NP Cougar football

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007

After a few years break, NP and Commodores to meet again tonight

By Brad Greer

A pair of teams will be looking to jumpstart their offenses  tonight as Lafayette County travels to Sardis to take on North Panola in the Cougars home-opener  set for 7 p.m

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Both clubs enter tonight’s contest with 1-1 record on the campaign. The Commodores dropped a 21-5 decision to Shannon while North Panola fell to Ripley 35-6. Lafayette County pounded the Cougars Region 3-3A counterpart Holly Springs 50-7 in week one of the season.

Turnovers played a key part in both teams’ downfalls last week as the Cougars turned the ball over three times against Ripley while Shannon scored all of their points off of five Commodore turnovers.

Junior Commdore quarterback Montez Phillips rushed for 93 yards on 18 carries but was picked off four times.

Joining Phillips in the ‘I’ backfield will be senior RB/LB Buddy Toles and junior RB/DB Demario Brown.

After facing the Cougars in seven-on-seven passing camps during the summer, Lafayette County head coach Anthony Hart knows what the task at hand will be.

“They have a very athletic ball team. They’ve got a couple of guys that are going to be playing on Saturdays next fall. I am very impressed with them. We’ve got to  do a good job covering their receivers. They are  very good and are going to be hard to stop,” said Hart.

Leading the Commodores 4-4 defense will be defensive tackle Chris Gibson, linebacker Willie Booker and senior cornerback Darius Carothers.

On the other side, North Panola head coach Clifton Davis, Jr. hopes his offense  can continue to move the ball as it did last week but cut down on the turnovers.

“Defensively we basically have to play like we did in the first half of last week’s game. They like to run a lot of misdirection so we’ve got to stay in our gaps They’ve got a pretty good passer and they can throw the ball so we need to put some pressure on him,” said Davis.

Bruce Wilbourn scored the only touchdown on a 14-yard reverse late in the second quarter to get the Cougars on the board. Wilbourn also hauled in six catches for 61 yards. Vernon Lewis led the ground attack with 20 carries for 76 yards while junior quarterback Quin Ellis was 11-of 20 passing for 109 and one interception.

Davis said the Commodores look very good on defense with their front four on the defensive  line could be their strong suit.

“Our offense has improved week by week and we’ll look better this week than last. We just need to cut down on our mental mistakes which we plan on doing,” said Davis.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. on Cougar Field.