Sports / Outdoors – 11/16/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: November 16, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 11/16/04  issue of The Panolian

   


GreenWave Falls Short of Championship
Rick Johnston coached the North Delta team to a 12-1 season.

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By Angie Ledbetter
Contributing Writer
  

The undefeated 12-0 North Delta Green Wave fell to the undefeated 12-0 Simpson Academy Cougars 28-7 for the MPSA AA North State Championship Title in what was probably the most anticipated match up of the season.

These two teams were ranked first and second in the MPSA AA State and both were well deserving of their rankings. They have played their hearts out week after week beginning in August.

No. 2 North Delta fell to the No. 1 Cougars before an estimated crowd of 2.000 fans at Green Wave field. The Green Wave finished the season with a record of 12-1. The 2000 championship team also put up a 12-1 record.

Regardless of the outcome, the game was played the way a championship game should have been played. The weather was perfect and the fans from each school showed their school spirit.

Fans from other schools all around the state were there supporting each team. Also, there were players from other schools that North Delta and Simpson had played during the season, and they were there supporting each team regardless they had been beaten by these two great teams. Everyone just wanted to see a great football game and they definitely got their money’s worth at this game.

Simpson entered the game 25-0, after winning the 2003 AA State Championship as the South Half winner of that year. After some MPSA realignments, the Cougars somehow entered the North Half this year. That put them to play the Green Wave for the first time ever in the north division. Though this move has been questioned, the realignment stands for another year.

The Cougars traveled about four hours to get to North Delta on Friday.

The Green Wave entered the game after capturing the District 1 Title Championship and setting a school record of a season of 12-0. Since 2000, the Green Wave have won the District 1 four times and lost last year after a tie with Marshall due to a point system. They won the North State Championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

In 2000, the Green Wave captured the State Championship Title and in 2001, they lost by two points in the State AAA Championship game. The Green Wave have had a great showing on the district level, the North State level, and the State level for the past several years.

The championship game started with the Green Wave winning the coin toss and they deferred to the second half as their tradition. Forrest Wilbanks kicked off to the Cougars. Dan Napier was back to receive. The battle heated up in the first quarter when neither team’s defense allowed the other team’s offense to score. It showed how strong the defense was for each team. Early in the first quarter, Adam Goodwin sacked Ben Maddox, the quarterback, on a 3rd and 16 with the ball on their own 34 yard line.

The Green Wave fumbled the ball on their own 47 yard line with 11:20 left in the second quarter and Brian Little recovered it for the Cougars to help set up a drive for them.

The first score came when runningback Dan Napier scored for Simpson with a 39 yard run with 10:04 left in the this quarter. The PAT by Justin Blair was good to put the Cougars up 7-0.

The Cougars were threatening to score again when they fumbled the ball on the Green Wave’s 34 yard line and Cody Hallmark recovered it for the Green Wave with 5:32 left in the second quarter. The Green Wave couldn’t capitalize on this, so they had to punt the ball with 3:33 on the clock.

The Green Wave went to the locker room at the half down 0-7. They had a total offense of 56 yards at the half and only 1 first down. The Cougars had a total offense of 161 yards and 6 first downs with 1 touchdown.

Head Coach Rick Johnston told the team that he felt really good about it at halftime. "I told them that too. I told them that I felt like we had a real good shot at them. It was as close as anybody had played them all year. I felt that we were in control of things at that point."

The Green Wave received the kickoff to start the third quarter of the game. Preston Harris scored on a 52 yard run with 4:52 left on the clock and the PAT was good to give the Cougars a 14-0 lead. The leading rusher, Dan Napier had left the game after being shook up, but was ok and he did return in the third quarter.

The Green Wave got on the scoreboard with only 2:34 left in the third quarter when Harrison Nickle scored on a 48 yard pass from quarterback Forrest Wilbanks and the PAT by Jonathan Shedd was good. The Green Wave were down 7-14 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Shannon Steed scored on a 13 yard run with 8:27 left in the game and the PAT was good to give the Cougars a bigger lead. The Cougars scored once again when Preston Harris took the ball 24 yards with 2:54 left in the game and the PAT by Blair was good to give the Cougars the win 28-7.

The Cougars brought in a defense that held the Green Wave to the least amount of yards this year. The Green Wave had 30 carries for 96 rushing yards and Wilbanks was 3 for 11 for 70 passing yards for a total offense of 166 yards. They also had the fewest first downs that they have had all year with only 7. They had 3 penalties for 15 yards.

Adam Goodwin had 10 carries for 37 yards. Forrest Wilbanks had 6 carries for 33 yards. Dustin Maples had 12 carries for 32 yards. The Green Wave had only one touchdown with Harrison Nickle with a 48 yard reception from Wilbanks. They had 1 fumble that they lost.

Cody Hallmark had one fumble recovery foe the Green Wave. Adam Goodwin had 1 quarterback sack. Leading the defense was Cody Hallmark, Hal West, Brandon Ciaramitaro, Coy Bland, Patrick Ellis, Hunter Coy, and Scott Ross.

Dustin Maples ended the season with 27 touchdowns on 136 carries for 1,543 yards for a total of 164 points. He also had 1 two point conversion. Hunter Coy had 13 touchdowns on 77 carries for 595 yards for a total of 78 points. Forrest Wilbanks had 93 carries for 612 yards with 10 touchdowns and 4 two point conversions for a total of 68 points. Adam Goodwin had 97 carries with 7 touchdowns with 913 yards for a total of 42 points. Harrison Nickle had 9 touchdowns and 2 two point conversions for a total of 58 points. Jonathan Shedd had 35 PATS for a total of 35 points. The Green Wave ended the season with 504 points scored and only allowed their opponents to score 158 points.

The Cougars on the other side had 49 carries for 328 rushing yards and no passing yards and they had 3 touchdowns. They had 15 first downs and 7 penalties for 50 yards. They had 2 fumbles and lost 1 of them. Dan Napier had 23 carries for 163 yards with 1 touchdown for the Cougars. Preston Harris had 11 carries for 125 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Head Coach Rick Johnston said that it was a great game. "Our kids did a tremendous job, but we just ran into a team that was a real good team," said Johnston. "We made a couple of mistakes and missed a couple of assignments at untimely times and you just can’t do that in games of that magnitude. It is just one of those things that when you get to that level, you have got to be on top of things. You know that missed tackle here, a missed assignment there, a turnover here, but I am real proud of my kids. We came out and had a miscue early in the second half and they got a little momentum and they scored again going up 14-0. I think that they were a real testate to our kids when they were able to come back after going down 14-0 in a game that big and come right back and score. Forrest made a heck of a throw and Harrison made a heck of a play getting free and getting into the endzone. The line gave him time to throw it. It would have been easy at that point to just hang your head, and figure that the game was over with, but our kids didn’t do that. They kept battling it and I was very proud of that. It was two good football teams playing Friday night and in life somebody has go to win and somebody has got to lose. Unfortunately, they made the plays. They have a talented bunch with 18 seniors. You don’t win 26 games in a row without having a real good football team and they just got the job done. Hopefully, it can be a learning thing for our team. I talked with each player individually after the game Friday night and hopefully this will motivate us even more. We have a good nucleus coming back. We have got some good young talent. I hate it for our seniors. They don’t have anything to hang their head about. They had a heck of a year and arguable the best year that has ever happened at North Delta. We had the biggest crowd on Friday night since I have been at North Delta. Our folks showed up, people in the surrounding communities showed up and were real supportive. I hate it that we didn’t get the job done but we had tremendous support from other schools. People from all over the state were there supporting us and I feel as good as I can feel about it. Everybody wants to win. And I am the biggest competitioner in this world and I wanted to win, but it just didn’t work out."

Johnston said, " There are two teams that are still playing for the State Championship that we beat. One is playing for the AAA Championship and one is playing for the A Championship. We have played some real good competition and Friday night just didn’t go our way. Simpson has a lot to do with that because they have a real good football team and I wish them the best. We will met on Monday with the players, talk about the game, be real supportive of our seniors and I will tell them that they have nothing to hang their heads about and I am very proud of all of them."

Coach Lance Thomas said that this group of seniors has been a really good group. "Simpson was a real good football team and in order to win that game , you had to play very little mistakes," said Thomas. "They had a real good back and we held them and held them, and they had been like us all year, they would break the long run and it would break the people’s back. That was the goal for both teams to contain the running game and we held pretty good at times and unfortunately, we gave up the big plays at times and you can’t do that with a team like that. It was a huge crowd and it was the biggest since I have been there and we got to play at home and that was good for us. After the game, I went around to all of the seniors and told them thank you for all that they had done for the program. They put in a lot of hard work. They had a real good season 12-0 and nothing to be ashamed of. They put their heart and soul in to it. The thing about this group of seniors is that they are an outstanding group outside of the football field and the weight room and they lead pretty much in the classroom too. I have had many teachers tell me that they were a good group."

Cody Hallmark said that Simpson was good. "There was no doubt in my mind that those boys were real good. We faced a real good opponent and they had prepared real well for us which we prepared for them, but they were ready for us and apparently they came out on top. There isn’t much that you can say when you lose but I do know that we tried as hard as we could but we couldn’t get it done. Absolutely, we gave it our best. I played my heart out. I gave it all that I had. The one good feeling is that I know that I left it all on the field and there was nothing that I held back when I played them at all and that is one good thing from it. They were fast and they had eleven guys that were fast. They didn’t have a weak spot. They knew how to play their position and they were never out of their positions. They just knew what they were doing. They are a great team. After the game, Coach Johnston told us that we didn’t have anything to hold our heads down about and that we needed to keep our heads up because we had a great season. We have been the best at North Delta with our record. He told us that we should be proud of ourselves and not be sad at all. I know that you can’t win them all. As a senior, it is heartbreaking, no doubt. You practice three years to try and get there and then come up short but that is just how life goes. It didn’t take me very long to realize that that is just how it goes. There has been a lot of fuss about the alignment, but that is just how it came out to be. I think that we just got unlucky because I believe that we are the #2 team in the State in the MPSA and that is just my opinion. I think that we came out pretty good this year."

"I was disappointed with the outcome," said Forrest Wilbanks. "I know that we played hard. We had a bunch of mistakes that killed us in the end. I would say that their line was the key to winning the game. They had size. We couldn’t move the ball and when you can’t move the ball, you can’t win. Coach Johnston told us that he was very proud of us for the whole year, we all played good, and that he wished that we could play one more week, but things come out on the short hand sometimes."

"It was pretty close the first two quarters," said Brandon Ciaramitaro. "We just couldn’t get anything going. The coaches told us that we need to keep our heads up because we didn’t have anything to be ashamed of."
  

I Am Proud of You
BY ANGIE LEDBETTER
GUEST COLUMNIST


As I started to write this article, it being my last one of this year, tears began to flow down my face. I have mixed feeling going into this article and it is very hard to write when things are very difficult in so many areas.

First, let me say to the 2004 North Delta Green Wave football team just how proud I am of all of you. I have watched several of you play football since your junior high years and you have come such a long way. You improved each year and you showed that to everyone on the field and off of the field. You are all winners in your own way. Yes, you broke a school record of 12-0 and I am very proud to have been there to see that happen.

Yes, I would also like to go to the State Championship game with all of you, but life doesn’t always go our way. You take the loses with all of the winsas I have taken so many bumps in the road with my battle. We take it as God gives to us and we don’t question why things happen like they do.

I know first hand how hard it is sometimes not to question why things happen like they do, but it isn’t always easy to look at the bigger picture that God has planned for us. I do believe that He has something very special planned for the Green Wave football program, so please believe that it was His will and not ours. You are still champions. As a matter of fact, I believe in my heart that you are the North State Champions and always will be. That is just my opinion.

I want to say to the senior football players that I am very proud of the leadership you have shown during this football season. You have ben the best.

You were role models when you needed to be. I thank you for the season that you gave us and I wish you the best of luck with whatever you do.

To Adam Goodwin, J.R Walker, Harrison Nickle, Cody Hallmark, Clint Egbert, Jonathan Shedd, Hunter Coy, Justin Howell, Brandon Ciaramitaro, Scott Ross, Wes Hudson, Coy Bland and Hal West, you are the best and you will always be a very special part of history at North Delta Green Wave football.

I am very proud to be a GREEN WAVE FAN and always will be. As the football season was approaching in mid July, my life was uncertain whether I was going to be able to continue to write about your season. I was going through a lot with my health and I had to really pray about it. My heart wanted to be there every week but I wasn’t sure if my body could be there.

As the season started, I took one week at a time. I still remember that very first game all the way in Central Holmes and that was a trip for me. I got I got there and I told myself that I was not right in the brain for doing this. I had to sit in a lawn chair most of the time as most of you probably remember. Well, needless to say, after the game was over and I saw how much that I wanted to see all of you play each week, I changed my mind really quick.

Well, next came the trip to Marvell, Ark. That wasn’t any better for me. My doctor even told me that I should consider staying at home and listening to it on the radio.

Well, fans, listening to it on the radio is never the same as being there. I realized that I wanted to be a big part of this team after seeing how they played those two games. I knew that they were going to be something special this season.

I had been a part of Green Wave football since 1994 when my nephew played on the State Championship team, so I knew that this might be another team to be just as good. I had heard a lot of talk before the jamboree, but I had to see it for myself. Well, it didn’t take me very long to do that indeed.

The first home game came against Lee Academy and guess what, I had doctor’s orders to stay in bed for one of the biggest rivalry games and that is what I had to do. I did cry a few tears but I cried more after the game was over when you had won and I got to call in to the Farm Bureau High School Football Scoreboard Show.

That made me feel so much better. I just wish that I could have been there to support you, but my heart was there with you. What a turn around for your team to defeat Lee Academy that night.

Well, the winning continued and I got to be a part of it, thanks to my Lord and Savior who was watching over me. I also knew that I had so many people praying for me and that made me feel so good. It made me feel good for football players, coaches, and fans to come up to me and let me know that they were praying for me and that they were glad that I was at the games. Thank you so much for your prayers and your words of encouragement. It helped me get through this miraculous season with all of my health problems.

I didn’t get through this season without a lot of help from so many different people. First of all, the coaching staff helped me out so much.

Coach Johnston, thank you for having patience with me especially when I had to track you down to interview you while you were probably too busy for me but my schedule didn’t always allow me to do the interviews at your best time. You were so much help to me each week and I will tell you that I have learned a lot more football language from you this year and it has helped me in so many ways.

You went out of your way to help me when things got rough for me and you were so kind to always ask me if you could do anything to help me. I thank you so much.

To Coach Thomas, you are so caring. You were always helping me with the players-of-the-week pictures even when I couldn’t be there to take them. Thank you for all of your kind words of encouragement.

What a precious family that God has blessed you with. What a better time to add a new baby girl to your family than during this great football season. Thank goodness, she wasn’t a boy or you would have probably named her after football! Just kidding. She is precious!

To Coach McMinn, you have always been very special to me. I have known you since I was a little girl. You are still the most caring person that anyone would want to know. It still amazes me that you always do so much but you want to be in the back and not wanting any credit for what you do for anyone. That is a very special person and you haven’t changed any!

To Coach Hardy, you are very kind and you have been kind to me and always asking me how I feel and telling me that it was good to see me at the games. Thanks you so much.

To Coach Beach, you are new this year and I haven’t gotten to know you too well. I do know that you are very kind and everyone speaks highly of you. I hope in the future that I get to know you a lot better. I hope that you continue to be a part of Green Wave football because I know that you brought a lot to the program also.

To Tripp, I am still amazed that you are assisting also. You make me feel so old. I still want to see you on that football field playing like you did. You bring a lot of inspiration to the guys because you are close to their age and you can relate to them. You will always be a Green Wave fan and a former football player that we all remember. Please stay with the program.

Next comes the 2004 cheerleaders. You did a great job at every game keeping the fans fired up and the players motivated. You did a great job on the sidelines and I am very proud of you. I thank all of you for the nice words that you said to me and told me that you were praying for me also. Thank you Cindy Beard for all that you have done this year also.

To our radio crew, Mickey and Kirk, you are the best! Thank you for always helping me out at every game by giving updates on the stats and the clock for me. I couldn’t have done it without the both of you. Thank you for helping me out when I wasn’t able to be at a game. I appreciate you letting me come into the press box the last few weeks so I could attend the games and not have to stand up and not freeze and get sick. Thank you for the wonderful job that the both of you do for all of our Green Wave fans who aren’t able to attend the games. I know how much it is appreciated.

To Tom Gurley and John Howell, thank you for not getting tired of me asking you so many questions on the sidelines when I missed so many plays because I was in the wrong place or I was just too short to see the play! You were a lifesaver for me every week.

Tom, you got me the final game stats every week after the game even if it meant that we were late leaving the game so I could call into the scoreboard show and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without your help. Thank you so much. I hope that I didn’t get in your way too many times.

To my family that helped me out each week with whatever you did to help me with football, I thank you. Whether it was helping take my pictures, recording the games for me, or just helping me by being with me, I appreciate each one of you.

To all of the North Delta Green Wave fans, you are the best ever! Thank you for being a big part of an awesome season and helping make it a truly memorable one for me. Many of you have prayed for me each week and I really did appreciate it so much. You were so kind to go out of your way to help me in some way. Many of you helped out when my father’s house burned and I truly appreciated anything that you did or gave for him.

To Myra Bean, thank you for all of the help that you gave me. I could have never made it this season without you. You have bean a great friend and always caring about how I felt. Thanks you for helping me out when I needed some help. I know that you helped me when you had your hands full with South Panola and their awesome season. I hope that they will go on to win the 2004 State Championship again. Good Luck South Panola!!

Until next year, I pray that God will bless each and every one of you and He will see that you have a joyful holiday season that is approaching us and that you will give thanks to Him for the reason that we have the holiday season.

    

 

   
Winona Hands Cougars Season-Ending Loss
North Panola coaches watch as the Cougar season comes to an end. Coaches include (l to r) Samuel Griffin, Sean Norwood and Demetrius Hill.
    
Also see:
  
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

psports@panolian.com

  
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.
  

Tigers Overcome Early Mishaps
     to Defeat Grenada 33-6
Madison Central Comes to Town Friday
South Panola tailback Darius Barksdale attempted to go around a Grenada defender Friday night. The Tigers defeated the Chargers 33-6 and will host Madison Central Friday night at 7 p.m.
    
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor
psports@panolian.com


BATESVILLE – Anyone who said South Panola ballgames were boring have had enough excitement to last the rest of the season with the last two games.

After the 21-14 win over West Point Nov. 5, the Tigers had an exciting start to the round one playoff game against long time rival Grenada Friday night.

The temperature in the 40s with the wind blowing throughout the night might have had a little something to do with the five fumbles South Panola made Friday night.

Though Grenada recovered four of those balls, in addition to capturing one interception, the Tigers’ ultimate defense held Grenada to only six points until the offense found its bearing.

The nationally ranked No. 9 South Panola team downed Grenada 33-6 for a round 1 playoff win.

Since rival West Point lost in Madison Central Friday, Madison Central will travel to Batesville Friday for the quarterfinal round.

When the announcement came at the ballgame, the remaining home crowd sent up a cheer. No one in recent memory wanted to travel back to West Point for another game this year.

Also other upsets around north 5A included Clinton ending the season of Olive Branch in a 17-14 win.

Therefore the winner of the South Panola/Madison Central game will meet either Tupelo or Clinton for the North Half title Nov. 26. A win by South Panola will send the Tigers on the road.

Leading the Tigers was fullback Jeramie Griffin who had two touchdown runs of 82 and 69 and 186 yards on five carries.

Tailback Germichael Sanford rushed for 38 yards on seven carries and one rushing touchdown. Sanford also had a 25-yard touchdown reception. Quarterback Derek Pegues had 81 yards on six carries and one touchdown.

South Panola fumbled on its first possession against Grenada but recovered the ball. The next down Pegues threw an interception. Grenada was not able to capitalize on the catch.

On South Panola’s very next possession on first down, another fumble ensued and Grenada recovered it on the 50.

Pegues said turnabout was fair play and intercepted the ball for the Tigers but the possession ended in a punt.

The first quarter ended with both teams scoreless.

Grenada had possession of the ball going into the second quarter but it ended in a punt. The Tigers had the ball on their own 8 yard line following a penalty. On first down and 15, South Panola fumbled the ball again and Grenada recovered on the Tiger 20 yard line. On fourth down, Grenada kicked a 28-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead at 7:08.

Though neither team could get near the endzone in the first quarter, the second quarter was a different story.

After the kickoff return to the Tiger 32, on first down Pegues cut through the Charger defense, smoked the secondary and raced for a 68-yard touchdown run with 6:49 left in the first half. The point after touchdown (PAT) by Belk was no good and the Tigers led 6-3.

The Tigers’ next possession ended in another fumble recovered by Grenada on the Tiger 20 yard line.

The Tiger defense entered the field with determination to stop the Chargers. In the red zone, the Tigers held the Chargers to another field goal, a 39-yarder this time, which tied the game at 6-6 with 3:15 left to go in the half.

Well, Grenada called and the Tigers answered. On first down and 10 after the kickoff return to the 18, Jeramie Griffin broke to the right sideline and toed the ball 82-yards for a touchdown with 2:55 left in the half. The PAT by Belk was good for the 13-6 lead.

Grenada could not get anything else done on offense the rest of the night. With 1:15 left in the half, Germichael Sanford barreled 25 yards for the touchdown with 1:15 left in the half. With Belk’s PAT the Tigers took a 20-6 lead into halftime.

Sanford scored his second touchdown of the evening on a one-yard run with 8:34 left in the third quarter. With the PAT, the Tigers led 27-6.

Griffin’s 69-yard touchdown run came at the 6:51 mark of the third quarter on the first down after a Grenada punt. The PAT was no good and the score stood 33-6 as both teams shut each other down in the fourth quarter.

South Panola’s backup quarterback Kareem Carr took over the offense after the last touchdown in the third quarter and he also committed one fumble that Grenada recovered. The defense did not let Grenada in the endzone.

The Tigers had 402 rushing yards on 38 carries. Pegues completed one pass for a 25-yard touchdown reception to Germichael Sanford. The Tigers had total offensive yards of 427.

Grenada had 58 rushing yards on 34 attempts and completed eight of 18 passes for 36 yards. Total offensive yards for Grenada were 94. Grenada had to punt eight times for 292 yards. South Panola punted one time for 54 yards.

Tickets will go on sale in the high school office Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The ticket booth will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $7 and no reserved seating is available for playoff games.