NP Football

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 21, 2007

Cougars prepare for big battle with Holly Hawks

By Brad Greer

With their football  schedule a third of the way complete, the North Panola Cougars head into the second ‘phase’ of the season as Region 3-3A play starts tonight when the Cougars host Holly Springs in a 7 p.m kickoff.

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Both teams enter the contest at 1-2 on the year after coming off tough losses last week.

North Panola fell to 4A Lafayette County 32-14 in a game that was tied 14-14 late in the third quarter.

Holly Springs meanwhile dropped a 21-14 decision to 5A Southaven 21-14 when the game-winning touchdown came on a 70-yard interception return by the Chargers.

The Hawk’s other loss came at the hands of Lafayette Co. (50-7) in the first game of the season but then rebounded to defeat Water Valley 21-14 the following week.

Holly Springs got the best of North Panola 41-25 last year in Holly Springs.

Cougar head coach Clifton Davis Jr. expects a battle in tonight’s game.

“They’ve got a good ball team,” Davis said. “They are basically a running team that likes to just line up and run the ball right at people. We’ve got to make sure we wrap up on plays and don’t let them break off big plays. They had a big tight end that they like to throw the ball to and have got a couple of good running backs with some speed.

“We’ve just got to cut down on our turnovers and mental mistakes that have hurt us in the past few weeks,” Davis continued. “We had a good practice Monday and worked on a few things and hopefully we will be ready come Friday. Every district game is big, but you always want to get that first win.”

North Panola offensive line center Tray Madkins along with David Hill, Cortez Hibbler, Templeton Hardy and Curtis Arnold will look to open up holes for running back Vernon Lewis and fullback Rodregus Salter.

Davis said look for wide receiver Bruce Wilbourn to  also see some action in the backfield just as he did last week when the senior rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries and scored one touchdown.

Holly Springs meanwhile will be led by 5-foot-10, 168-pound sophomore quarterback Demetri Oliver. Joining Oliver in the backfield will be RB/DB Desley Brown (6’-0,”190) and Clifford Brown (5’7”, 155).  Junior tight end Daniel Burton (6’4”, 230) is a big target for Oliver if the Hawks decide to go to the passing game.

Senior Sam Jones (6’0”, 260) leads the defensive line for Holly Springs while Darryl Kinkle (6’2”, 178) and Datron Johnson will roam the secondary.