Sports / Outdoors – 11/7/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – November 7, 2006

  From the 11/7/06 issue of The Panolian       

PLAYOFF BOUND – Tigers host Provine
     South Panola senior wide receiver Roderick Jefferson jumped higher than the Grenada defender for this pass. Jefferson shook off the defender and completed a 40-yard touchdown reception.
DATE: Friday, November 10
WHAT: Playoffs: Round 1
WHO: Provine @ South Panola
WHERE: Robert H. Dunlap Stadium on Tiger Field
TICKETS: $7.00
Buy at High School Friday 8 AM – 2 PM Ticket booth opens at 6 PM. Friday.
No reserved seating

By Myra Bean

Provine slam dunked Clinton 49-28 in the 2-5A matchup Friday night but it did not seem to have much effect on the playoff picture.

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Provine is still in fourth place in 2-5A and will make the trip to Batesville to play South Panola Friday night in the first round of playoffs.

South Panola finished the regular season against Grenada Friday night 23-7 with an undefeated 11-0 overall, 6-0 district record.

This marked the Tigers 56th straight win, fifth undefeated season and head coach Ricky Woods’ 200th career victory. Woods is 200-40 overall in his 17-year coaching history. Woods has amassed a 70-1 record in five years at South Panola.

The win over Grenada was icing on the cake for this perfect season for the Tigers. After a shutout win over Columbus, October 6, the Tigers broke the old state record of 51 for consecutive wins and have built on that record with each successive week.

Grenada had sent messages throughout the month they had something for South Panola and gave it their best shot. Unfortunately for the Chargers, their best shot was nothing when up against the Tiger defense.

The Tiger defense did not allow any points to Grenada. Grenada’s only points came on an interception returned 103 yards for a touchdown with 7:17 left in the game.

That was the second interception returned for a touchdown in the last two games.

The Tiger defense was led in tackles and sacks by senior defensive end Marlon Wilks. Wilks had 10 tackles and two sacks on the night. He has 45 total tackles and four sacks for the season.

Along with Wilks shutting down the Charger offense were junior defensive end Terrance Pope and sophomore linebacker Marvin Burdette with five tackles each. Burdette also had a half sack.

Sophomore defensive back David Conner had four tackles. Senior linebackers Kevin Young and Chris Strong each logged three tackles. Young also had half a sack. Young has six sacks for the season and leads the team with 59 total tackles.

Junior defensive end Bud Barksdale had one tackle and an interception which brings his interceptions to four for the season.

Also with one tackle were Demetrius Dunn and Darius "Tigg" Barksdale. Rodney Diggs recovered a fumble.

Two more factors in this game for both teams were the time of possession and the penalties. South Panola controlled the clock with 31:19 minutes while Grenada only had it 16:41 minutes.

South Panola was flagged nine times for 69 yards and Grenada was flagged 13 times for 103 yards.

The familiar sight of the yellow penalty flags brought about questions from Woods to the officials about the number of times the flags were thrown. One official responded they would stop throwing the flags when the teams stopped making penalties.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Grenada defense held the Tigers and forced three punts. On the other possessions, the Tigers overpowered the Chargers.

On the Tigers’ first possession, senior tailback Jeramie Griffin scored on a three-yard run with 6:29 left in the first quarter. A 22-yard pass from quarterback Leroy Diggs to junior tight end David Baker from the 39 to the three yard line set up the scoring drive.

Baker caught the ball over his right shoulder but was brought down short of the goal line on the left side of the field.

The extra point kick by David Renfroe was good for the 7-0 Tiger lead.

Bud Barksdale intercepted a Grenada pass with 6:17 left on the first quarter clock. The Tigers fumbled the ball away with 5:30 left and Grenada recovered it on the Tiger 49 yard line. That Grenada possession ended in a punt.

A tackle for 10 lost yards by Wilks aided the termination of that possession on third down and 11 from the 50 to bring up fourth down and 21 from the 40.

The fumble recovery by Rodney Diggs happened in the second quarter with 8:56 on the clock. That possession ended in a punt.

After both teams turned the ball over on downs, the Tigers got the ball back with 27.9 seconds left on the clock. On second down and 10, Leroy Diggs connected with senior wide receiver Roderick Jefferson on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 10.7 seconds left in the first half. Renfroe’s PAT was good for the 14-0 halftime lead.

The Tiger offense did have its share of problems. The weather was cold to the spectators but was considered perfect football weather for the athletes.
With 8:02 left in the third quarter, the Tigers fumbled the ball on the Grenada two yard line and the Chargers recovered to stop the possible touchdown drive.

Backed up to their own endzone, Grenada was able to bring the ball to the two yard line on first down.

On second down and nine, a Grenada runner was tackled in the end zone for the safety with 7:22 left in the third quarter for the 16-0 Tiger lead.

The Tigers got the ball back after the the safety and Diggs again found Jefferson for a touchdown pass. This one from 40 yards out with 5:02 left in the third quarter.

Making himself perfect on the night, Renfroe kicked the PAT for the 23-0 lead.

With a few seconds left in the third quarter, Renfroe and other backups took over the offense for the remainder of the game.

The Tiger offense had some impressive numbers, especially in the passing department. Diggs completed eight of 13 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Renfroe completed two of five passes for 55 yards, one interception and one sack.

The Tigers’ total passing yards were 202 and rushing were 108 for 310 total yards.

Jefferson had six receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin had two receptions for 15 yards, rushed 14 times for 56 yards and a touchdown. He has 929 yards this season and 13 total touchdowns. He needs 71 yards for a 1,000 yard season.

Montez Austin had one catch for 34 yards and David Baker had one catch for 36 yards.

Other ball carriers include Leroy Diggs, 10 carries, 21 yards for 719 yards this season; David Conner, seven carries for 21 yards, 225 yards this season and two touchdowns; Tigg Barksdale, five carries, 16 yards for 583 yards and seven touchdowns this season; and Reuben Corley, two carries, 12 yards for 111 yards this season.

The Tigers had 17 first downs and limited Grenada to two.

Grenada had a negative 40 rushing yards and 55 passing yards for a total 15 offensive yards.

The kickoff for Friday’s game against Provine is 7 PM

SP and OB claim 1 and 2 in 1-5A
By Myra Bean

South Panola and Provine will kick off the 2006 playoff season with a 5A matchup on Tiger Field in Robert H. Dunlap Stadium Friday night.

Provine defeated Clinton 49-28 Friday night, but still ended up in fourth place in District 2-5A.

This season South Panola (11-0 overall, 7-0 district) has scored 337 points against opponents and allowed 72. That’s the lowest in 5A. Provine (9-2, 5-2) has scored 343 points and allowed 131. That’s the third lowest behind Olive Branch who has scored 468 points, highest in 5A, and allowed 80 points.

Clinton gained some points because it was the only District 2-5A team which had defeated Northwest Rankin who placed first in the district. With the head-to-head system the Mississippi High School Activities Association uses, Clinton ended up second and Madison Central third in that district.

In District 1-5A, Olive Branch (10-1 overall, 6-1 district) placed second and will host Madison Central (9-2 overall, 5-2 district). Olive Branch defeated Tupelo 35-10 Friday night. The two teams were vying for second place and homefield advantage in the playoffs.

Madison Central has scored 336 points and allowed 228 points this season.

Tupelo (6-4, 6-2) will be on the road to play at Clinton ((8-3, 5-2). Tupelo has scored 220 points and allowed 200, while Clinton has scored 288 and allowed 231 points.

Starkville (6-5, 4-3) will be on the road to the District 2-5A winner Northwest Rankin (9-2, 6-1). Starkville has scored 251 points this season and allowed 209. Northwest Rankin has scored 417 points and allowed 196.

Tickets for the game between South Panola and Provine will be available Friday from 8 AM to 2 PM in the high school office for $7.

No reserve tickets will be sold for playoff games. The ticket booth will open at 6 PM Friday evening.

The kickoff for Friday’s game against Provine is
7 PM

Directions to Tiger Field from Jackson:
Take I-55 N to Batesville, East Exit.
Go to second traffic light and turn right onto Keating Road.
Go one mile to Tiger Drive and turn left.
Listen to the roar!!!
NFL game management runs good game

By William Correro

I will say that the NFL Game Management people do know how to run a game. I spent last weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., working the annual Georgia ? Florida game other wise known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Though when I got the assignment a few weeks ago I was wondering if someone living in a dry county as I do could work such a game. No one said anything so I didn’t mention it either. To me it looked like any other campus tailgate community when we came in to the stadium. The people are all standing and politely waving as we come in while holding their adult beverages in the other hand. The waves aren’t ever as polite when we leave.

But they do know how to put on a game. AllTel Stadium is the home for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their game-day personnel were all there to make sure their college guests were properly cared for. The first was when I stepped out of the van and big guy with shaved head, dark Oakleys and the official Jaguar Event Security golf shirt on informed me that he would take me to our room first and then to the TV trucks. I told him he could just direct me and he stopped short and very politely informed me that since the TV trucks were outside the "Secure Clean" area that he would be with me every step. Since I had to look up to see those dark Oakleys I didn’t argue. This guy would even follow me to the Official’s Locker Room and stand outside at parade-rest while I was inside. There were three other similar guys assigned to the crew also.

Even more interesting was the field crew of about a dozen guys all dressed in teal green golf shirts with "Field Crew" on the sleeves. These guys would hit the field after the teams finished their warm-ups and hand repair every divot in the fine turf caused by the players’ cleats. They were real good at what they did too.

The game wasn’t as good as some have been but it did get interesting in the fourth quarter and thankfully we didn’t have too many issues come up during the afternoon. There was an airshow going on a few miles away during the game at Jacksonville Naval Air Station with the Blue Angels doing their incredible show. The formation could be seen during the game over the top of the stadium a few times at the top of a loop and I saw the solo pilots going high a few times too. Sure was a lot going on in northeast Florida that day.

While the stadium had a capacity crowd of over eighty-four thousand, the reason for the name of World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party was going on at the Landing on the other side of the St. Johns River. The better than twenty thousand there were watching the game live on a huge screen with plenty of refreshments available with several bands waiting to kick off their show for the revelers after the game went final. We didn’t get to see any of that but I can say I was part of another great tradition of the SEC.

PLAYOFF BOUND – Waves go to Trinity
DATE: Friday, November 10
WHAT: Playoffs: Round 1
WHO: North Delta @ Trinity Episcopal
WHERE: Natchez, MS

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave finished their regular season with a heart breaking loss 21-14 to the Lee Academy Colts Friday night.

The Green Wave finished the regular season with a 6-5 overall, 3-2 district record. They clinched a number one wildcard position in the south half of the state playoffs and will be traveling to Natchez to play Trinity Episcopal on Friday, November 10.

According to Green Wave head coach Richard Russo, the team did not come out and play with a lot of intensity on Friday night.

"I think that a lot of times, our kids aren’t playing with the techniques they have been taught in practice," Russo said. "It was evident on the field Friday night.

"Lee completely shut down our running attack and forced us to be one dimensional and just pass the football," he continued. "That’s not our strength. Our strength is to be a running team. They did a good job of shutting us down."

It was senior night and the 11 senior football players and two senior cheerleaders were honored.
The players were Brandon White, Nick Douglas, Evan West, Jim Beard, Dakota Mabry, Austin Atkinson, Britton Crawford, Jon Michael Ware, Cody Edlin, Josh Ratliff and Arthur Kemp. The two cheerleaders were Caroline Moore and Chelsey Russell. The 11 seniors also served as captains for the game.

The Colts got on the scoreboard first when Patrick Clark scored on a 10-yard run. The PAT (point afer touchdown) failed with 1:39 left in the first quarter.
The Green Wave scored in the second quarter with 5:16 on the clock on a junior quarterback Jim Tyler Dalrymple 38-yard run.

With the PAT by Dalrymple, the Green Wave led

It was just a few minutes later when the Colts bounced right back and scored on a 26-yard pass from Clark to Derek Soldevila. With the two-point conversion by Hunter Fondren, the Colts led 14-7 at halftime.

The Colts scored in the third quarter on a Clark to Fondren nine-yard pass. The PAT by Tony Antici was good to give the Colts a 21-7 lead over the Green Wave at the end of the third quarter.

The Green Wave came back in the fourth quarter fighting and Dalrymple scored on a one-yard run. Dalrymple’s PAT cut the lead 21-14. But that score was to be the last one of the game as the Colts won the battle in this non-conference game.

Dalrymple was the leading rusher of the night for the Green Wave with 42 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.

Other rushers include Douglas, seven carries, 38 yards; Evan West, 10 carries, 18 yards; Dakota Mabry, one carry for four yards; and Josh Garrott, one carry, one yard.

In passing, Seth Barnett had six receptions for 45 yards. Evan West had two receptions for 21 yards, followed by Garrott with four receptions for 11 yards, and Blane Joyner, two receptions for seven yards.

On kickoff returns, Douglas had two for 47 yards and Evan West had two for 43 yards.

The Green Wave had nine first downs, four penalties for 35 yards, and one interception. Jim Tyler Dalrymple had six punts for 239 yards, giving him an average of 40 yards.

The total offense for the Green Wave was 187 yards. They had 33 carries for 103 yards rushing and Dalrymple was seven of 16 in passing for 84 yards and one interception. The Green Waves ended the game with a total of 293 all purpose yards.

On the defensive side of the ball for the Green Wave, West led the team with eight tackles and one pass breakup.

Other tacklers include Britt Lawrence, seven tackles and one forced fumble; Edlin, six tackles and one quarterback sack; Mabry, six tackles; Garrott, five tackles and one fumble recovery; Douglas, four tackles and one fumble recovery; Joyner, three tackles and one interception; Bateman Greenlee, three tackles; and Britton Crawford, two tackles. Kemp, Atkinson, and Ratliff had one tackle each.

The Colts had 31 carries for 155 yards and they were 11 of 25 in passing for 150 yards for a total offense of 305. They had three punt returns for 23 yards to give them all purpose yards of 336. They had 13 first downs, seven penalties for 75 yards, four fumbles and lost two, one interception and one quarterback sack.

There were only two other games this season the Green Wave team left with so few offensive stats and Russo gave credit to Lee’s defense.

"Lee forced us to do our passing attack and we did a pretty good job of that," he said. "I was pleased with our pass protection and our catching and throwing."

ND ranked No. 1 wildcard
By Angie Ledbetter

Friday may have been the last regular season game for the Green Wave team, but not the last game.

They made it to the playoffs in a No. 1 wildcard position.

Russo said he is is very proud of the team and very excited about the opportunity to play another game, especially in the playoffs.

The Green Wave will travel about four and a half hours on Friday to Natchez to take on the Trinity Episcopal Saints after clinching a first place wild card position in Class A.

There are eight districts in MPSA (Mississippi Private School Association) Class A, but District 6 teams do not play football. So to even out the playoffs in the southern district, two wildcard teams were chosen from across the state. Teams in both the north and the south were eligible for the wildcard spots.

The Green Wave ended up with 116 power points and their power point rating was 10.545. To calculate the power point rating, the MPSA divided North Delta’s 124 points by the number of games that they played against "power point teams," which was 11.

Their rating came out to be 10.545. Sylva Bay came in second on the wild card position. The Trinity Saints are the district 7A winner. They ended their season with an overall record of 8-2 on Friday, losing their second game of the year against Porter’s Chapel 42-41.

They went undefeated in District 7A with a 4-0 record.

The North Delta Green Wave football team will leave at 10:30 AM Friday morning traveling to Natchez. There will be a mini pep rally for the team in the parking lot at 10 AM Friday morning.
The elementary school will be dismissed at noon and the high school will dismissed at 12:10 PM

A pep bus will be going to the game and anyone interested in riding can call the school at 563-4536. Students in sixth grade and under must have a parent with them in order to ride the bus. The cost per person is $31.50.

The North Delta fans will tailgate after arriving at Trinity and anyone interested can call the school for more information. Kickoff for the game at Trinity is at 7 PM instead of the regular 7:30 PM

Directions to Trinity:
Take I-55 S toward Jackson (138.8 miles).
Merge onto I-220 S via Exit 104 toward West Jackson (11.4 miles).
Merge onto I-20 W toward Vicksburg (40.1 miles).
Keep left to take US-61 S via Exit 1B toward Natchez (66.6 miles).
(You will go through Port Gibson staying on US-61 S toward Natchez. When you get in to Natchez, do not take the US-61 business route.
Follow signs toward Baton Rouge.
You will pass Wal-Mart and Trinity Episcopal School is 4 miles past Wal-Mart on US 61.
You will pass Steins Lumber on the left, and Trinity School is about one half mile on the left.

Estimated time: 4 hours, 20 minutes.
Estimated Distance: 260.40 miles

In game of life, best friend to have is bigger than giants

By Robert Neill

Betsy and I last week went to see one of the most inspiring movies I have ever watched, a Georgia-church-produced film called "Facing The Giants." It’s about a high school football team and their coach, and you don’t belong to miss it. Go. You will get a blessing out of it, I guarantee.

But it’s really about life, of course. Strangely enough, one of my blessings from the film came when the coach tells his team, "Life is a game ? play hard and have fun!" That is the phrase with which I have been signing my new book, THE BAREFOOT DODGERS.

An author generally uses a certain phrase for autographing books to someone. For my first book, I used "Best of Turkey Luck," for THE JAKES I use "Remember Your Good Times," and for DODGERS, my tenth book, I use that "Life is a game?" quote, but the book came out a couple months before the movie. I’m claiming that as a sign that DODGERS will be a movie too, and that’s in the works.

There’s another phrase that the movie coach uses which I heard from Ole Miss coaches: "Leave it all on the field; don’t take anything back to the dressing room!" We did play hard in those days, though it often meant playing hurt, which probably isn’t done as much in these days, thankfully. Paige Cothren’s books, WALK CAREFULLY AROUND THE DEAD and AN ACADEMY CALLED PAIN, are humorously honest depictions of college football during those so-called "Glory Years" of the Rebels, and I laughed uproariously when I got them for Christmas a few years ago. I couldn’t wait for Betsy to read them too, and one night by the fire, she started. An hour later, she threw the book at me. "This isn’t funny! This is why you’re like you are: all broke up!" Well, not all my breaks came from football, but I didn’t force her to read more.

There have been some good football movies in recent years: "Remember the Titans," about a team facing the integration crisis, a situation that my novel DODGERS covers; "Rudy," about a kid who isn’t quite good enough but sticks it out; and "The Junction Boys," a brutally honest depiction of Bear Bryant’s early days at Texas A&M.

Yet "Giants" interposes a spiritual aspect that turns the team, and the coach, around. It’s not irreverent to ask the question, "Can Jesus kick a 51-yard field goal?" The obvious answer is, "Of course He could." So, if a player’s life is given to Christ, Who lives within him, can Jesus still make that kick, using that player? See the show.

One of my favorite books is ILLUSIONS: THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH, by Richard Bach. In one scene, Bach hears a beautifully haunting tune from a cheap hardware store guitar, and finds Don, the Reluctant Messiah, doing the playing, so he exclaims, "Don! I didn’t know you could play!"

And Don replies, "Richard, do you honestly think that if someone had handed Jesus the Christ a guitar, He would have said, ‘I can’t play that thing’?"

Our choir sang the "Testify" cantata once, and one song goes, "Nothing is impossible, nothing is impossible, nothing is impossible, with You!" In the last week of practice, one of the altos declared, "Uncle Bob, these Impossibles just ain’t possible!" But when we prayed that night, then went out and sang it, the Impossibles were perfect!

I have experienced a healing of my broken back. What is too hard for God?

Problem is, we often don’t understand why bad things still happen, but maybe it’s so that when the healing comes, or the team wins, or the Impossibles are sung, then it is to the Glory of God, not ourselves. Is your God too small to do big things?

Go see "Facing The Giants." But then, it’s up to you to put Him in charge. You have to get off the sidelines and into the game.

A friend told me recently, "We’ve just gotten lazy, and haven’t been to church for a while."

Get off the bench! Get in a church, or call your Uncle Bob, and I’ll take you to see God in prison, with the Kairos Ministry. He’s alive today, in prison, on a football field, in churches all over town!

Do you face Giants in your own life? To paraphrase the late Brother Dave Gardner, "Well, where’s your smooth, flat, slick, river rock?"

God’s bigger’n giants!


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