Sports / Outdoors – 10/3/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – October 3, 2006

  From the 10/03/06 issue of The Panolian       

Tigers overcome determined Quistor team 12-7
By Myra Bean

The game between South Panola and Olive Branch was exactly the way a state championship game should be played.

There was emotion, intensity, pure grit and determination on both sides.

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However, the team who made the least mistakes won.

South Panola (6-0 overall, 2-0 district) walked out of Olive Branch with a 12-7 conference win after the Olive Branch Quistors fumbled four times in the second half.

Granted, the South Panola defense helped them fumble the ball. Linebacker Kevin Young, defensive back David Conner and defensive end Terrance Pope each caused one of the Quistor fumbles.

Tiger head coach Ricky Woods described Olive Branch as "good."

"We played really well against them," Woods said. "Both teams played real well. They ran some slants and crosses against us. We have to work on that."

With this win, the nationally-ranked South Panola Tigers tied the state record for the longest winning streak at 51.

Another record in the making is the Picayune Carver unbeaten streak which lasted from 1958-64. Picayune had a 63-0-1 record during that time. They set the state record at 50 which South Panola reached September 22 with the win over Horn Lake.

Obviously, in their 51st game of that time frame, Picayune tied an opponent but did not actually lose the game.

"If you win the game next week, you will go down in the history books where you belong," Woods told the players in the postgame huddle.

The pregame hype underestimated the intensity of this game on the field and with the 6,000 fans packed in the stadium. More fans were turned away because there was nostanding room left.

The two bands were seated in make-shift stands side by side behind the south endzone.

Consequently, the Tiger band did not get much playing time.

Throughout the game, both teams defenses held their ground until rooted out by some unexpected offensive play.

The Quistors got through the Tiger defense on their first possession with some quick strikes through the air. The Quistors moved the ball from their own 48 to a touchdown in five plays, capped by a one-yard run with 10:48 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers did not lose hope or their heads. The offense went to work.

Senior quarterback Leroy Diggs carried the offense at times. Stat talk around the state was that Olive Branch had 278 yards of offense and South Panola had 188.

The only ones logging rushing yards for the Tigers Friday night were: Diggs, 47 on 21 carries; Jeramie Griffin, 70 on 17 carries and Darius "Tigg" Barksdale, 36 on 16 carries.

Griffin had one reception for six yards. Roderick Jefferson had one reception for seven yards and Vandell Pollard had one reception for 17 yards.

On the Tigers first possession, Diggs started the offense at their own 41. On second down and six, Diggs was sacked at the 40. On third and 11, Diggs found tightend Pollard who picked up the first down at the Quistor 43. Tailback Griffin picked up another 13 yards to the 30.

It took the Tigers another 11 plays and converting three fourth downs for Griffin to score on a one-yard run with 2:03 left in the first quarter.

An illegal motion penalty – rotating the ball – moved the ball to the eight yard line where David Renfroe attempted a 25-yard PAT. The kick was low and the Quistors held a 7-6 lead.

The Tiger defense had a lot of shining moments to curtail that Quistor "prolific" offense.

The Quistors had the ball to start the second quarter. They were threatening to score on first down and goal from the five. They fumbled the ball and linebacker Marvin Burdette recovered it with 10:53 on the clock.

Both teams punted away their next possessions. Right before halftime, Jarred Draper and Kevin Young were credited with quarterback sacks to stop the Quistor drive. Young had two sacks on the night.

For the first time this season, South Panola was down at halftime 7-6.

A different looking Tiger team returned to the sidelines after halftime.

"They were better than last year," senior linebacker Chris Strong said. "We didn’t expect it to be this close. We played around in the first half. In the second half, we stepped it up and came out with the big win."

On the kickoff, South Panola fumbled the ball but eagle-eye senior linebacker Demetrius Dunn picked up the ball and returned it to the Quistor 38-yard line. The Tiger’s run game was meeting with a lot of resistance from the Quistor defense so Diggs went to his air game.

The pass was intercepted with 10:11 on the third quarter clock. Offensive linemen Cameron Wagner made the touchdown saving tackle.

"I told them I should be on defense, but they need me on offense," Wagner said.

The Tiger defense led by Strong and senior linebacker Rodney Diggs stopped that Olive Branch drive and forced a punt on fourth down and 16 with 8:03 left in the third.

The Tigers used five plays starting at their own 39 to score on a three-yard Tigg Barksdale run to take the lead for the first time in the game.

The two-point conversion failed and left the Tiger lead in what could have been a precarious position.

At the end of the third quarter, South Panola was punting and Olive Branch was hit with a running into the kicker penalty.

The Tigers had the ball going into the fourth quarter, but turned it over to the Quistors on downs.

The Quistors attempted a pass on first and 10 from the Tiger 45 and completed it. A Tiger knocked the ball from the receiver’s hands and recovered it on the Tiger 21 with 10:17 left in the game.

Unable to capitalize on the fumble, the Tigers had to punt. Olive Branch fumbled the punt return and the Tigers recovered it on the Olive Branch 23. It took the Tigers eight plays to get to the one-yard line.

Griffin suffered an injury and had to leave the game for one play after he walked off the field.

On second and goal from the one, the Tigers fumbled the ball and Olive Branch recovered it on the two with 2:51 left in the game.

Olive Branch proved that was more than enough time to get the ball down field into position to try to score. As the second half had gone for the Quistors, they completed a pass and then Conner knocked it loose. Strong recovered for the Tigers on the Tiger 25 with 1:02 left in the game.

The Tigers took no chances and Diggs took a knee for the last three plays of the game to run out the clock, despite numerous clock stoppages by Olive Branch.

Logging some defensive stats are Young, seven total tackles, causing one fumble, two sacks; Rodney Diggs, six tackles; Tigg Barksdale, six tackles; Deshun Sandridge, five tackles; Burdette, four tackles, one fumble recovery; Bud Barksdale, three tackles; Draper, three tackles, one sack; Strong, two tackles, one fumble recovery; Conner, two tackles, caused one fumble; Marlon Wilks, two tackles; Terrance Pope, two tackles, one caused fumble; Montez Austin, one tackle, one fumble recovery; and Charles Corley, one fumble recovery.

With the state’s longest winning streak on the line, the school is preparing a ceremony for after the game this Friday. Fans may want to stick around and witness the event upon a win by the Tigers.

The ticket booth will open at 6 p.m. for general admission tickets $5 and reserved seating $7.

Columbus (2-3 overall, 1-1 district) defeated Southaven last week 14-7. They lost to Tupelo the week before 45-20.

In other regional action, Tupelo stunned Starkville 35-9 Friday night. Grenada defeated Horn Lake

National Tony Poll – Week 7

1. Byrnes, Duncan, S.C., 6-0
2. Lakeland, Lakeland, Fla., 6-0
3. Curtis, River Ridge, La., 4-0
4. South Panola, Batesville, Miss., 6-0
5. Lufkin, Lufkin, Texas, 4-0
6. Independence, Charlotte, N.C., 6-0
7. Carroll, Southlake, Texas, 4-0
8. Warren Central, Indianapolis, Ind., 7-0
9. Mount Carmel, Chicago, Ill., 6-0
10. Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.,4-0
11. Hoover, Hoover, Ala., 5-1
12. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio, 5-1
13. Maryville, Maryville, Tenn., 7-0
14. De La Salle, Concord, Calif., 4-0
15. Colerain, Cincinnati, Ohio, 6-0
16. Harrisburg, Harrisburg, Penn., 5-0
17. Bellevue , Bellevue, Wash., 5-0
18. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif., 4-0
19. Jesuit, Portland, Ore., 4-0
20. Mullen Prep, Denver, Col., 5-0
21. Northside, Warner Robins, Ga., 5-0
22. C.D. Hylton, Woodbridge, Va., 4-0
23. West Monroe, West Monroe, La., 5-0
24. North Shore, Houston, Texas, 4-0
25. Tie:  Christian Brothers, Syracuse, New York, 5-0
  Tie:  Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 4-0
Clarion Ledger Poll

1. 1. South Panola
2. Wayne County
3. Clarksdale
4. Oxford
5. Picayune
6. Clinton
7. Olive Branch
8. Oak Grove
9. West Point
10. Lafayette County
National Prep Football – Wk 8
By Jamie DeMoney

1. Lakeland, Fla. (6-0-0)
2. Westlake Village, Calif., Oaks Christian (4-0-0
3. Lufkin, Texas (4-0-0)
4. River Ridge, La., John Curtis (4-0-0)
5. Southlake, Texas, Carroll (4-0-0)
6. Indianapolis, Warren Central (7-0-0)
7. Cincinnati, St. Xavier (5-1-0)
8. Lakewood, Ohio, St. Edward (5-1-0)
9. Chicago, Mount Carmel (6-0-0)
10. Concord, Calif., De La Salle (4-0-0)
11. Charlotte, N.C., Independence (6-0-0)
12. Duncan, S.C., Byrnes (6-0-0)
13. Miami, Northwestern (5-0-0)
14. Batesville, Miss., South Panola (6-0-0),
got state record-tying 51st straight win
15. Hyattsville, Md., DeMatha (5-0-0)
16. Hoover, Ala. (4-1-0)
17. Frankfort, Ill., Lincoln-Way East (6-0-0)
18. Hollywood, Fla., Chaminade-Madonna (4-1-0)
19. Jersey City, N.J., St. Peter?s (3-0-0)
20. Cincinnati, Colerain (6-0-0)
21. Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei (4-0-0)
22. Ramsey, N.J. Don Bosco (3-0-0)
23. Maryville, Tenn. (7-0-0)
24. Harrisburg, Pa. (5-0-0)
25. Eden Prairie, Minn. (5-0-0)
Hawgs and OT go together

By William Correro

It’s just something about Arkansas and overtime. Most of you will remember the 2001 Arkansas at Ole Miss game that went a record seven overtime periods.

I was in an afternoon game at Florida during that one and I remember watching it on TV at a sports bar that night in Gainesville. The wait-person said when I left that I had this sort of blank stare watching it and all I said was an occasional, "Incredible."

Last week’s Alabama at Arkansas double OT game was a great one for TV and it just seemed like there was a divine intervention along the play during the fourth quarter guiding to overtime. Missing field goals and extra points – I have never seen that many misses in one game. Then some incredible pass and run plays made it seem almost scripted. It was just the kind I hope for every week.
One of the biggest subjects we cover in pre-game meetings is communication. Crew members must have great communication during the course of a game or it will hit bottom in a hurry.

The sideline pass completion is a good example where the Line Judge or Head Linesman will usually have a look from one side down the sidelines and the Field Judge or Side Judge will have a look at the catch from downfield along the sideline.

The receiver goes up to make the catch, pulls it in and comes down with one foot hitting the field first inside the sideline and the other touching down outside the line. The one official that the has a front view of the catch will focus on whether or not he makes it while his partner will concentrate on where the feet come down. Then you will see the two officials make eye contact and when they agree it’s good, one will mark the spot the ball in player possession went over the sideline while the other keeps a close eye on the play out of bounds. Eye contact and a slight nod may not look like much but that kind of communication skill takes years of experience to master. It works the same between all seven of the field crew along with the Alternate Official. Great communication is a must.

I’ve been asked a few times about the PAC Ten game where a wrong call was made on an onside kick and then replay didn’t overturn it. I didn’t see it live but I’ve seen some replays of it and that was plain and simple a breakdown in communications.

In that situation, there should have been four sets of eyes on the play on the ball. Then TV had several looks at it too. Somebody should have spoken up but evidently didn’t. In the SEC we call it: "Always be ready to save the crew."

See you next week.

Sanford scores 3 TDs for Rangers against Lions
     Northwest Mississippi Community College receiver Travis Sanford grabs one of his three touchdown receptions in the Rangers’ 55-22 victory against East Mississippi Sept. 28 in Scooba.
By Brett Brown
NWCC Sports Information

One of the main goals for the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers this season was to establish some kind of identity on offense.

Mission accomplished.

Northwest racked up 517 yards of total offense en route to crushing the East Mississippi Lions 55-22 Sept. 28 at Sullivan-Windham Stadium in Scooba.

The Rangers, who improved to 3-2 overall and 3-0 in the MACJC north division, won their third consecutive contest. Northwest has outscored its last three opponents 135-36.

"We are starting to find our groove," said Ranger Head Coach Randy Pippin. "Our guys are playing together and executing the game plan. We really feel good about out team right now."

There were many stars for Northwest on offense.

For the second straight week, Ranger tailback Curtis Steele was spectacular. Steele rushed for 172 yards on carries against East Mississippi, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the second quarter which broke a 7-7 tie.

Quarterback Daniel Thomas came off the bench in the second quarter in relief of starter Robert Glover who sprained his ankle. Thomas completed four-of-five passes for 81 yards and rushed for 58 yards on eight attempts.

Thomas’ favorite target was receiver Travis Sanford. Sanford torched the East Mississippi secondary with four catches for 90 yards, including three touchdowns.

"We want to spread the ball around as much as possible," added Pippin. "We feel like we have several guys that can step up on any given night and do what needs to be done to help us win."

East Mississippi led 7-0 after the first eight minutes of the contest. Lion tailback LeGarrette Blount scored the first of his three touchdowns of the evening with a one-yard scoring run. Blount ended with 18 carries for 131 yards.

Northwest countered with 21 unanswered points as tailback Davell Jackson scored a couple touchdowns. Jackson’s six-yard jaunt tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. He added a seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Rangers then turned to its passing game to claim a 35-14 advantage at halftime.

Quarterback Thomas hooked up with Sanford on a 35-touchdown pass with 3:23 left in the first half. Three minutes later, the duo combined on a 17-yard scoring play.

"We are fortunate to have some depth at quarterback," said Pippin. "It’s nice to know you have a guy like Daniel Thomas that is ready to come in and play well when you need him."

Sanford caught his third touchdown pass of the evening with 5:59 left in the third period on a 27-yard toss from third-string quarterback Brandon Myles.

The Rangers added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Tailback Bryan Fitzgerald scored on a 15-yard run, while tailback Zesron Johnson rushed for a 12-yard score.

Northwest will host the Coahoma Tigers Thursday, Oct. 5 at Ranger Stadium in Senatobia. The game kicks off at 6 p.m.

Independence hands Cougars 14-12 loss
By Myra Bean

The North Panola Cougars were so close to pulling out a victory.

However, not converting extra points sealed their fate in the 14-12 homecoming loss to the Independence Wildcats Friday night.

It was a night of shining stars as the homecoming court was presented on a cool fall evening as homecoming queen and king LaTasha Hill and Joseph Taylor were presented to the overflowing crowd.

The game was intense for the first quarter as both defenses held the offenses out of the endzone.

In the second quarter, North Panola dropped its guard and Independence scored its 14 points before halftime. The Wildcats scored on an 11-yard touchdown reception and a 20-yard run. Both PATs were good.

North Panola scored on a four yard run by quarterback Perry Trammell to cut the halftime lead 14-6. The PAT failed.

The only score in the second half was a 12 yard pass to Bruce Wilbourn from Trammell in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed.

The Cougars will travel to Byhalia Friday night for another district matchup. Byhalia won its second game in two years against Pontotoc Friday night, 22-14.

Kickoff in Byhalia is 7 p.m.

ND Waves back on winning track
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Waves showed their fans on homecoming night that they are in the "Wonderful World of Waves."

The Waves proved they are still in the playoff picture after defeating the Tunica Blue Devils 26-6 Friday before a huge home crowd. They improved their district record to 2-1.

A night to remember for friends and alumni as they returned to Green Wave field once again to watch the current Green Wave team play, to see each other and reflect on old memories.

There were also former teachers, cheerleaders, and football players. One noted person in attendance was Joey Dulin, a former football player from the 1994 State Championship football team. Along with him was his wife, Crystal and two daughters, Hannah and Haven. Dulin said it brought back a lot of memories for him to be there and to see a lot of people. Dulin and his wife are very excited that their daughter, Hannah, age seven, is attending North Delta this year after moving back to the area.

"The players were very excited after winning the game," said Green Wave head coach Richard Russo. "They had a motto all week. No excuses, no regrets, just win and they were excited to put that plan in action and get a victory."

Russo said after two straight losses, it was a breath of fresh air to get back on the winning track.

"Nothing taste as great as a team victory," he said. "It was good to get the seniors a homecoming victory and to get a victory in general going into the Delta game next week."

Russo said he was "extremely shocked" how well the team played homecoming night.

"North Delta has a lot of activities for homecoming week that I am not use to," he said. "However, this was a very focused team. They were focused on the football game and the task at hand, beating Tunica. So, I was very pleasantly surprised of our character in that aspect."

The team had been warned by Russo if they came out flat, they would find themselves in a dog fight.

"For the first six minutes, that’s the way it was," Russo said.

North Delta got a turnover early and Russo was proud of the defense.

"They stepped up and shut them down near the goal line," he said. "From there on out, we just took over the game physically. We were really able to run just about any of our running plays that we wanted to. That is a testament that our offensive line is getting better and our running backs are hitting the hole a lot better."

The first score of the game came on a quarterback keeper by Jim Tyler Dalrymple on a five yard run with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. The PAT failed.

In the second quarter with 10:31 left on the clock, fullback Dakota Mabry scored on an 11-yard run, but the 2 point conversion was no good. With 11 seconds left in the first half, Dalrymple scored on a one yard run. The PAT by Dalrymple was good to give the Waves a 19-0 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Mabry scored on a 24 yard run and the PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 26-0 lead over the Blue Devils.

The only scoring that came in the fourth quarter was by Tunica but the PAT failed.

The Green Wave passed the ball more this week. Jim Tyler Dalrymple completed four of 10 passes for 59 yards. He had five punts for a 40.4 average.

"He is a first year quarterback and as we get more and more comfortable, I’d like to throw the ball more," said Russo. "I am a run first kind of coach, but you have to be able to throw and complete some balls. The more you do that, the more confidence you get in the passing game."

The Green Waves were only up 12-0 right before the half with 30 seconds to go.

"We felt like Josh Garrott could burn their cornerback on a fade pattern, so we threw it to him," Russo said. "He made one of the most outstanding high school catches that I have ever seen right before the half."

Russo said he feels good about the team at this point.

"I strongly believe that we should be 3-0 in the district," he said. "One or two breaks in a single game and we easily win that game. That just didn’t happen. I’m just going to chalk that up, forget about it, and focus on Bayou and Marvell when that time comes. If we win those two games, we will at least be the second seed if not the first seed coming out of our district."

Russo reported he is seeing a lot of improvements every week as far as the team. The players are really starting to pick up the offensive and the defensive system to the point where they need to be six games into the season, according to Russo.

Russo brought in the younger players in the fourth quarter to give them some playing experience.
The Tunica coach had asked to not stop the clock in the final quarter. Russo said in coaching jargon that means waving the white flag.

"So I decided early in the fourth quarter to bring the younger players in on offense to try and get them some experience," Russo said. "They’ll be the team next year and the year after. So it is important to get them some game experience. However, the younger players had a turnover and the young defense allowed Tunica to score.

"Then Tunica’s coach kicked an onside, which to me isn’t waving the white flag," Russo added. "So I had to put our first string back in. It was my way of saying if you’re not going to want to end the game, then that’s fine with me."

The Green Waves had 177 rushing yards and 59 passing yards for a total offense of 236 yards. They had nine first downs, six penalties for 65 yards and lost two of three fumbles.

Dakota Mabry was the leading rusher with 111 yards on 10 carries with 2 touchdowns.

"If we had fed him the ball as much as we did against Desoto, he could’ve easily had over 200 yards," Russo said. "We were trying to spread the ball around and get more experience for all of our running backs.

"Also, Britton Crawford, our offensive center, graded at 87 percent, which is extremely high for an offensive lineman," Russo added. "That means that he was doing his job, 87 percent out of 100 percent."

Other rushers include Evan West 56 yards, eight carries; 16 yards, eight carries, 2 touchdowns; Nick Douglas, two yards, five carries, one reception, one yard. Also, receiving the ball were: Josh Garrott, two receptions, 45 yards; and Seth Barnett, one reception, 15 yards.

On the defense, West led in tackles with 10. He also had two quarterback sacks.

Also logging tackles were Mabry, eight tackles, one forced fumble; Garrott, eight tackles and got his third interception of the year; Dalrymple, six tackles; Blane Joyner, five tackles, one quarterback sack; Britt Lawrence, five tackles; Douglas and Jim Beard each had three tackles.

On the Blue Devils’ side of the ball, they had 50 passing yards and 48 yards rushing yards for a total of 98. They had three first downs, one lost fumble and threw one interception. They were penalized three times for 35 yards.

Friday, the Green Waves will go back on the road to meet 2A Delta Academy (6-0) of Marks in non-conference action. Delta defeated Deer Creek 42-0 Friday night.

Lots of ‘I have never seen befores’ happen at Brownspur
By Robert Neill

In the gleam from the big four-cell flashlight I held across my shoulder, I could see a set of eyes flaming back at me, strong enough that they actually reflected off of the small pond in front of me.

They flared even wider, obliterating any outline of a body behind the shining eyes. I held the pistol steady, inching closer. What was it? Had to be a cat, I figured, but what size? A bobcat? A wild housecat?

Of course, I never considered a panther, since I fought that battle years ago with the High Muckety-Mucks in the state wildlife department; everyone knows that, officially, we do not have panthers – or cougars, pumas, mountain lions – here in the Magnolia State.

The eyes disappeared for a second, and I moved quickly to my right to focus the light back on them, even though if it was the prey I sought, I was going to have to shoot across the water.

There! It was a cat, a big housecat. I passed up the shot, wiggled the flashlight, and it scooted off into the roadside bushes.

Night hunting: it can be interesting. I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. Yes, we’ve finally gotten a good general rain, couple of inches, so the fire ant beds are reappearing around the yard, Swimming Hole, and pasture – even on top of the Mammy Grudge ditch bank behind Betsy’s High Place where the lion lies down with the Lamb.

Up until then, though, the only ground atall soft enough for the armadillos to root in was the ground that had been watered: in this case, Betsy’s flower beds. She finally declared war on the tribe that Joe Street calls "Armored Possums." I was the executioner.

Many years ago I was closely involved with people who practiced sneaking around at night, hunting for other people, who were doing the same thing. That was not a healthful occupation, tip-toeing around in the dark hoping to shoot at someone else before he shot at you.

Here at Brownspur, the opposition is not armed, unless you happen to stumble across a copperhead or stumptail moccasin, or maybe a neighbor couple skinny-dipping.

However, it can be hazardous to your health – well, my health anyway. These type things don’t happen to normal people, just to me.

I had spied an armored possum rooting around in the cane thicket next to my water well, and was circling for an unobstructed shot, when it registered on me that the well had clicked on, then clicked right back off.

As I stood and listened, it did it again. Then again: click on, click off. That ain’t good.

I hied me off to find a phone and called Mr. Billy Schultz, who said, "You’re describing to me a waterlogged well tank. Flip the breaker, take off the pressure gauge to give it air, and drain the tank. After it’s completely empty, screw the gauge back in tight, and flip the breaker back on."

I did the first part, though it took awhile to drain the 500-gallon tank. Finally, I was ready, stood in front of the breaker box on the light pole, and flipped the breaker back on. There were sparks, a sizzling sound, then the back of the box erupted into flames!

I mean, it looked like the pole was burning up! I reached in and flipped the breaker back off, losing some wrist hair in the process, as it blew slap out of the box.

My own son-in-law once asked me, "Uncle Bob, how come it is that everything you try to do seems so hard?"

I’ve gotten so tired of folks saying, "I’ve never seen anything like this before – except out here at your house!"

On Memorial Day weekend this same Delta Electric lineman had to come cut a tree off of the wires by the road, and not only were the top tree limbs burning, but the base of the pole where the tree had leaned to was smoldering, and actually flamed up, too!

"Never saw that before," George commented as he mounted the bucket to cut the limbs free.

Now George just gave me that, "Oh, it’s you again" grin as he pulled the meter base off, to let the Shudco man replace the breaker. By now it was afternoon of the next day. We finally had water again.

But the armadillo had escaped in all the excitement of flaming light poles. I don’t hunt out by the cane thicket any more. I’m afraid I might hear something clicking. There’s a rule: "If a tree falls in the forest, Neill must have been somewhere close!"


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