Sports / Outdoors – 9/8/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 8, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – September 8, 2006

  From the 9/8/06 issue of The Panolian       

SP routs Moss Point 22-13
     South Panola’s Jarred Draper, No. 60, knocks this ball loose from the Moss Point runner for a fumble last week. Terrance Pope, not pictured, recovered the fumble.
By Myra Bean

South Panola and Moss Point gave the crowd their money’s worth with a hard hitting, physical game that still has people talking across the state.

South Panola won 22-13, but not before Moss Point got on the board first.

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Moss Point’s Josh Chestang blocked a David Renfroe punt, picking it up and running it in for a touchdown from 12 yards out. The point after touchdown (PAT) gave Moss Point the 7-0 lead with 4:42 to go in the first quarter.

Moss Point attempted a 43-yard field goal at the 6:45 mark of the first quarter but it fell short.

South Panola’s offense had trouble getting through the Moss Point defense, but Tiger head coach Ricky Woods said Moss Point was the best defense faced by the Tigers since he came to South Panola in 2002.

"I’m very proud of the offensive line," Woods said after the game. "They were sending so many guys after us, we couldn’t pick them all up. I was pretty pleased with the line blocking, but it was just too many of them."

Woods explained that the Tigers run behind offensive linemen Hunter Bailey and Cameron Wagner over 90 percent of the time. Moss Point picked that up and shut down the holes.

At halftime, Woods scrapped the game plan and started over.

"Our defense was great," Woods said. "We ran a little overload set that really won the ballgame. They (Moss Point) didn’t adjust. It may be boring to others, but it worked."

Woods also spoke of the receivers and said he was proud of them. Roderick Jefferson was the only Tiger receiver to catch a pass, a 32-yarder from quarterback Leroy Diggs.

Woods said Diggs would have picked up the defense a little more, but the rushers were coming so fast he did not have time.

Though the crowd and the team were stunned and silent after the Moss Point score, South Panola wasted no time answering Moss Point.

After the pass to Jefferson ? which converted a third down and 10 to first down, Diggs scored on a 43-yard run up the right side. He was playing with a pulled hamstring and limped the last five yards into the endzone, outrunning all defenders. With 2:39 on the clock, Renfroe tied the score on a PAT at seven. The touchdown capped a four-play, 75-yard drive.

Moss Point had the ball going into the second quarter and fumbled on the first play. SP Tiger linebacker Demetrius Dunn recovered the ball with 11:53 left in the second quarter on the Moss Point 37 yard line.

South Panola converted that fumble into a touchdown with 7:51 left in the first half on a Diggs one-yard run. The PAT was no good and the score was 13-7 South Panola.

Prior to halftime, it was South Panola’s turn to block a punt. Linebacker Kevin Young blocked the punt from the 12 yard line with the ball going out the back of the endzone for a safety, giving South Panola a 15-7 halftime lead.

Moss Point moved the ball with completed passes in the third quarter to score with 6:05 on the clock on a 22-yard pass reception to cut the lead to 15-13. The two-point conversion was foiled by Young who intercepted the two-point attempt.

A pass interference call on South Panola aided Moss Point in moving the ball deeper into South Panola territory, but the Tiger defense stiffened.

South Panola turned the ball over on downs in their first drive of the fourth quarter.

Defensive lineman Jarred Draper knocked a Moss Point ball loose and defensive end Terrance Pope recovered it with 10:33 left in the game. That possession ended in a punt as did Moss Point’s next possession with two incomplete passes.

South Panola padded its lead on the next possession with a three-yard touchdown run by Darius "Tigg" Barksdale with 6:44 left in the game. The PAT was good for the 22-13 lead.

Moss Point kept coming and its defense kept chipping away at South Panola, but the Tigers won the day. Young again had a big play with 42 seconds left in the game. He intercepted a Moss Point pass and returned it 41 yards to the Moss Point 16. Diggs twice took a knee ? due to Moss Point timeouts ? and thus ended the game.

As the two teams shook hands after the game in a show of sportsmanship, a Moss Point player said, "We’ll see you at the state championship."

South Panola had a net 175 offensive yards, 143 on the ground. Moss Point had 115 total yards, 127 passing, losing 12 yards on the ground.

Diggs was the leading rusher on the night with 70 yards on 23 carries. Barksdale had 42 yards on 12 carries and Jeramie Griffin had 31 yards on nine carries.

The Tigers will be home tonight to face non-conference foe Germantown High School Red Devils of Germantown, Tenn.

Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $7 for reserved.

Tigers and Red Devils meet again
By Myra Bean

Though South Panola sports a 47-game win streak, that is not what was on the mind of head coach Ricky Woods Thursday morning.

"We have to play well," Woods said. "If we don’t play well, they will beat us."

All of the poll rankings and such have to take a back seat as the Tigers (2-0) prepare to host the No. 5 Tennessee ranked Germantown High School Red Devils (2-0) tonight.

Last year this time, South Panola had had an unscheduled week off due to Hurricane Katrina’s damage on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Moss Point in particular.

This year, the Tigers are coming off a huge, emotional 22-13 win over Moss Point.

The Red Devils are coming off a 39-19 decisive win over Whitehaven last Friday night, while the South Panola win over Moss Point is still the talk of the state this late in the week.

Second to that talk was the Ole Miss 28-25 win over Memphis on Sunday.

Woods told how proud he was of the coaches and players and the way they have performed the last two weeks.

"It was a great start in tough competition," Woods said. "People have to understand they had a very, very good football team and we were fortunate to win. Our kids played in two of the best games I have been associated with since I moved here."

Last year, this game brought out fans and alumni of South Panola who had moved to the Memphis area to see their alma mater play. Plus, the always faithful loaded up and headed to Germantown to show support for their nationally-ranked team and overflowed the Red Devil stadium.

Some poll rankings for South Panola include No. 4 in the National Tony Poll; dropped from No. 12 to No. 13 in the National Prep Football Poll; No. 8 in Sports Illustrated; and No. 1 in the Clarion-Ledger Super 10. USA Today has not updated its rankings, and the Associated Press has not released any rankings.

These two teams will kick off at 7 p.m. on Tiger Field in the Robert H. Dunlap Stadium.

Woods did not know a lot about the Tennessee teams, but did say Germantown will be about like they were last year.

"I feel like we have the best team, but you have to play to win," he said. "I don’t think we will have an emotional letdown."

Woods said he is hoping to keep Germantown on the schedule in the coming years because it is turning into a little rivalry. With the drive only about an hour and 15 minutes each way, he felt both programs would benefit from the competition.

Ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. for general admission $5 and reserved seating $7.

The 19th Annual Sardis Lakeshore Cleanup Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 in conjunction with Public Lands Day.  To participate in the cleanup effort, all volunteers should arrive at Engineers Point at 7 a.m. to receive instructions from one of the Park Rangers.  
T-shirts will be given to all registered participants while they last and at noon a free hotdog lunch will be served.  Make sure you wear clothes and shoes that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty and please bring a pair of gloves.  For more information on this event, please contact Park Ranger George Harris at the Sardis Lake Field Office at (662) 563-4531.
South Panola High School baseball will host an "Old Timers Benefit Baseball" tournament on Saturday, September 16. Tickets are $6 and may be purchased at the South Panola High School Office, from Shelter Insurance, any player or parent.
     Fee includes admission and a chicken plate. Proceeds will benefit the four baseball players who were injured in a car accident recently.
     Any former South Panola baseball player is eligible to play. To play contact coach Brad Lightsey at 934-5000 or Ben or Randy Boren at Shelter Insurance 563-2772.
The South Panola High School baseball program will host a Fall Instructional League every Tuesday in September 2006 from 2 to 5 p.m. Children ages 10 to 13 can participate. The cost is $40 and includes a t-shirt. T-shirt sizes will be taken the first day of the session.
     The dates of the sessions will be September 5, 12, 19 and 26.
     Sessions will stress baseball fundamentals such as fielding, throwing, hitting, pitching and catching as well as squad games.
     For an application or more information, contact head baseball coach Patrick Robey at (662) 934-2104. Registration deadline is September 1.
Season tickets for the 2006 football season are on sale through August 4, for people who previously held season tickets from last year.
     Tickets may be purchased for $45 from 8 a.m. to
2 p.m. Monday thru Friday in the high school office. Remaining season tickets will go on sale to the public on August 7.
     For more information, call 563-4756.
     South Panola will open the season on Friday,
August 25, in Clarksdale. The Tigers will play a pre-season scrimmage in Jackson at Hughes Field, where Provine plays.
     Participating in the scrimmage with South Panola and Provine will be Brandon High School.
Cougars look for first win
By Myra Bean

North Panola will be home for the first time this season to host 4A Rosa Fort (2-0) in non-conference action.

The Cougars are 0-2 following a 47-20 loss to Coldwater last week.

The Rosa Fort Lions have played their first two games at home and defeated Coahoma County 23-12 and Coahoma AHS 27-6 last Friday night.

Both teams are under the direction of first-year head coaches.

Rosa Fort, who finished 2005 3-7, is head coached by Lynord Crutchfield. Last year, the Lions defeated North Panola 12-8.

Even though the scoreboard has not gone the Cougars’ way in the last two games, head coach Vincent Johnson said he is impressed that the kids still have a good attitude.

As for the home debut for Johnson, he said he is excited about every game, every day.

"Any team we play is trying to win," he said. "We prepare each week like that team is 10-0. We can’t afford to not prepare for every one."

North Panola has been able to get in the endzone and score in the past two games.

Friday, senior Bruce Wilbourn scored on a 65-yard touchdown run and a 30-yard touchdown pass.

Roger Chalmers scored on an eight-yard run.

The Cougars had 114 passing yards by quarterback Quin Ellis, who completed 10 of 30 passes and threw one touchdown pass.

In rushing, Denard Presley had 64 yards on eight carries.

Receiving the ball were Jarvis Taylor, 64 yards on six passes and Wilbourn, 50 yards on four passes.

Kickoff for this game is 7 p.m. on Cougar field.

Last minute field goal, interception give ND first win
By Angie Ledbetter

It took the last eight seconds of the game last Friday night to give first-year head coach Richard Russo his first win.

The Green Waves were down 14-13 to Marshall Academy with 13.3 seconds left in the game when junior J.T. Dalrymple kicked a 28-yard field goal for the lead for the first time that evening.

After five seconds ticked off for the field goal and kickoff, Marshall went to its highly successful air attack with two timeouts and eight seconds left in the game. Without missing a beat, Josh Garrott came up with the game-saving big interception on first down to end the game on the Marshall 23 yard line.

Russo said it felt "outstanding" to win because of the way that they did it.

"We got down 14-0 because of our own fault," he said. "We just fought and scrapped back. We had to overcome some adversity such as driving down to the seven and throwing an interception and driving down to the one and fumbling the ball. To come back two drives down with only 18 seconds to go and kick a 28-yard field goal is outstanding."

North Delta was down 14-7 at halftime.

The Patriots scored in the first quarter on a 16-yard run but the PAT was blocked for the 6-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Green Wave fumbled the ball and the Patriots recovered it on the 12 yard line of the Green Wave.

With 9:31 on the clock, the Patriots scored on an eight-yard pass reception and a two-point conversion for the 14-0 lead.

The Green Wave finally broke on the scoreboard with 19.3 seconds left in the first half, on a fake punt on fourth down and 25.

Senior fullback Dakota Mabry took the ball 50 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was good to cut the lead to 14-7 at the half.

With 4:18 left in the third quarter, the Patriots fumbled the ball and Devin Maples recovered it on the Patriots’ 30.

The possession ended when the Green Wave fumbled a few minutes later with the Patriots recovering on their own 20.

The fourth quarter got very interesting and exciting as the Green Wave scored early on a Dalrymple quarterback sneak.

The Green Wave drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag and had to attempt the two point conversion from 17 yards out. It failed and the Patriots maintained a one-point lead, 14-13, with 8:11 left in the game.

With the Green Wave defense doing its job, the offense was facing a fourth down and one on the 35 with 2:49 left in the game.

Dalrymple picked up a first down on the Green Wave 37 and completed a pass to Blane Joyner bringing up second down and one with the ball on the 46.

The Patriots then drew a pass interference penalty with 1:55 left in the game.

From the Patriots’ 46 yard line, the Green Waves faced another fourth and 11, converting on an 11-yard pass to Joyner.

The Patriots drew another big penalty, unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Green Wave found themselves on the Patriots’ 12 with 18:11 seconds left in the game. With an incomplete pass and no timeouts left, the Green Waves made the decision to kick the game-winning field goal.
After the game was over, head coach Russo told the team, "Now and until the day that I die, I will never forget September 1, 2006."

All of the players yelled 1,2,3, and then FAMILY!

"We made several key adjustments," Russo said. "I give all the credit in the world to our assistant coaches and the kids were telling us what they were seeing out there.

"Bad things happened to us and we responded," Russo continued. "That’s what I’ve been preaching. Every play, every quarter, do your best and sometimes that scoreboard will be on your side. We worked hard this week. First win is awesome! To kick a winning field goal, most high school teams can’t do that. I told you when I was hired, special teams are important."

J.T. Dalrymple said, "Before the field goal, we all got together as a team, drove the ball down the field, and stayed together as a team. I couldn’t let the team down. I had it in my mind that I was going to make it the whole time. I had no doubt at all. Everybody got together in the fourth quarter."

Assistant coach Adam Waldrup praised the senior leadership on the team.

"Everybody played with heart," Waldrup said. "It paid off practicing those field goals. We kick them every day. I would say that the defense was the key to winning tonight."

Assistant coach David Hardy said, "They weren’t going to quit. They could overcome any early adversity and that’s what they did. That final drive. I don’t know if I’ve been a part of a drive like that. I really think this is going to boost us in the next game, our first district game. It couldn’t have come at a better time."

The Green Wave had 255 rushing yards and 29 passing yards for a total of 284 yards. They gave up the ball three times and got four turnovers from the Patriots. Dalrymple completed three of 12 passes for 29 yards and threw one interception. He also made one PAT, and one field goal from 28 yards. He rushed for 27 yards on seven carries and had three punts for a 30-yard average.

Mabry rushed for 114 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown, averaging 9.5 yards per carry.

Nick Douglas rushed for 65 yards on seven carries and had one reception for nine yards.

Evan West had 10 carries for 40 yards.

Devin Maples had five carries for nine yards. Blane Joyner had two receptions for 20 yards.

"Mabry’s 114 yards came when 64 of those yards were extremely tough running, just bulling his way through the defense," Russo said.

The other 50 yards was due to miscommunication on the punt play. North Delta was supposed to punt it away, but it got snapped to Mabry.

"Dakota took the ball and made something happen with it," Russo said. "That is a mark of a play maker when something goes wrong, sometimes you can make something out of nothing."

On the defense, Jon Michael Ware had 18 tackles; Mabry seven; Evan West, Garrott and Douglas, three tackles each. Garrott, Douglas and Joyner each had one interception.

The Patriots had a total offense of 167 yards. They had 3 interceptions and 1 fumble.

The Green Waves return home tonight for their first district game of the season against West Memphis at 7:30 p.m.

ND to host Black Knights
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave (1-1 overall, 0-0 district) will take on the West Memphis Black Knights (1-1 overall, 1-0 district) from West Memphis, Ark., tonight in their first district game of the season.

The Green Wave are coming off of a big win over 2A Marshall Academy and the Black Knights are coming off a huge district win over Tunica last Friday night.

The Green Wave and the Black Knights haven’t played each other since October 24, 2003, a huge game for both teams, who were tied that year for the district championship. It was played at West Memphis for the championship and the Green Wave gave the Black Knights their only district loss that year by winning the game 61-18.

The Black Knights ended their 2003 season with a record of 5-4, their 2004 season with a 2-8 record, and their 2005 season with a 4-6 record.

Tonight the Black Knights will come to Green Wave territory hoping to take back a win for which they have been waiting three years .

They will come into this game with a roster of 22 players. The majority of them older than the Green Wave team. Over half of their team members are seniors, 14, with two juniors and six sophomores.

The Black Knights will be under the leadership of senior quarterback No. 12 Lance St. Sauver. The running back will be No. 7 LaTony Sims. Sims scored five touchdowns last week against Tunica. He had runs of 40, 38, 13, eight and three yards.

Head Green Wave coach Richard Russo said on offense, West Memphis goes four wide on the shotgun on nearly all their plays.

"They really want to spread you out and run the speed option or the inside zone play," he said. "When they do throw, they throw very high percentage plays, like what’s called the bubble screens or the wide receiver screen."

On defense he expects West Memphis to run a very unorthodox defense with the 3-3-5 stack.

"That is what Joe Lee Dunn runs at Memphis," Russo said. "They’re blitzing pretty much every play."

As far as preparing for a district game, Russo said he treats every game with equal importance.

"I prepare in practice to win every game," he said. "The kids should get up more because these are the ones that truly matter the most. We want to win every game obviously, but the district games are the ones that put you in the playoffs and puts you succeeding in the playoffs. That’s what everybody is playing for to go deep into November."

The pep rally for the team will be at 2:30 in the school gym.

The pregame show with Russo and Mickey Aldridge is at 7 p.m. on FM 106.9. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Officials want to hurry up ballgames
By William Correro

In the opening piece for the season last week, I saw after I sent it in that I had left out one important rule change regarding the clock.

Now the clock will start on a kickoff when the ball is kicked. Except for a few seasons ago, the clock always started on a kickoff when the ball was legally possessed by the receivers.

We had a rule one season where the clock was started when the receivers got it except for kicks inside the last two minutes of the either half. Then it started on the kick.

They dumped that last year and went back to the old way but now this season we’re winding the clock when the ball is kicked on all kickoffs. I hate that we’re in high gear to speed up the games.

I’ve always wondered about those officials I’ve heard say something like, "hurry up and get this thing over with." I can’t imagine why because when it’s over it’s back to the real world.

Another interesting change was the total elimination of the tinted eye shields. You’ve seen them in years past mostly on wide receivers, running backs and especially defensive backs.

They always looked like Darth Vader to me but the rule was they were only permitted if the player had a prescription from an eye doctor accompanied by a letter from his parents. It always amazed me how many wide receivers and defensive backs had such sensitive eyes.

Most thought it was good to keep the opposition from seeing your eyes. But they are now history in college football in the interest of player safety. If a player is down and seriously hurt the first thing a doctor or EMT is going to want to see are the eyes.
Hard to do with a black cover attached to the facemask and you aren’t supposed to move his head. Now they can only be clear with no tint at all. Just having one, clear or black would bother me. I’d feel like fresh air was blocked and when it rained no one can run fast enough to make even Rain X keep it cleared off. Anyway, we didn’t have to worry about that back in the stone ages.

When you read this one, I will have finished my first two assignments. The first college game of the season with South Carolina at Mississippi State and then Memphis at Ole Miss the Sunday before Labor Day both on ESPN. The first time I saw South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier after his brief stint in the NFL was last season.

I went in the locker room before a game and he looked over at me and said, "What are you doing here?" To which I said, "I’ve been here – What are you doing here?" He was smiling by the way. See you next week.


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