Sports / Outdoors – 11/1/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – November 1, 2005

  From the 11/1/05 issue of The Panolian     *REVISED*    


ND Green Waves end season on a high note
     North Delta senior running back Dustin Maples (right) carries the ball en route to one of his four touchdowns on the night while he gets a block from junior fullback Dakota Mabry.
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave ended its season with an 8-3 overall record and a 5-2 district record after defeating Marshall Academy 32-14 Friday night.

It was a very unusual and emotional night for the seniors and the coaching staff. It had always been a tradition at North Delta to make the playoffs and it had been 1998 the last time that didn’t happen.

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Friday night would go down in the record books for the Green Wave not making the playoffs and it had been six years of being in the playoffs for the Green Wave team.

The game started with the Green Wave winning the toss and they deferred to the second half. The first score of the night came when senior tailback Dustin Maples took the ball four yards into the endzone. The PAT was good by senior Dakota Mabry to end the first quarter with the Green Wave up 7-0.

On the very first play of the second quarter, Maples took the ball 65 yards into the endzone. The PAT failed and the Green Wave went up 13-0 over the Patriots.

With 6:08 on the clock, Nick Douglas intercepted the ball for the Green Wave and returned it untouched 75 yards into the endzone for another Green Wave touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and the score at the half was 19-0 Green Waves.

To start the third quarter of the game, the Green Wave got on the scoreboard when Maples scored on a one-yard run. The score stood 25-0 after the PAT failed at the end of the third quarter. With only 1:25 left in the third quarter, senior Jacob Gurley intercepted the Patriot’s ball.

With 10:54 left on the clock, Maples scored on a four-yard run and the PAT was good by Jim Tyler Dalrymple to give the Green Wave a 32-0 lead over the Patriots. This touchdown for senior Dustin Maples was his 27th of the season and it broke Hayden Sullivant’s state record from 2000.

The Green Wave team had some freshman who moved up and saw some playing time in this game including Blane Joyner, Bateman Greenlee, Jeffrey Brown, Hunter West and Britt Lawrence.

The Patriots got on the scoreboard when Blake Work scored on an eight-yard run with 6:32 left in the game but the two point attempt failed.

The Patriots scored again when Thomas Rodgers caught a 77 yard pass from Justin Gray and the two point conversion was good by Will Forester to give the final score of 32-14 in favor of the Green Wave team.

The Green Wave ended the game with 379 yards on 50 carries and completed one of two passes for four yards, for a total offense of 383 yards. They had 18 first downs, three penalties for 25 yards, one interception and lost three of four fumbles.

On the other side of the ball, the Patriots had 24 carries for 31 yards rushing and they were nine of 23 for 180 yards passing for a total offense of 211. They had nine first downs, six penalties for 35 yards, four interceptions, and lost two fumbles.

Dustin Maples was the leading rusher of the night with 262 yards on 25 carries with four touchdowns.
Forrest Wilbanks had 8 carries for 65 yards, Dakota Mabry had four rushes for 26 yards, and Patrick Ellis had two carries for four yards. Jacob Gurley had one reception for four yards and two interceptions. Nick Douglas had two interceptions with one of them being returned for a touchdown.

It was senior night and the Green Wave said good by to twelve seniors on their roster and one manager.

The Green Wave ended the season scoring 279 points and allowing their opponents only 226. They had 3,600 yards in total offense.

Senior Dustin Maples ended his senior year with 1,755 yards on 203 carries with 27 touchdowns. This gave him a total offense of 4,990 yards for all three years with 75 touchdowns.

"I just wanted to have everybody together and play hard because we all knew that it was our last one," Maples said about this being the final game for seniors. "We wanted to go out with a win. I think that it was the first time at North Delta that we ended the season with a win in a few years too."

Maples said, "My three years of high school was the most fun years of my life and it went by way too fast too."

Maples plans to attend college and hopefully, play football somewhere, he said.

Forrest Wilbanks said it was disappointing not to make the playoffs.

"We lost two big games that was expected of us to win," Wilbanks said.

He talked about his three years of football at North Delta.

"For three years it was pretty much my life," he said. "That’s all that I ever did and it was fun meeting everybody and playing everybody. It was pretty meaningful for me."

He also talked about this year in general.

"We started out the year and we had a young line and they were real eager," Wilbanks said. "They tried their best, but were young and didn’t have experience, so we started out sort of slow. We finally played a good game against Clarksdale Lee, our third game, but we had one of our seniors go out with an injury. That hurt us a lot in that game.

"We made it through everything else, then Magnolia Heights threw us a couple of bumps, beating us physically," Wilbanks added. "Then we got to Indianola and they just out powered us. I had a bunch of mistakes in that game and we lost that one. After that, we had two easy games and we just enjoyed our last senior moments together."

After the game Friday night, Wilbanks said head coach Rick Johnston told them how much he enjoyed the year.

"He just told us how much that he enjoyed playing with us and coaching each one of us," Wilbanks said. "He told us to take all of our lessons that he gave us into life and go out and become good people."

Wilbanks hopes to continue his education somewhere and get a degree in physical training and hopefully, if it is possible, he would like to continue to play football somewhere.

Big officiating gigs take experience
By William Correro

You’ve heard me talk about what it takes to get into the upper reaches of officiating. The biggest requirement is experience. It took me 18 years before I was invited into the SEC.

I just have to wonder about nominating a Supreme Court Justice that has never served as a judge of any sort.

Sort of like pulling a sports equipment salesperson and putting them in a striped shirt with a "R" on their back, a white hat, giving them a coin and saying, "Here, this is the Rose Bowl and the National Championship Game. Don’t mess up!"

The third Saturday in October is always reserved for Tennessee and Alabama to go at it. With all the Crimson types wanting Coach Fulmer’s hide hanging at the Capstone the love lost is even more on the negative side.

I knew it would be a good one to be in but I had no idea of what was in store. It all started when we were told that Secretary of State Dr. Condoleza Rice was going to toss the coin before the game. The thought of all the added security on the field made us wince.

The biggest problem was all the news media camera types that invaded the sidelines before the game. It was arranged for the entire crew to have a picture taken with the Secretary of State just after the coin toss so here was even more disruption to the normal routine.

Typically, the toss has one or two radio types near the center of the field with the Referee and Umpire but this was too much. I was out with the Field Judge and at first we tried to keep them from crowding in too close but that became a futile effort.

We just stood there and hoped everything was going okay and I counted around seventy-five camera-wielders all within nine square-yards. After the toss, the cameras started drifting away until they saw us line up with the guest of honor in the middle. After the pictures, Dr. Rice took the time to greet us all in spite of the Secret Service anxious to get her off the field. I haven’t seen any of the pictures yet ? I hope they had film or memory cards in the cameras. We’ll see.

After the dust settled and we got the game rolling, everything went well. To me, it was just what I had hoped to see: a real dogfight. The intensity of the hitting was just incredible. At halftime, the Referee told us that the Secretary of State "pancaked" the coin when she tossed it. It went up a few feet and fell to the ground and never once turned over. He said he wasn’t about to say anything. See you next week.

Chargers presented very little challenge for unbeaten Tigers
By Myra Bean

The No. 10 nationally ranked South Panola Tigers had little trouble with the Southaven Chargers Friday night as the Tigers won 41-6.

The Tigers improved to (9-0 overall, 5-0 district) behind the leadership of junior quarterback Leroy Diggs who had five carries for 22 yards. He completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 101 yards and threw for one touchdown.

In addition to the passing yards, the Tigers rushed for 281 yards for a total of 382 yards of offense.

Senior tailback Rickey Sanford was instrumental in the win with his 100 yards of rushing on six carries and two touchdowns.

Junior fullback Jeramie Griffin had only two carries for 17 yards and one touchdown. He also caught one pass for 60 yards which resulted in a touchdown.

The Tigers led 41-0 at halftime so most of the starters got a half game break and did not play the second half.

Sophomore Mario Nash stepped into the quarterback role and rushed for 47 yards on eight carries.

On defense in the first half, Kerry Hoskins caught two interceptions. He returned one for an 83-yard touchdown as the second quarter buzzer sounded to end the first half.

The relief players getting some yards were Justin Market with 65 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown; Isaac Taylor, 13 yards on four carries and Terrance Griffin, 20 yards on four carries.

In the game it was obvious that either South Panola was too much for the Chargers to handle or the Chargers just did not try very hard. The Tigers, who now own a win-streak of 39 games and 53 of 54 wins under head coach Ricky Woods, did whatever they wanted to with the Chargers.

The Tigers, if they had maintained the streak they were on, could have run up the score into the 70s or 80s on the Chargers. Instead Woods let his younger players play and gain some valuable game experience which may come into play into the upcoming playoff season.

Sanford scored first on a 12 yarrd touchdown run right up the middle with 9:30 on the first quarter clock.

On the Tigers’ next possession, Diggs found Jeramie Griffin for his 60 yard touchdown pass with 6:16 to go in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, after Hoskins’ first interception, Griffin scored on a 13-yard touchdown run with 7:28 left in the half.

Then the Tigers went further ahead on a 46-yard run by Sanford with 3:07 left in the half.

Sophomore defensive back Montez Austin picked off a deflected pass and returned it to the Charger 15 yard line. On the Tigers’ first play of the possession, Market scored on a 15-yard touchdown run with 1:43 left to go in the half. With Barrett Johnson’s four of five PATs, the Tigers had a 34-0 lead before Hoskins’ interception return for a touchdown at the end of the second quarter.

Southaven’s only score came with 1:38 left in the game. The Chargers scored on a 36-yard touchdown run but missed the extra point.

The district picture is beginning to come more in focus after Friday’s night games. Olive Branch defeated Starkville 30-21 and left South Panola as the lone undefeated team in 1-5A.

Starkville will make that long trek to Batesville Friday night to try to knock the Tigers off the No. 1 pedestal its holds in the state and vie for the No. 1 position in the district.

Against then No. 4 ranked Olive Branch, then No. 3 Starkville had a 14-6 lead after the first quarter but Olive Branch scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to lead 23-14 at halftime. Both teams were scoreless in the third quarter and both scored one touchdown in the four quarter for the final score.

Tupelo defeated Grenada 28-7 and Columbus downed Horn Lake 29-27.

Kickoff for the South Panola/Starkville game is 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. The ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. and tickets are $5 for general admission.

Cougars lose chance for playoffs
By Donna Taylor

Post season play for the North Panola Cougars was extinguished Friday night, as the Water Valley Blue Devils trampled them with a score of 42-0 at Clark Field. This was Water Valley’s homecoming and the Devils didn’t disappoint their fans.

North Panola was penalized on the first play of the game after the opening kick off for an illegal block.

Things did not improve as the game progressed. Bruce Wilbourn fumbled and Water Valley recovered on NP’s 23 yard line and scored off the turnover at the 8:42 mark in the first quarter.

Blue Devil supporters fired a "cannon ball blast" every time the Devils scored. The blasts were music to Water Valley fans and a death knell for the Cougars.

The Cougar offense could not get it in gear and made some mistakes that will haunt them until next season.

Water Valley scored 21 points in the first quarter alone.

At the beginning of the seaon, the Cougars showed great promise of a winning season in their first game against Booneville. The score was 30-25, and it appeared they were destined for post season play. Booneville is one of the state’s high ranking teams.

The Cougars total offense for this game was 254, to Water Valley’s 409. The Devils ground game was ferocious, as they racked up 385 yards, and 24 in the air.

The Cougars on the other hand had 87 on the ground and 167 yards on their aerial assault. The Cougars got into the red zone (inside 20) four times, but could not score, a scene that has repeated itself all season.

Water Valley’s offense did whatever it wanted to do. They scored in every quarter except the third; 21 in the first, six in the second, scoreless in the third and 14 in the last quarter.

On the defensive side, Earl Presley, Jr., was everywhere, sniffing out the ball like a well trained blood hound. His numbers for tackles made, were not available.

Quarterback Perry Trammell rushed eight times for 47 yards, and was 11-30 passing for 167 yards.

Larry Burdette had seven yards rushing, Bruce Wilbourn, the break out star in mid-season, caught five passes for 74 yards; Jarvis Taylor, three receptions for 42 yards; Roderick Jefferson, two passes for 43; "Play hard" Denard Presley rushed eight times for 26 yards; and Hector Williams had eight yards on one carry.

The team’s playoff hopes have been doused, but fans are still dedicated to the team, regardless of this ‘up and down’ season.

In some other scores around 3-3A, the biggest news is Holly Springs defeated Independence 29-8 to move to No. 3 in the standings. Senatobia defeated Byhalia 43-2 to remain undefeated in the district.

The Senatobia Warriors will be the guests of North Panola in the Cougars’ final game Friday night at Cougar field. Kick off is at 7 p.m.

SP to host cheer competition
On Saturday, November 5 the competitive cheerleading squads from South Panola will host the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s North Regional Cheerleading Championships.

This is the fourth consecutive year this event has been held at South Panola High School. The doors will open at 8:30 on Saturday morning.

Admission is $5 per person. This admission is good for all day.

Concessions will be available with all concession sales benefiting the South Panola competitive cheer squads. Junior high squads from north Mississippi will compete in the morning.

Pope Junior High is scheduled to compete at 10:15 a.m. Batesville Junior High will compete at 11:25 a.m. Junior High awards will start at 11:50 a.m.

Varsity squads from across north Mississippi will begin at 1 p.m. South Panola High School is scheduled to take the floor at 4:00. Varsity awards will begin at 4:10.

There are 58 squads registered to compete throughout the day.



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