Sports / Outdoors – 9/30/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 30, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – September 30, 2005

  From the 9/30/05 issue of The Panolian     *REVISED*    


NP changes homecoming date for tonight
April Smith crowned Miss Homecoming
By Donna Taylor

It’s that time of year again! The North Panola Cougars will be celebrating their annual homecoming tonight at Cougar field. They will take on M.S. Palmer at 7 p.m. following the homecoming parade that will begin at 5 p.m.

The homecoming game was originally set to be against Byhalia, but after the schedule change due to Hurricane Katrina, school officials moved it to the Cougar/Palmer game to be held tonight.

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Last year, the Cougars played the Rosa Fort Lions and won. The Lions beat the Cougars earlier in the season at Rosa Fort.

This year, North Panola has recorded a total of 52 points, while holding opponents to a grand total of 64 points. The Cougars have not lost by any astronomical numbers and some fans have faith that they will come out of this ‘rut’ and possibly have a chance at winning a district title.

With North Panola’s superintendent Robert Massey being on administrative leave and no one giving a reason why, administrators hope the dark cloud swirling above will not put a damper on the game.

The coronation was held Wednesday night in the high school auditorium because of damage to the gym from Hurricane Katrina. School officials said the leaks in the roof prevented them from having it there.

The team has been practicing very hard, as they have done all season, according to head coach Demetrius Hill. Some players who were part of the coronation court were still on the practice field shortly before the coronation began.

Bruce Wilbourn and Jarvis Taylor, who both stepped up their games in the Cougars’ last two outings, will have to come just a few rungs higher if they want to win this homecoming game.

Justin Burnette, Larry Burdette, Perry Trammell, Roderick Jefferson and "Play Hard" Denard Presley are all familiar names on the roster. There are others on this young team who are equally as capable of pulling off the big win and bringing their "A" games.

Junior offensive lineman Joseph Taylor says he is ready to show off his polished talent in what some consider the biggest game of the Cougars season. Taylor comes from a family of NP athletes.

His mother Carolyn Taylor played basketball in the 70s and their team went to the state championship in 1977. They did not win, but few North Panola girls’ basketball teams have ventured to the state championships since then.

April Smith and Brantley Salter were crowned Mr. and Miss Homecoming on Wednesday night. Last year’s winner, Marteena Taylor was present and gave the newly elected court her best wishes. Taylor is now a Biology major at the University of Mississippi. Michael Britt was moderator for the festive event.

ND emerges victorious from battle with Winston
By Angie Ledbetter

While some teams in South Mississippi and Louisiana were still not playing football due to Rita, a second hurricane, the Green Wave were in action in Louisville.

The Green Waves were battling it out against a historically fine 2A Winston Academy team. The Green Waves got back in the winning column as they defeated the Winston Patriots 28-8.

The Green Waves dominated the game in rushing yards with 350 to the Patriot’s 189.

The Green Wave accounted for 65 of the 128 penalty yards.

According to Green Wave head football coach Rick Johnston, some of the penalties were just hustling penalties as usual for his Green Wave team.

The Green Wave team was much improved this week as far as turnovers. They finished the night with no turnovers. For this game, the Green Waves were on the other side of the turnovers and they benefited from them. The Patriots had 2 interceptions and 1 fumble for the night.

To get back to winning, Johnston said the team "got at each other pretty good on Monday and Tuesday."

He said Monday was one of the most physical practices they had had in awhile.

"We moved a bunch of guys around this week on the defensive side," Johnston said. "I think we had only one kid that played in the same spot that he started in the Magnolia Heights game the week before. I thought that the effort was a whole lot better."

Mostly, North Delta had everybody playing and doing what they were supposed to do, according to Johnston.

"Our offensive line really stepped up the game Friday night," Johnston said. "It was by far the best game offensively that we have had straight across the line and that was good to see. That group is finally coming together. They are just a really young group and it just takes a little time."

Senior running back Dustin Maples finished the game with 210 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns.

"He had a big night," said Johnston. "We played Dakota Mabry back there at the tailback and he had some nice runs. You can go with quickness with Dustin or you can go with the powerback with running behind Patrick Ellis and I think that it is a good one-two punch."

Dakota Mabry had 76 yards on 13 carries. Patrick Ellis had 32 yards on two carries with one touchdown. Forrest Wilbanks had eight carries for 29 yards with one touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Heath Reed and Patrick Ellis each had one interception.

Jon Michael Ware was moved to inside linebacker, where he had been the backup guy there for about two years. Ware registered 14 solo tackles and three or four assists.

"Jon Michael had a big, big night for us," Johnston said. "I was very pleased with the effort. I thought that Christian Amberson and Forrest Wilbanks were real solid at the defensive ends. I thought that we got some good plays from out of our tackles. We played a bunch of people in there and those people are getting better and better every week.

"It was a team effort," Johnston continued. "We had two new corners in there. We moved Evan West back to corner where I think is his natural position."

West had a couple of pass breakups and did a good job not of letting anybody behind him all night, according to Johnston.

"Dustin Maples played his first entire game of his career defensively the other night and I thought that he did a good job at the other corner," Johnston said. "So, I was just pleased with that. It was just a matter of shaking things up and going at it from a little different direction for some people."

"Winston was a real good team," said Johnston. "They were very physical and we did a good job."

The first quarter of the game between these two teams ended with neither team scoring. The first score came with 39 seconds left in the second quarter, when Dustin Maples took the ball from two yards out into the endzone. The two point conversion failed and the Green Wave led 6-0 at the half.

In the third quarter with 9:29 on the clock, Forrest Wilbanks scored on a two-yard keeper for the Green Wave. The two point conversion by Dustin Maples was good for the Green Wave to take a 14-0 lead.

Patrick Ellis scored when he never got touched as he went into the endzone from 23 yards out. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, so the Green Wave went up 20-0 with 5:57 on the clock.

A few plays later, the Patriots fumbled the ball and Dakota Mabry recovered it for the Green wave on the Patriot’s 33 yard line.

The Green Wave took over 1st and 10 on the 29. With 2:27 on the clock, the Green Wave scored a touchdown, but it was called back due to a holding penalty. The third quarter ended with the Green Wave up 20-0.

The Green Waves scored their last touchdown with 9:33 left in the game when Maples took the ball 25 yards into the endzone. The PAT snap was mishandled so Mabry took the ball into the endzone for two points to give the Green Wave a 28-0 lead over the Patriots.

With 8:57 left in the game, Patrick Ellis intercepted the Patriot’s ball on the Green Wave’s own 30 yard line. Dustin Maples took the ball down to the Patriot’s 40 yard line on the next run. The Patriot’s defense stepped up and kept the Green Wave out of the endzone on this drive.

Johnston started substituting other players in the game at this time. In for quarterback Wilbanks was Chris Pike.

The Patriots got on the scoreboard with 58 seconds left in the game when Jeremy Hill scored on a seven yard pass from Luke White. The two point conversion was good by Trenton Cockerell to cut the Green Wave score 28-8.

The Green Waves record stands 4-2 overall, 2-1 district. They will be back in district action Friday night at home to host the Kirk Academy Raiders.

USA Today Poll
Sept. 27, 2005
1. Lakeland, Fla. (5-0)
2. Mission Viejo, Calif. (4-0)
3. Southlake (Texas) Carroll (4-0)
4. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic (5-0)
5. Independence, Charlotte (5-0)
6. Westfield, Spring, Texas (3-0)
7. Warren Central, Indianapolis (6-0)
8. Bishop McDevitt, Harrisburg, Pa. (4-0)
9. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale (4-0)
10. Springdale, Ark. (4-0)
11. Bellevue, Wash. (3-0)
12. Clovis West, Fresno (3-0)
13. Byrnes, Duncan, S.C. (5-0)
14. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (3-0)
Previous: 15. Result: d. Moss Point 20-7.
Next: at Horn Lake.
15. Poly, Long Beach (2-1)
16. Hoover, Ala. (4-1)
17. Hamilton, Chandler, Ariz. (4-0)
18. North Penn, Lansdale, Pa. (4-0)
19. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (5-0)
20. Landstown, Virginia Beach (4-0)
21. Glenville, Cleveland (5-0)
22. Gilman School, Baltimore (3-0)
23. Colerain, Cincinnati (4-1)
24. Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (3-0)
25. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (3-1)
Monday, October 3
South Panola High School softball team will close out the season in Clarksdale at 4:30 p.m. Monday, South Panola defeated Charleston 17-6 but lost to Greenville-Weston 7-5 Tuesday.
Batesville Jr. High football team will play at Desoto Central at 4:30 p.m.
South Panola High School ninth grade and B-team football squads will play in Horn Lake.
North Panola High School softball team will host Water Valley at 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 4
South Panola High School volleyball team will host Oxford at 5 and 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 6
North Delta Jr. High football team will play at Marshall Academy at 7 p.m.
Como Middle School football team will play at Quitman County at 5:30 p.m.
Northwest Community College football team will play at East Mississippi at 7 p.m.
North Panola High football team will travel to Independence for a 7 p.m. game.
Friday, October 7
North Delta High football team will host Lee, Ark. in its homecoming game at 7:30 p.m.
South Panola High football team will host Olive Branch at 7 p.m.
No. 14 Tigers to take on winless Horn Lake
     South Panola junior linebacker Kevin Young (left) wraps up the Moss Point quarterback for a sack and loss of seven yards Tuesday night. South Panola defeated Moss Point 20-7 and will be back in action at Horn Lake tonight at 7 p.m.
By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tigers enter the fifth game of the season as the No. 14 nationally ranked team by the USA Today.

The Tigers (4-0) will travel to Horn Lake (0-3) tonight for their second game of the week. The Tigers just came off a big, physical win over the Tigers of Moss Point Tuesday night, 20-7.

South Panola head coach Ricky Woods only took a portion of the team on the five-hour trip to Moss Point.

The district or conference season is called the "second season" of football around the state.

The weather has cooled off just in time for some of the most important games coming up in 5A.

Teams in 2A, 3A, and 4A started their district play last week. The top winners in the district will have a chance to compete in postseason play in order to meet for the "big dance" at the state championship.

Meeting district foes gives many teams who have not had a good non-conference season a chance to regroup and start over. The first few games have a lot to do with state and national polls but it is the district games which determine playoff teams.

Horn Lake is hungry to regroup and take a shot at making a good showing this season.

It was not so long ago when Horn Lake was a serious competitor for one of the top programs in 1-5A. Many remember the triple overtime game between Horn Lake and South Panola in 2001 where the Tigers pulled out a 46-39 win.

The Eagles go through up and down years but are still struggling from last year when they went 2-8. South Panola downed them 45-6 last year.

Kickoff for this game is 7 p.m.

Directions: Take I-55 North to Exit 289, Goodman Road. Go west (left) down Goodman Road to Trustmark Bank which sits at Hurt Road. Take a left onto Hurt Road. Go down Hurt Road about a mile. The school is on the right.

Or take Church Road. Take a left onto Church Road and go to Highway 51. Take a right. Take a left at the big convenience store. Go down about two miles (cross railroad tracks). The school is on the right.

South Panola whips Moss Point with new game elements
By Myra Bean

South Panola brought out some heretofore unknown elements of its offense and proceeded to whip Moss Point 20-7 in some Tuesday night gridiron action.

The South Panola Tigers preserved their undefeated record 4-0 and 34-game win streak with that win.

This was Moss Point’s (1-2) first home game of the season, in the Moss Point Tiger Stadium, which is set back 500 feet overlooking Lake Escatawpa.

The air was humid and balmy, with temperatures hovering in the mid-90s. About 3,500 fans from the Moss Point and Panola County areas witnessed the clash of these two Tiger teams after a two-year hiatus.

In the series, Moss Point leads five wins to three. The contest between these two Mississippi powerhouse teams goes back to the state championships of the late 1990s. The two teams met in back-to-back years where Moss Point emerged the victor by three points in both 1996 and 1997.

In 1998 the teams began to meet during the regular season. In 1999 South Panola experienced its first win over Moss Point by one point.

Since Ricky Woods has been head coach at South Panola, South Panola has won both meetings; in 2002 and this year in 2005.

Junior fullback Jeramie Griffin could be tagged the hero of the game among many heroes. Though the Moss Point public address announcer could not seem to get his name right, the South Panola fans know exactly who No. 2 is.

Griffin stretched his wings Friday night and even became a receiver, in addition to punter and kicker. He had two receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown run of 73 yards.

Looking back over his left shoulder, Griffin took a pass from senior quarterback Leroy Griffin to put the South Panola Tigers on the boards first with 6:46 left in the first quarter.

The touchdown capped a three-play, 87-yard drive.
Barrett Johnson completed two of three PATs (point after touchdowns) on the evening.

Diggs was one of the heroes of the evening as he carried the ball 33 times and racked up 109 yards and one touchdown. Diggs scored in the third quarter on second down and three from the Moss Point 14 yard line. He broke four tackles going up the middle for the 14-yard run with 8:27 on the clock.

Running back Ricky Sanford was very active in the first half but had limited contact with the ball in the second half. Sanford scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 5:14 left in the second quarter. He completed a six-play 49-yard drive, taking six minutes and seven seconds off the clock.

Though it was the offense which received the accolades for the winning points, it was the stingy Tiger defense that put up a stellar game.

The defense did not allow a touchdown all night.

Moss Point’s lone touchdown came on a fumble recovery returned for a 28-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left before halftime. With the PAT, Moss Point cut the Tiger lead to 14-7.

Bringing down some interceptions were sophomore linebacker Darius "Tigg" Barksdale and sophomore defensive back Montez Austin.

Recording sacks and tackles for lost yardage were junior linebacker Kevin Young and senior defensive end Justin Harris.

Recovering a fumble was senior defensive end Marlon Wilks to stop a Moss Point scoring threat with 5:53 left in the third quarter. Wilks recovered the ball on the South Panola 19 yard line.

South Panola again fumbled the ball with 3:29 left in the third quarter, but Barksdale got it back two plays later with his interception. Then Diggs was intercepted by Moss Point, but Moss Point was unable to capitalize on the turnover.

Austin took his interception between two Moss Point receivers with 6:45 left in the game.

The Tigers of South Panola took the ball at that point and moved it down the field and ran off the clock. Moss Point did not get the ball back until 27 seconds left in the game. On the last play, Justin Harris sacked the Moss Point quarterback for a 10-yard loss.

Both teams will get little rest this week, with one more game to play.

South Panola will travel tonight to meet Horn Lake in the first district game of the season.

Moss Point will play again tonight in Biloxi for a district matchup.

Green Waves return home to face Kirk
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave (4-2, 1-1 district) will be looking to improve their district record tonight when they take on district rival Kirk Academy (3-3, 2-1 district) at home with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. This game will be the third district game of the season for the Green Wave and it will be the Raiders’ fourth one.

Leading District 1 – AA at this time is Indianola Academy with a 3-0 record and Lee Academy is in second place with a 2-0 record with Kirk following with a 2-1 record. The Green Wave are in fourth place in their district, but they have only played two district games up until now.

The Kirk Academy Raiders opened their season against Leake Academy and fell to them 28-7.

The following week, they lost to West Memphis 24-13 and then they lost to Indianola 41-0. They had injured players during this time. They came back and beat Marshall Academy 31-6 on September 9, and then they defeated Strider Academy 34-0 on September 16. Last week, they defeated Bayou

The match up between these two schools goes back for several years. You can always expect a hard physical football game when the Green Wave and the Raiders get together. You will get your money’s worth watching this game tonight.

Last year, the Green Wave traveled to Kirk’s home field and won the match 41-13. Tonight, the Raiders will be looking to spoil the Green Wave’s home game on their turf for a payback.

The Raiders are coached by Head Coach Scott Martin. The assistant coaches are Mac McKelroy, Jay Watts, Mike Harper, Todd Fowler, David Austin, and Glenn Mitchell.

The Green Wave are coached by Head Coach Rick Johnston and the assistants coaches are Ronald McMinn, David Hardy, Brad Wilson, and Judson Nowell.

The managers for the Green Wave team are Sean Cole, Anthony Pike, and Blaine Joyner. These young guys do a great job each week for the team.

"Coach Martin does a good job down there," said Green Wave Head Coach Rick Johnston. "He is a good friend of mine and I think a lot of him. He has a bunch of kids down there and his numbers are up. They have had some real good junior high teams for the past two or three years and now those guys are in high school. They are a very talented bunch. They had some injuries earlier this year, but what I had heard from Coach Martin, they are pretty healthy now. It should be a real good football game tonight. Kirk plays a real aggressive style of defense where they are going to be coming down hill at us most of the night. Most of the night, we are just going to have to get them blocked. It is all going to hinge on what our lineman do up front. They are going to have to pick up their linebackers. They bring them practically every play. We are going to have to pick those stunts up."

The Raiders come into this game with 43 players on their roster. They have only seven seniors, eleven juniors, nine sophomores, and fifteen freshman. They have one eighth grader on their roster also.
Some key players to watch are Kyle Cravens, a senior who weighs 150 pounds, Andrew Nobile, Colby Sultan, Brian Bowman, and Kevin Owens.

The pep rally for the team will be at 2:30 p.m. in the school gym today. Pregame is at 7 p.m. on FM 106.9 with Head Green Wave Football Coach Rick Johnston. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. with play by play action with Kirk Willingham and Mickey Aldridge. Tune into the Mississippi High School Football Scoreboard Show on FM 105.5 for game high lights.



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