second quarter, Maples scored on a 47 yard run when the offensive line made some big holes for him. The PAT by Shedd gave the Green Wave a 42-0 lead at halftime.

The Rebels received the kickoff to start the third quarter. With 10:46 on the clock, Hunter Coy intercepted a pass from the Rebels’ quarterback, Cory Burns. One play later, Goodwin scored on a 73-yard run.

The PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 49-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Harrison Nickle came in to relieve Forrest Wilbanks as the quarterback for the Green Wave.

The Green Wave team saw a lot of new faces come into the game for the fourth quarter. They scored early when Coy took the ball from 10 yards out. The PAT failed and the score stood Green Wave 55-0.

With 7:00 left in the game, Nick Douglas intercepted the Rebels’ ball and the Green Wave took over 1st and 10 with the ball on their own 30 yard line. The next play, the Green Wave fumbled the ball and the Rebels recovered it on the Green Wave 27 yard line with 6:24 left in the game.

The Rebels had a chance to put some points on the board, but they ended up facing a fourth down and 10 with the ball on the Green Wave’s 17 yard line. The Rebels tried for a pass for the first down but it was incomplete and they turned the ball over on downs.

The Green Wave took over 1st and 10 with the ball on their own 17.

With only 44.4 seconds on the clock, the Rebels were held short of the goal line by the second defense of the Green Wave team. With 34.4 seconds left on the clock, the Rebels had a first down and goal with the ball on the Green Wave’s one yard line and they spiked the ball.
With 26 seconds left, the Rebels were held short again when Christain Amberson made a huge play.

With 24.1 seconds left, the Rebels spiked the ball again and they took a time out.

The Rebels were facing a third and goal with the ball on the Green Wave’s three-yard line. Jon Michael Ware met the ball carrier in the backfield for a tackle. A flag was thrown on the Green Wave for off sides, so the Rebels went half the distance to the goal line. They would have one more chance to score with 15 seconds left on the clock and they were on the Green Wave’s 1 1/2 yard line. The ball was handed to the fullback and the second team defense stepped up and stopped the runner for a touchdown saving play.

Several players were asked about this game afterwards and asked who would they rather play, Lee Academy or Simpson Academy.

Maples said that this game was a great win for North Delta.

"We came out here in the first playoff game of the year after losing the first one last year and it hurt so bad, so we just came out here fired up and ready to win," said Maples. "We probably could have had a few more shutouts, but our second defense stepped up big in the fourth quarter and held them tonight. I want to play Simpson Academy and that is what everybody has been waiting for and it is going to happen here at North Delta. I just want to see how we stack up against them."

Nickle said, "It is very special, the first shutout in a playoff game. Our second team has been having miscues and not stopping the other team. This time, they did on the one yard line and it was great. About my interception tonight, they had been trying to run up the middle and throw a pass and I was sitting right on top of it. I made a good play. I want to play Simpson, because we can stop the run better."

Cody Hallmark said, "I think that it is a great feeling. It is our first time all season that we shut out someone. The second team really stepped it up on the goal line right there at the end of the game. It all came together tonight as a playoff game, a big important game, but we came out all fired up. That is always what we do and we got it done and we came away with the shutout and the first round playoff victory. I would rather play Simpson. It has been a lot of talk about Simpson being 12-0 and us. It is just going to be a game here next week and I would advise everyone to come out and see the game."

Scott Ross said, "Tonight, we just came out and played real hard. We knew at the beginning that if we played real hard, we probably would shut them down. We just played hard and had a good team effort. Everybody played together. Next week is going to be a real good game. I really don’t care who we play next week. Whoever comes to this place is going to have to handle something."

Adam Goodwin said, "About my 73 yard touchdown, I just owe it to my offensive line. They have been there all year long. It wouldn’t be anything without them. They are everything. They hold our team together and it is great. There was hope for us to shut out a team in a playoff game, but not like this. Next week is going to be a good game. They are coming to our place and have to walk the Green Mile."

Nick Douglas said his interception felt great.

"It felt good to me because the second defense had a real good game and that was the turning point of the second defense. We just had a great game because we just stopped them and had a shutout for us. I would rather play Simpson, so we can knock them off of their undefeated record. We are going to beat them."

Kickoff for Friday’s game is 7 p.m. on Green Wave Field.


Despite Setbacks, Tigers Prevail in OT Over Point
South Panola’s Jeremy Williams, No. 5, was denied his first touchdown of the year when the officials said he did not have control of the ball on this catch.
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

WEST POINT – The South Panola Tigers showed why they are ranked No. 12 by USA Today in the nation and No. 1 in the state of Mississippi by the Associated Press.

When pushed to the limit and with their backs against the wall, the Tigers went 11-0 on the regular season with a 21-14 overtime win over the West Point "Point" Green Wave Friday night.

In this final district game of the season, Point came out with a vengeance and determination.

Point got on the boards first with a 45-yard fumble return. South Panola quarterback Derek Pegues tried a little lateral pitch to tailback Germichael Sanford but the ball was too high. Point picked up the ball and returned it for the touchdown with 10:08 on the first quarter clock.

With the point after touchdown (PAT), Point led 7-0.

One of the biggest plays of the night was a six-yard touchdown connection from Pegues to his favorite target, wide receiver Travis Sanford, to break the tie in overtime.

The next biggest play was a game-ending interception by Pegues in overtime to stop Point from scoring.

It seemed only right that since Tiger Jeremy Williams’ touchdown pass was denied him that an overtime pass touchdown was denied Point due to an illegal block in the back penalty.

The Tigers had a lot to overcome in this emotionally charged, highly contested game.

At one point right before halftime, South Panola was hit with penalties to knock them back to a fourth down and 52 yards to go. In fact the Tigers were penalized nine times for 69 yards for the whole night. Point was penalized four times for 40 yards.

In that 52 yards were a penalty flag on head coach Ricky Woods, unsportsmanlike conduct, holding, delay of game and illegal procedure.

To top that off, Travis Sanford went up for a catch in double coverage but was brought down by the defender who wrapped his arm around Sanford’s neck and grabbed hold of his facemask but no yellow flag followed the play. The pass was ruled incomplete.

It took a few minutes but Germichael Sanford bought the Tigers back into the game on a nine-yard run right up the middle with 2:23 left in the first quarter. The offensive line opened up a hole and Sanford went through untouched for the score.

With Russ Belk’s PAT, the scored stood tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Belk attempted a 36-yard field goal to break the tie but it was short of the goal and wide to the right.

Pegues broke the tie on a 51-yard touchdown run in just three plays with 3:05 left in the first half. Pegues looked like he was about to pass the ball, then he tucked it and dodged defenders to get to the right sideline. Once on the sideline, he turned on the speed, smoked the Point defenders and broke to the middle for the touchdown.

Throwing the key block around the 20 yard line was offensive lineman Willie Oliver.

Belk’s PAT was good for the 14-7 lead.

On Point’s next possession, Tiger linebacker Marcus Johnson pulled down his first interception of the season with 2:12 left in the first half.

Point took the opening kickoff of the second half. The Green Wave kept the ball from the beginning of the quarter to the 24-yard touchdown run with 5:44 left in the third quarter. Point tied the game with the PAT.

The Tigers were held scoreless throughout the second half. Belk had an off night in field goal attempts as he tried a 44-yard field goal with 10:25 left in the game but it was wide to the right. Then another attempt from 31-yards out with 32 seconds left in regulation was blocked.

After that Point took a knee to send the game into overtime.

South Panola received the ball first in overtime. In high school overtime, each team receives the ball on the 10 yard line and has four downs to get into the endzone.

Germichael Sanford carried the ball to the six yard line on first down. Pegues had no gain on second down. On third down, the Pegues to Travis Sanford connection gave the Tigers the lead.

Though Belk may have had trouble with field goals, he was a perfect 3 for 3 in PATs.

On Point’s possession, Tiger defensive lineman John Jerry dropped the Point runner for a one-yard loss on first down. On second down, Point had no gain as linebacker Brandon Burnett had the tackle.

Point had a delay of game penalty on third down which bought up third down and 16. On the third down play, Point got in the endzone on a pass but the score was negated on an illegal block penalty which brought up third down and 35.

There was no gain on third and 35. On fourth and 35 Pegues’ interception ended the game.

After the game, the Tigers were whopping, hollering and high fiving more than any game this season.

Head coach Woods said after the game he would have not thought the Tigers would be 11-0 with only five returning starters on the team.

For the third straight year, the Tigers have ended the regular season 11-0.

Despite the close game and the Green Wave controlling the clock 35:04 to 24:56, the Tigers had 193 rushing yards and 124 passing yards for a total of 317 offensive yards.

Point had only 43 rushing yards and 43 passing yards for a total of 86 offensive yards.

Pegues completed five of 11 passes for 124 yards. Travis Sanford had three receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown. Jeremy Williams had one reception for 40 yards. Germichael Sanford had one reception for 36 yards.

Germichael Sanford led in rushing yards with 95 on 16 carries and one touchdown. Pegues led in rushing on 20 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown. He had 96 yards, but lost 34 in sacks.

Jeramie Griffin had 27 yards on six carries. Karreem Carr had nine yards on one carry.

The Tigers will host Grenada in the first round of the playoffs Friday night, Nov. 12. Grenada lost to Clinton 14-7 last Friday night to place fourth in Region 2-5A.

Season tickets cannot be used for playoff games. Tickets will go on sale for this game Friday at 6 p.m. in the ticket booth for $5. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Panola Football Continues
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

Hold your horses or your basketball, football in Panola County is not over yet.

With a clean sweep from all three Panola county teams last Friday night, all three teams will be hosting a playoff game this Friday night.

North Panola, with the upset of the week, kept its season alive with a 22-12 win over Humphreys County in Belzoni. Humphreys was the number one team in region 4-3A following the regular season. North Panola was the fourth place team in 3-3A.

Independence was the only team in 3-3A which did not advance to round two with a loss to Velma Jackson.

Senatobia defeated J.Z. George 35-6 and Cleveland East Side defeated Lexington McClain 34-14.

North Delta won the coin toss for the hottest game of the night when they play host to undefeated Simpson Academy for the North Half championship and the right to play for the state championship Nov. 18.

Simpson Academy is the defending AA 2003 State champions. During realignment this past year, they moved into the north from the south under heavy criticism, as they are located about an hour below Jackson.

Nevertheless, the alignment stands and schools in the north will have to deal with the possible future consequence of facing this team.

Simpson defeated Lee Academy in a 48-19 blowout last Friday night. This should prove to be one of the toughest games of the season for the 12-0 Green Wave.

Now South Panola knows how to end the regular season right. The Tigers faced a very determined "Point" Green Wave team in West Point Friday night. The Point team forced the Tigers into an overtime situation, but the Tigers regrouped, found some extra energy and brought home an undefeated season.

Despite an unheard of fourth down and 52 yards to go situation, missed calls and non-calls by the officials, another muddy field to play on, a penalty on the coach, a touchdown denied, two missed field goals, despite all of that and more, the Tigers did what they did best, rallied and won the ballgame.

The faithful Tiger crowd could have been the difference in the game as they backed up the team and cheered them on to victory, just to show up at the cheerleader competition early Saturday morning.

South Panola will host Grenada in the first round of the playoffs. Grenada lost to Clinton Friday night and ended up in fourth place in the district.

As we have witnessed, anything could happen any Friday night. But a loss by any team Friday night would mean the close of the 2004 season for the team.

So since all the teams are playing Friday night, they need crowd support. No excuses accepted why the stands are not filled to capacity. These young men need the community’s support.

Each team has some banners for the stands that The Panolian has printed up thanks to the support of our local banks, BancorpSouth, Union Planters and First Security Bank.

Please take yours out of the paper and carry it to the games Friday night. The banks have some and the schools have some. We may have some more at The Panolian, just check. Cover the stands with these banners. Put them in your windows and on your doors. They are paper so they might not work to well to ride around with them on your car.

The schools have all sorts of things with the mascots and school names on them. Go by and buy them and wear them to the game. Make sure everyone knows who you are rooting for.

Below is the schedule for this Friday’s playoff games. The regular season is over for all divisions and now it is "win or go home" time.

High school football playoff schedule for Friday, Nov. 12:

(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Grenada (Region 2 fourth)
     at South Panola
(Region 1 winner)
West Point (Region 1 third)
     at Madison Central
(Region 2 runner-up)
Tupelo (Region 1 fourth)
     at Warren Central
(Region 2 winner)
 Clinton (Region 2 third)
     at Olive Branch
(Region 1 runner-up)
Moss Point (Region 4 fourth)
     at Northwest Rankin
(Region 3 winner)
Hattiesburg (Region 3 third)
     at Ocean Springs
(Region 4 runner-up)
Oak Grove (Region 3 fourth)
     at Gulfport
(Region 4 winner)
Biloxi (Region 4 third)
     at Meridian
(Region 3 runner-up)
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Callaway at Noxubee County
Pearl at Clarksdale
Provine at Oxford
Lafayette County at Kosciusko
Laurel at Wayne County
Brookhaven at South Jones
West Jones at George County
South Pike at St. Stanislaus
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Cleveland East Side at Corinth
Velma Jackson at Charleston
Ripley at Senatobia
Winona at North Panola
Franklin County at Forest
Tylertown at Morton
Newton County at Hazlehurst
Greene County at West Lauderdale
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Drew at Booneville
Leflore County at Bruce
Hollandale Simmons at Ackerman
Eupora at Leland
Philadelphia at East Marion
St. Andrews at Heidelberg
Seminary at Hinds AHS
McLaurin at Lumberton
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Benoit Brooks (Region 2 fourth)
     at Calhoun City
(Region 1 winner)
DeSoto Central (Region 1 third)
     at Durant
(Region 2 runner-up)
Vardaman (Region 1 fourth)
     at Weir
(Region 2 winner)
East Webster (Region 2 third)
     at Coffeeville
(Region 1 runner-up)
Cathedral (Region 4 fourth)
     at Scott Central
(Region 3 winner)
Noxapater (Region 3 third)
     at Mount Olive
(Region 4 runner-up)
Pelahatchie (Region 3 fourth)
     at Mize
(Region 4 winner)
Salem (Region 4 third)
     at Union
(Region 3 runner-up)
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Division I
Parklane Acadmey (District 2 runner-up)
     at Jackson Academy
(District 1 winner)
Pillow Academy (District 1 runner-up)
     at Jackson Prep
(District 2 winner)
Division II
Lamar School (District 2 runner-up)
     at Magnolia Heights
(District 1 winner)
Starkville Academy (District 1 runner-up)
     at MRA
(District 2 winner)
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Simpson Academy at North Delta
Oak Forest, La. at Centreville Academy
(All game times, 7 p.m.)
Lee, Ark. at Central Holmes
River Oaks, La. at Claiborne, La.