Sports / Outdoors – 11/8/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – November 8, 2005

  From the 11/8/05 issue of The Panolian     *REVISED*    


     South Panola High School cheerleaders perform at the 2005 North Mississippi Regional Cheerleading competition hosted by South Panola Saturday in the gymnasium. Hundreds of cheerleaders and thousands of their families and friends packed the gym Saturday morning for the junior high competition and Saturday afternoon for the high school competition. South Panola High School qualified for MHSAA state championships in Jackson on December 17 and received the highest qualifying score at the regionals in the varsity division. See Batesville Jr. High and Pope Jr. High squads inside.
McMahan receives OVC Scholar-Athlete Award
Batesville native only football player chosen
Tennessee-Martin football player Chad McMahan was selected as one of six individuals to receive the Ohio Valley Conference prestigious Scholar-Athlete Award for 2005-06.

The award is the highest individual honor that can be earned by OVC student-athletes, and is given annually to three men and three women junior or senior student-athletes for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena, and because of their leadership qualities.

The six winners were selected from a group of 20 finalists by a vote of the OVC faculty athletics representatives.

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Honorees must have performed athletically with distinction, earned at least a 3.25 grade point average, and conducted themselves in a manner which has brought credit to the student-athlete, his or her institution, intercollegiate athletics and the OVC.

McMahan is a fourth-year member of the Tennessee-Martin football team, starting for three straight years at the free safety position and currently serving as one of four team captains.

A senior from Batesville, he has compiled a 3.79 grade point average in the classroom while majoring in biology. In addition to being a three-time selection to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, McMahan was named to the 2004 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team.

An active leader in the UT Martin chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, McMahan has served as a pledge educator and is currently the head of the organization’s scholarship committee. He is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

"This makes my chest swell a bit more," said Rick McMahan, Chad’s father in an email. "The six students who received this award are from all sports in the OVC! That raises the bar big time for being the only football player to receive this award. Chad has only two remaining games in his life. This week is Eastern Kentucky and the final game is against Murray State."

The U.T. Martin Skyhawks are 5-4 overall, 3-3 conference after a 24-21 come-from-behind win over visiting Southeast Missouri State (1-8, 1-5) Saturday afternoon at Hardy M. Graham Stadium.

With the win the Skyhawks end a three-game losing streak and claim their fifth win of the season. The Skyhawks also move to 3-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference race.

The five wins are the most in a single season for the Skyhawks since 1995 when the team posted a 5-6 overall record and a 4-4 worksheet in the OVC under the direction of Don McLeary.

Tigers shut out Yellowjackets 35-0
By Myra Bean

The physical matchup between South Panola and Starkville was so good, it made the game go faster as the Tigers won 35-0.

This game gave the Tigers (10-0 overall, 6-0 district) the undisputed title of Region 1-5A District Champs. The Tigers will have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs next week.

Tiger head coach Ricky Woods said on the radio he knew the Yellowjacket team would be tough physically.

Even though that was the case, the Tigers still got the shutout and rounded up 546 total yards of offense against the Yellowjackets.

Starkville was held to 126 total yards of offense. Incidently, Starkville was penalized six times for 40 yards while South Panola pulled seven flags for 65 yards.

"We just played really well," Woods said. "We are getting a little better on offense and defense. We are playing really, really physical.

"Any time of the year you can play real physical, your chances of winning will be greater," Woods continued. "People get tired of you pounding a little bit. It helps to win the game."

This gave the Tigers their 40th straight win dating back from 2003, following the loss at the 2002 state championship game.

The Tigers will play to make it 41 straight and a fourth straight undefeated regular season against Grenada Friday night.

Senior Leroy Diggs led the Tiger march with 178 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. He completed two of four passes to wide receiver Rodney Gray for 47 yards and one touchdown.

Starkville took the opening kickoff but that possession ended in a punt.

The Tigers’ first possession was capped by the 11-yard touchdown pass from Diggs to Gray with 6:55 on the first quarter clock. With Barrett Johnson’s PAT (point after touchdown) the Tigers led 7-0.

Junior fullback Jeramie Griffin scored the next touchdown on a 12-yard run right up the middle with 3:15 left in the first quarter. Griffin rushed for 51 yards on eight carries for the night. The PAT failed. The Tigers had a 13-0 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter started off with some excitement. The Tigers fumbled the ball and the Yellowjackets recovered it on their own 31 yard line.

As Starkville went for the long pass on first down and 10, Tiger defensive back Darius "Tigg" Barksdale intercepted the ball and was down on the 27 yard line.

With the help of a Yellowjacket late hit penalty, Diggs scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 9:07 left in the first half. With the two-point conversion, the Tigers led 21-0 at the half.

South Panola punted away its first possession of the second half and Starkville turned its first possession over on downs after a decisive Tiger defensive stop.

On the Tigers’ second possession, Barksdale was able to go straight up the middle through the big hole created by the offensive line for a 21-yard touchdown run. With the PAT, the Tigers led 28-0.

The Tigers fumbled their next possession away with 1:46 left in the third quarter on the Tiger 22 yard line.

When Starkville got the ball, the Tiger defense pounced. Junior defensive end Marlon Wilks sacked the Starkville quarterback for a 10-yard loss on first down. Wilks was the leading tackler with seven tackles on the evening.

Then on second down and 20 from the 31, Barksdale pulled down his second interception of the night on the Tiger one yard line with 50 seconds left to go in the third quarter.

The Tigers turned that interception into a touchdown 10 plays and 99 yards later. Sophomore Justin Market scored on a five-yard run with 7:26 left in the game. Johnson’s PAT gave the Tigers the 35-0 win.

Market carried the ball most of that drive. On third down, he carried the ball from the Tiger five to the Starkville 48. Defensive back Kevin Young also saw some time on offense and carried the ball a few yards.

Then on the next Yellowjacket possession, Young stopped the drive with an interception with 4:54 left in the game. On the ensuing drive, the Tigers ran out the clock for the win.

Other Tiger rushers include Mario Nash, 25 yards on four carries; Rickey Sanford, 30 yards on five carries; Young, 17 yards on three carries; Karreem Carr, 26 yards on one carry; Barksdale had 84 yards on 13 carrries and one touchdown; Isaac Taylor had two yards on one carry; and Terrance Griffin had 11 yards on two carries.

The Tigers will wrap up the season at home Friday night hosting the Grenada Chargers in the final district game of the season at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for general admission at the ticket booth which will open at 6 p.m.

Grenada defeated Southaven 28-6 Friday night. Other 1-5A action Friday night saw Olive Branch over Columbus 42-7 and Tupelo shut out Horn Lake 47-0.

In a surprise of the night, Madison Central slaughtered then undefeated Northwest Rankin 50-21 in 2-5A action.

Senatobia blasts North Panola 61-12 in season finale
     North Panola’s Bruce Wilbourn reaches for a pass against Senatobia Friday night. North Panola lost the the final game of the season 61-12.
By Donna Taylor

It was a sad night for the North Panola Cougars, after losing a shutout last week to the Water Valley Blue Devils, by a score of 41-0, the Senatobia Warriors added insult to injury to the team by ending their season with a stinging score of 61-12.

Senatobia seemed to do everything right, while the Cougars got everything wrong. In the opening seconds after winning the toss, the Warriors ran a 90-yard kickoff return in the first 16 seconds, a scene which repeated itself several times throughout the course of the game.

At the 9:04 mark of the first quarter, the Warriors ran a touchdown off a 41-yard pass. A fumble recovery at 4:34 led to a touchdown, but PAT failed. A 45-yard interception return less than a minute later at 3:30 gave the visiting team a 28-0 lead in the first half alone.

Senior Larry Burdette scored for the Cougars on a seven-yard touchdown in the second quarter with 4:42 on the clock to give them their first points.

Senatobia had scored twice in the quarter on a 70-yard punt return and a one-yarder, to increase its lead to 41-6. The halftime score was 48-6.

It was senior night for the Cougars and the five seniors were honored at the break with roses and an on-field appearance with their parents.

Seniors include Justin Burnette (who has been a powerful force for the Cougars); Joshua Callicutt, Larry Burdette (another reliable man for the Cougars who will be truly missed); Jeremy Jackson and Mark Jackson.

After halftime the Warriors assault continued, but was not as brutal. They scored 28 points in the first quarter, 19 in the second, seven in the third and eight in the fourth. North Panola scored six in the second and six in the third quarter. Both two point conversions failed.

North Panola’s total offense was 184 yards, including 84 rushing and 100 passing. Burdette scored both touchdowns for the Cougars.

Senatobia had seven different players scoring touchdowns. Their ground game produced 255 yards, and 39 in the air. In the third and fourth quarters, they had only rushing yards, and a negative two yards passing in the second.

Those stats didn’t seem to matter much, as they trounced the Cougars on the season ender with 62 points. No team scored that many touchdowns on them this year.

Senatobia ranked first in the 1-3A district and will host the first round of playoffs against Booneville Friday night at 7 p.m.

Lady Tigers get win at tournament over Alcorn
The South Panola Lady Tigers basketball team got a 61-44 win over Alcorn Central in the Pontotoc Lady Warrior Classic Saturday.

Senior center Kim Sanford was the game high scorer with 14 points for the Lady Tigers.

South Panola was down 20-13 at the end of the first quarter but started to stage a comeback in the second quarter. At the half, Alcorn Central’s lead had been cut to 26-24.

The second half was all Lady Tigers. South Panola outscored Alcorn Central 37-16 to take the lead and the win.

Other Lady Tiger scorers include Courtney N. Jones and Tenisha Mitchell, 12 points each; Courtney D. Jones, 7 points; Vetorra Cole and Jessica Govan, 4 points each; Shanice Williams, 3 points; Sabrina Townsend and Celeste Cole, 2 points each and Stalisha Cole.

The Tigers and Lady Tigers will tip off the season opener tonight at home against Cleveland at 5 p.m.

Get an up close look at most of the local basketball teams in today’s edition of Courtside 2005.

This special section focuses on the upcoming basketball season which tips off tonight for most of the high school teams.

Stories of legends leave one in awe
My two trips to the Plains of Auburn this season have yielded a couple of not-so-hot games for both of Mississippi’s SEC schools.

The best part of the trip, besides being with some of my "other family" in a SEC ? SEC game, is the fact that it takes me through Birmingham, which isn’t a bad place for take out orders.

I’m referring to Dreamland, of course. The SEC has all these official sponsors such as Golden Flake, the official chips of the SEC or Regions, the official bank of the SEC and on and on.

Ask any SEC official and to a man they would say that Dreamland, with locations in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, is the official ribs of the SEC. It’s just pure torture to drive the 240 miles home from Birmingham with several slabs of ribs complete with white bread, sauce and a bucket of beans in the same vehicle.

I always put everything in the very back of my Land Rover so I can’t reach them while driving.

I never will forget my first ever scrimmage at Alabama back when Bill Curry was the head coach. I was just on the Prospect List then and was more than a little nervous being there.

They used to have a couple of rooms at the Holiday Inn for us to dress in and stay if needed.

My first ever encounter with Dreamland was after that first scrimmage and we got back to the hotel and I was amazed at the two 10 pound boxes of ribs, a couple of loaves of white bread, a gallon glass jar of the greatest sauce and more than a little beer iced down in the bathtub.

I guess that’s why they had the rooms for us.

I was even more amazed at the stories told while holding school with the ribs of how Coach Bear Bryant would come back over to the hotel and visit with the officials after a scrimmage and sit and gnaw on ribs and talk football.

Hearing some of our guys tell of past games with some of the legends of college football such as Coach Bryant, Johnny Vaught, Pat Dye, Johnny Majors and Vince Dooley would leave me awestruck.

To this day I can’t go to LSU and not think about Billy Cannon’s run back in the late 50’s or when I work at Ole Miss I always think about Archie Manning and his famous sprint-out passes on that very field or Hershel Walker at Georgia or Bo Jackson at Auburn.

I guess it just proves that it’s just hard to beat SEC football and a great pig-sickle.

See you next week.



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