SP Tiger Football

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2007

In spite of TV attention, Tigers still have to host Tupelo tonight

By Myra Bean

Toyota Line of Scrimmage was in town this week visiting Panola County, shooting scenes for a future broadcast focused on South Panola football and basically getting a feel for the county which has produced division 1 and NFL players throughout the years.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Panolian caught up with the crew Wednesday afternoon in the field house interviewing offensive line coach William Stewart, manager Devon Sanford and players Cameron Wagner, Jemarcus Hardrick and Josh Cannon.

Toyota Line of Scrimmage airs a 45-second spot every Sunday night on NBC during halftime of the featured game of the week. The spot on South Panola will be aired in November, according to Tom Tanno, of NBC Sports and Toyota Line of Scrimmage.

The coach and players told of their favorite time of the week. No, it is not the big game. It’s cake day. Started in the 1990s by defensive coordinator Willis Wright, the then-donut day has evolved into cake day. The players get a bag of Little Debbie cakes issued by manager Sanford.

Line of scrimmage will be in town to film the South Panola/Tupelo game tonight with a 7 p.m. kickoff. It is possible portions of the game will be aired on the November segment.

This game is lining up to be an important 1-5A matchup.

Both teams are undefeated in the district with matching 3-0 records.

Everyone knows you never count the Tupelo game until it’s in the books.

The sentiment goes double for this year’s game which will be played at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium in Batesville.

Tupelo began the season  eighth in the Clarion Ledger Super 10 poll. The Golden Wave lost to Grenada 45-28 in the second game of the season and have not made it back into the top 10 lineup.

They are second in 1-5A with a 6-1 overall record and undefeated 3-0 district record.

Tupelo has won five games straight since that first loss including a 21-3 win over Madison Central.

In the district they have defeated Columbus, Starkville and and last week Southaven 41-7. They have scored 232 points and allowed 124 points.

Leading the team is Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen running back Ken Davis. According to the Clarion Ledger, Davis is the team’s first since former Denver Bronco Jarious Jackson.

He has rushed 122 times for 808 yards and six touchdowns coming into tonight’s game. He was highlighted in the Clarion-Ledger Wednesday.

Last year, the Golden Wave made the game interesting by taking a 9-6 halftime lead during their homecoming, leaving the Tigers to play catchup in the second half. The Tigers won the game 34-9.

Competition within the district always brings out the best in teams, especially when they have to meet the South Panola Tigers.

Tupelo defeated Columbus 31-20 but Columbus put up a major fight against the Tigers. Columbus exploited some weaknesses and held the upper hand for most of the first half.

Head Tiger coach Lance Pogue expects nothing less from Tupelo.

“They have some offensive weapons we are concerned about, but we expect to get their best shot,” Pogue said. “I am anxious to see us come out and play better than we did last week.”

The Tigers found themselves down 14-0 at halftime against Columbus last Friday night.

“We respect them, but our main focus is making sure we come out ready to play,” Pogue said.

Some fans may recall the colorful history between these two teams. The famous game where Tupelo won by five points because a touchdown was ruled a fumble into the end zone by then quarterback Chris Young in 1999.

The Tigers, 67 straight wins, runs the gamut this week in national rankings.  Sports Illustrated ranks the Tigers No. 3, National Prep Sports No. 6 and USA Today No. 13. The Tigers own the longest active win streak in the nation and put it on the line every Friday night.

The Tigers boast their own Dandy Dozen player in Darius “Tig” Barksdale who has rushed 105 times for 881 yards. He has caught three passes for 179 yards and scored a combined 12 touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Nick Parker has 591 yards on 74 carries and four touchdowns this season.

Guiding the team is junior quarterback David Renfroe who has completed 31 passes this season for 522 yards and six touchdowns.  As the extra point kicker, Renfroe has completed 28 of 30 PATs and two field goals.

Leading in tackles on defense is Joshua Shipp with 40 tackles, two fumble recoveries and three and a half sacks. Second leading tackler is David Conner with 35 tackles, one fumble recovery, caused two fumbles and four sacks.

The Tiger team has scored 230 points and allowed 67 so far in the season. The total offensive yards for the season is 2,491.

There will also be the Grenada Nissan Versa which can be won by a lucky fan.  Buy tickets pregame and during the first quarter from cheerleaders for $1. One ticket will be pulled and that person will win $100 and a chance to throw a frisbee in the car to win.

The funds will benefit the athletic program, band and cheerleaders.

General admission tickets for the game will be sold at the high school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $5.

Ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. for general admission tickets at $5.