NP Cougars v Ripley

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 7, 2007

North Panola defensive lineman Curtis Arnold wraps up a Coahoma ball carrier. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Cougars on the road to face fierce Tigers

By Brad Greer

After a 16-15 season-opening victory over Coahoma County last week, the North Panola Cougars will look to keep the momentum going as they travel to Tippah Co. tonight to face the Ripley Tigers out of Region 1-3A in a 7 p.m kickoff. Ripley is 1-0 on the season after defeating New Albany 35-14 last week.

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North Panola defensive coordinator Eddie Maxon said do not expect an air attack from the Tigers.

“They run your basic ‘Wing T’ offense. Nothing fancy they just line up and try and run the ball down your throat. We watched film on them of last week’s game against New Albany and I think they threw the ball three times,” said Maxon.

Running the offense for the Tigers will be junior signal-caller Will Wallis. Joining him in the backfield will  be senior Michael Poole and junior Jaquise Cook both of whom scored two touchdowns  each  last week.

Seniors  Jordi Vernor ( 6-foot-1, 300 pounds) Dylan Morton (6’ 0” 242) and cornerback Ben Wallis (5’ 11” 185) leads the Ripley 4-3 defense.

The Cougars will be without the services of running back Kenny Jones who suffered a hairline fracture  of the ankle in last week’s game. Senior  cornerback Trey Tucker, who intercepted a pass in the win,  sustained a concussion in the game but will return to the lineup tonight.

North Panola’s defense will attempt to give a repeat performance of last week as the Cougars forced six turnovers. Cortez Hibbler recorded three fumble recoveries while Curtis Arnold and Jones had one each.

Junior quarterback Quinn Ellis was seven-of-16 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns. His 24-yard touchdown pass to Roderick Frost with 1:13 left in the third quarter proved to be the winning points.

Ripley coach Mac McCurry said one his concerns of his team will be matching up with the Cougars’ wide receivers.

“There is a big mismatch in their receivers and our cornerbacks. We are just going to have play them tight and not let the get behind us. Our defensive line has got to put pressure on their quarterback, “ said McCurry.

The Tigers are coming off a 11-3 season from a year ago that saw them reach the North State AAA finals before losing to Nettleton.

Maxon said the Cougars are excited about the challenge set before them.

“We watched film on last week’s and saw some mistakes we make and have working on them at practice this week and we feel like we’re ready to go. These kids have listened to us and are learning a new system and they are excited about it. We’ve got some excellent coaches here that played on the college level and know what they are doing and all we’ve ask from the kids is give us 110 percent all the time, “said Maxon.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Directions to Ripley:

Take Highway 6 East to Oxford. Go to the Water Valley/Holly Springs Exit. Take left onto Highway 7 toward Holly Springs. Take the Highway 30 Exit to New Albany. When you get to New Albany, go to the Highway 30 intersection with Interstate 78. Get on 78 East toward Tupelo.Go two exits and take 2nd Exit says Highway 15 to Ripley. When get to Ripley, school is on Highway 15.