Sports / Outdoors – 10/4/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – October 4, 2005

  From the 10/04/05 issue of The Panolian     *REVISED*    

  

Green Waves win by a missed Kirk field goal
By Angie Ledbetter

A missed field goal by Kirk Academy with 2.9 seconds left in the game handed the North Delta Green Wave a pivotal district 20-18 win.

The Raiders attempted a 31-yard field goal but the ball fell short of the goalpost as the time ticked off the clock.

"We don’t have a lot of consistency right now," Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston said. "We were real lucky to win Friday night. Kirk came in here and played hard and played a real good football game."

Johnston said they were definitely trying to block the field goal.

"We were trying to get a rush up the middle and just get our hands up," he said. "We were coming off of their right corner trying to block it. We got close and maybe pressured them a little bit and he just didn’t get enough leg on it."

The Green Waves improved their district record to 2-1 and 5-2 overall Friday night before their own home crowd in great football weather.

The Green Wave finished the game with 230 yards on 11 carries. They completed one of five passes for 11 yards and total offense of 241 yards.

The Raiders had 362 total offensive yards, including 324 on the ground.

To start the game, the Raiders won the toss and elected to receive the ball. Colby Sultan returned the ball a few yards and he was tackled by Heath Reed and Jon Michael Ware. The Raiders had a 3rd and 4 with the ball on the Green Wave’s 11 yard line and the Green Wave defense stepped up and held them to a field goal. The Raiders got on the scoreboard with 8:18 on the clock when Brian Bowman, a sophomore, kicked a 27-yard field goal.
The Green Wave took the ball with 7:53 on the clock and Dustin Maples returned it 18 yards. A Raider personal foul penalty gave the Green Wave an extra 15 yards tacked onto the end of the run and they started from their own 45.

Helping carry the ball down the field for the Green Wave were Dakota Mabry, Forrest Wilbanks and Patrick Ellis. Chris Pike caught an 11-yard pass from Wilbanks and Ellis had a 24-yard run to help set up the first touchdown for the Green Wave.

With 4:23 on the clock, Wilbanks took the ball in the end zone from three yards out. Dakota Mabry got the two point conversion and the Green Wave took an 8-3 lead.

With 27.9 seconds left in the first quarter, the Raiders had a third down and eight with the ball on the Green Wave’s nine yard line. Nick Douglas stopped the Raiders’ scoring threat with an interception in the end zone to end the first quarter.
The only scoring in the second quarter came at the 7:28 mark when Raider Colby Sultan caught a 13- yard pass from quarterback Klint Byars for a Raider touchdown. The PAT (point after touchdown) went wide to the left and the Raiders took a 9-8 lead over the Green Wave at halftime.

The Green Wave received the kickoff to start the third quarter but had to punt the ball with 11:02 on the clock.

The Raiders increased their lead to 12-8 on a Brian Bowman 35-yard field goal with 7:51 on the clock.

The Green Wave came back and scored with 3:04 on the clock on a Wilbanks one-yard run, but the two-point conversion attempt failed. The Green Wave led 14-12 at the end of the third quarter.

The Green Wave started the fourth quarter with a second down and three on their own 46 yard line. With 10:04 on the clock, Dustin Maples took the ball 37 yards into the end zone for a touchdown but the two point attempt failed. The Green Wave led 20-12.

The Raiders scored again with 3:54 on the clock when Klint Byars, on a keeper, took the ball 12 yards into the end zone. The two-point attempt failed for them as the Green Wave’s Christian Amberson tackled the ball carrier from behind. The score was 20-18 with the Green Wave in the lead.

The Green Wave had to punt the ball with 2:25 left in the game after the Raiders kept the Green Wave from driving the ball down the field.

The leading rusher for the Green Wave was Dustin Maples with 101 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. Patrick Ellis had six carries for 82 yards. Forrest Wilbanks had 24 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns and Dakota Mabry had seven carries for 23 yards.

Both teams had trouble converting the extra points after touchdowns.

Johnston said the Green Wave team was not making crucial plays at crucial times.

"In a big game, that is going to hurt you," he said.

Kirk has been inundated with injuries all year long but were as healthy as they have been all year, according to Johnston.

"They had some kids that were hurt at the beginning of the year that were just getting back in the line up," Johnston said. "You know that you take two or three kids out of your line up, your top players, you are a total different team. That was what Kirk was suffering from earlier in the year."
 

Cougars declaw Dragons 34-12
Thursday night game on tap
By Donna Taylor

Theeyy’rre Baacck! The Cougars of North Panola roared out of the starting blocks Friday night and put an old fashioned beating on the M.S. Palmer Dragons, 34-12, before hundreds of screaming fans.

North Panola celebrated it’s Homecoming Friday, beginning with the Homecoming parade at 5 p.m.

In the first quarter, Jeremy Johnson ran a ten-yard handoff into the end zone with 4:56 on the clock. The PAT failed. As the second quarter got underway, Bruce Wilbourn caught an 85-yard pass from quarterback Perry Trammell to boost the Cougars’ lead. The two-point conversion was no good. The score was 12-0. The Dragons did manage to get a score in the closing minutes of the quarter, and it was 12-6. With six seconds on the clock before halftime, Wilbourn caught another pass from Trammell to add to their lead, and Justin Burnette caught a pass for the two-point conversion to put the Cougars ahead 20-6.

North Panola recorded a record 156 yards passing in the second quarter alone. The Gods seemed to be smiling on the Cougars. They were hitting on all cylinders. "We had to win," no. 3, Justin Burnette said. Burnette stands 5′ 6, and weighs 140 pounds. He has good speed. He finished the night with four carries for 42 yards and four passes for 59 yards.

Larry Burdette had a five-yard run in third quarter that increased NP’s lead to 26-12, after the Dragons scored in the same period.

Rodderick Jefferson, who measures an impressive 6’4", got a safety in the fourth , and it was smooth sailing from then on for the Cougars.

Their total offense for the night was 436 yards; 228 were on the ground and 208 in the air. In the second period alone NP had 156 yards passing, and 208 in the fourth. They also had a whopping 228 yards rushing in the fourth quarter.

Bruce Wilbourn caught five passes for 134 yards. Jarvis Taylor, a lofty 5’11" junior, caught two passes for 15 yards, Burnette had four catches for 59 yards, and quarterback Perry Trammell completed 13 of 19 for 93 yards.

This victory boosted the Cougars’ confidence level and the fans’ too. There were an estimated 500 or more people in attendance. They were not disappointed.

The Cougars travel to Independence Thursday night for a dual with the Wildcats. Kickoff is at 7 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.
     Tamara Townsend twirls her rifle for the South Panola band Friday night. The band dressed out in its uniforms for the first time last week. The band will be participating in the 2005 Mississippi High School Activities Association State Marching Festival in Grenada Saturday, October 8. The band is slated to perform at 4:30 p.m. in the 5A category.
    
Tigers pounce on Eagles 30-7
By Myra Bean

"This is a tough league. You can be good and still lose," said South Panola head coach Ricky Woods, after South Panola handed a tough Horn Lake team a 30-7 loss Friday night.

An overflow crowd of about 3,500 watched the Tigers’ second game of the week as they pulled off an admirable performance. The USA Today nationally ranked No. 14 Tigers defeated Moss Point 20-7 Tuesday.

"They played real well all eight quarters and I am real pleased with the way the team has handled both games this week," Woods said.

The Tigers only practiced one hour per day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to Woods.

South Panola will take a 5-0 overall, 1-0 district record into a highly competitive rivalry game with the No. 2 state ranked Olive Branch on Friday night.
The smack talk has been going on since preseason and has only intensified as the "big day" draws nearer.

This loss dropped Horn Lake to 0-4 on the season, 0-1 district.

"Horn Lake played real well," Woods said. "They have got a good team. It was a hard fought game. They just need to keep their heads up."

The Tigers got 300 yards on the ground and 51 yards in the air.

Senior wide receiver Rodney Gray pulled down five receptions for 48 yards, along with other senior wide receiver Tristan Gleeton with one catch for three yards.

On the rushing side, quarterback Leroy Diggs has really been giving his legs and arms some workouts this week. He completed six of 13 passes for 51 yards and ran for 94 yards on 10 carries and two touchdown runs of 14 and 59 yards, respectively.

Tiger sophomore defensive back Montez Austin and senior linebacker Tarus "Bull" Young pulled down one interception each.

The rest of the defense performed more than expected as Justin Harris, Charles Corley and Kevin Young continued to drop the quarterback and runners behind the line of scrimmage for sacks and tackles for lost yardage. Linebacker Chris Strong led in tackles with seven, followed by Kevin Young and Justin Harris with six each.

Diggs’ first touchdown got the Tigers on the boards first with 7:50 left in the first quarter.

That play was set up by Griffin, who dragged defenders with him to the 14 yard line from the 29.
Austin intercepted an Eagle ball with 6:12 left in the first quarter and returned it to the Eagle 17 yard line.

Four plays later, Ricky Sanford scored on a four-yard run. With the two PATs (point after touchdowns) by Barrett Johnson, the Tigers led 14-0.

The Eagles used their "Eagle crush" (sacks or tackles for loss) to slow the next Tiger run.

Nevertheless, Johnson came through on a 31-yard field goal with 8:52 left in the half. That was the only Tiger score of the second quarter.

The Tigers took a 17-0 lead into halftime.

The Tigers were slated to take the opening kickoff and Horn Lake performed the honors, but with a twist.

Horn Lake attempted an onside kick and it worked. They recovered the ball in Tiger territory. This was such a gutsy play for a winless team to go against a team on a 35-win streak, and nationally ranked to boot.

The Eagle possession lasted less than two minutes as Tarus Young picked off his first interception of the season with 10:44 to go in the third quarter.

The Tigers turned that interception into a 59-yard touchdown run by Diggs with 9:18 on the clock. Diggs worked his way right up the middle through the offensive line hole, cut to the right and sprinted for the score.

Johnson’s PAT gave the Tigers a 24-0 lead.

Horn Lake punted away its next possession but the ball hit a Tiger player and Horn Lake recovered to try again but missed the ensuing 47-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers’ next possession was spoiled with an Eagle interception with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers started substituting early in the fourth quarter. Diggs took a hit to the ribs and sophomore Mario Nash took the quarterback reigns.

Justin Market was already in the tailback position and pushing his way forward for some yards. He took the ball deep in Tiger territory on the 25 and had what looked like daylight all the way to the end zone.

An Eagle defender had other ideas and brought him down at the Eagle 26 yard line.

Mario Nash completed the drive six plays later on fourth down and one from the five yard line. Nash took the ball in with 6:37 left in the game.

Johnson missed this PAT and the Tiger lead stood at 30-0.

The Eagle starters took advantage of the Tiger substitutes being on the field and scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:34 left in the game. With the PAT, the Tiger lead was cut to 30-7.

The Tigers will host Olive Branch Friday at Tiger Field. The ticket booth opens at 5:30 p.m. Reserve tickets are $7 and general admission tickets are $5. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
 

LSU-Vols rivalry had crazy times during 2005 edition on Saturday
By William Correro

Had to have been the craziest game I have ever been in. And in twenty-seven years I have seen some crazy ones. This version of Tennessee at LSU ranks right up there with ones like the 2000 Florida at Tennessee where Jabbar Gaffney’s questioned catch (it was a touchdown catch) lit up the news. Both times we were leaving with the majority of those in attendance real mad at us. Remember what I said last week about security? Fortunately most were still in a daze wondering what had happened by the time we were back at the hotel ? security or not.

Several of the guys had flown in to Baton Rouge on Thursday so they were in danger of having to file for homestead exemption being there so long. The ESPN crew even leased a riverboat for accommodations due to the lack of hotel rooms in the area. I didn’t want to stay down there because I felt like I’d be taking someone’s room that really needed it. But it was fun doing a Monday Night game and I just found out we had the best ratings and largest audience ESPN2 has ever had. Back to CBS for a couple of weeks with Florida at Alabama last week and then Georgia at Tennessee. I’m taking the whole family to Neyland Stadium for this one so they can see what it’s all about with over one hundred and eight thousand screaming SEC football fans in one place. Talk about being in the spotlight. It’s hard not to notice the sheer numbers in that place.

With all the media coverage we have these days players are coached in how to talk to media when being interviewed. Basically it’s how to be positive and praise all your teammates for a job well done. My Phillip got a taste of the spotlight when his competitive baseball team (12-year-old) played in Knoxville the end of July in the USSSA World Series. After their first win, a reporter wanted to talk to Phillip about the walk-off game-winning play he had made. My son was so excited he didn’t get much more than "exciting" and "great" out at first but the reporter was experienced and helped him along in spite of the digital recorder stuck in his face. The piece ran the next day in the Knoxville Sentinel complete with his name and some of those quotes.

What’s so great about playing any sport is the opportunity to make all the practice and extra work pay off. I see it in every SEC game I’m in and when I watch my own play. I’m sure any winner will admit after it’s over that the extra practice time was what made it right. It’s what I try to teach to my two. And I sure saw it a week ago Monday at LSU. See you next week.
 

 
 

                                         
                         
 

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