SP Tiger Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

South Panola tailback Darius “Tig” Barksdale shook off Tupelo’s Bill Bennett Friday night on this run. Barksdale plowed through many defenders in route to gaining 286 yards on 31 carries. The Tigers defeated Tupelo to remain undefeated in the district 4-0 and to extend their win streak to 68 games. The Tigers will be on the road Friday to play the Southaven Chargers in another district showdown beginning at 7 p.m. The Panolian photo by Andy Young

Tigers pound out 22-9 win over Tupelo

Barksdale rushes for career best

By Myra Bean

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

South Panola tailback “Tig” Barksdale rushed for 286 yards to break the 1,000 yard barrier in a 22-9 win over Tupelo Friday night.

With a near capacity crowd of fans on hand, the Tigers put on a show for the Toyota Line of Scrimmage crew in town to film the game and get an idea of football – South Panola style.

“We had to give them total access, but I believe we handled it well,” Tiger head coach Lance Pogue said. “It was good for the school and community, and a great honor.”

Tupelo brought the largest crowd seen at South Panola in recent memory filling the visitor’s side of 2,500.

Barksdale was the hero of the night with three touchdowns to go along with the yardage and a two-point conversion.

The Tigers held Tupelo’s Dandy Dozen running back Ken Davis to 36 yards on 15 carries.

This made for another interesting game as the No. 3 nationally-ranked Tigers (8-0 overall, 4-0 district) continue their march in route to another undefeated season and brought their win streak to 68.

“This was a big divisional win that puts us one step closer to where we want to get,” Pogue said. “Both teams came in undefeated in the district. We played great defense and controlled the ball offensively. It was a good team win.”

The first quarter ended scoreless. The Tigers finally got on the boards capping a three-play, 75-yard drive with 10:10 left in the first half. Barksdale was responsible for taking the ball on all three drives down the field.

On first and 10 from their own 25, Barksdale broke to his left, bounced out, cut to his right then to the left, before he was pushed out of bounds at the Tupelo 14.

Barksdale scored on an 11-yard run after the handoff from quarterback David Renfroe.  With Renfroe’s  PAT, the Tigers led 7-0.

Tupelo’s field goal came on a busted interception by the Tigers. Tiger linebacker Justin Carothers intercepted a Tupelo pass with 2:40 left in the half. During the return, Carothers was hit along the sideline with the ball jarring loose into the field of play. Tupelo recovered on the  Tiger 48.  During their possession, they had moved the ball to the Tiger 38 before the interception.

In nine plays, the Golden Wave moved the ball to the eight yard line from which Bryant Jefferies kicked a 26-yard field goal with four seconds left in the half to avoid a shutout  and cut the Tiger lead 7-3.

Also in the first half, Tupelo intercepted a Tiger pass in their own end zone. On fourth down, Renfroe attempted a pass but Montez Austin slipped and the Tupelo defender had a clear shot at the ball.

With the Tupelo passing offense, the Tiger cornerbacks and safeties had plenty of shots at the ball. In the first quarter, Bud Barksdale and Carothers had the Tupelo passes in their hands, but dropped them  causing incomplete or broken up passes instead of interceptions.

Tupelo came out on the offensive and took the opening kickoff in the second half. The Tigers were hit with a face mask penalty and Tupelo took the ball on the 50.

On first down and 10 from the 50, Tupelo did a little trickeroo with the old halfback pass to the receiver. It worked. At the 11:38 mark, Tupelo’s running back Chad Bumphis took the handoff from quarterback Chris Garrett and passed it to Garrian Heard for a 50-yard touchdown. Tupelo took a 9-7 lead as the PAT failed.

The Tigers took notice as this was the second consecutive game where the Tigers found themselves behind. It did not take nearly as long for the Tigers to make a comeback Friday night as it did against Columbus the prior week.

Just one minute and 28 seconds later at the 10:02 mark, Barksdale scored his second touchdown of the evening. He took the handoff from Renfroe, went through the hole made by the offensive line, stepped on four or five players laying on the ground and pounded his way 11  yards for the score. Barksdale scored the two-point conversion to retake the lead 15-9.

The touchdown capped a six-play, 70-yard drive, aided by an unsportsmanlike penalty against Tupelo.

Tupelo found itself with fourth down and 25 on its next possession due in part to a tackle for loss by Carothers on second and eight from the 37. On third and 12 from the 33, Joshua Shipp got in a sack to push Tupelo to the 20 to bring up the fourth and 25 and force a punt.

On the Tigers’ next possession, there was discussion by the officiating staff on Tiger fullback Reuben  Corley playing. Corley thought he had broken his right hand in the first half and it was heavily taped. After Dr. Edward Fields said he could play, the game resumed with Corley playing intermittently.

Sunday night, Corley said he just had a bad bruise and would be back to play Friday.

Barksdale scored his last touchdown of the evening on a 29-yard run with 1:16 left in the third quarter. The run capped a 12-play, 70-yard drive in six minutes and 28 seconds.

With the PAT, the Tigers led 22-9.

Tupelo had the ball going into the fourth quarter, but a sack by Terrance Pope on third and eight from the nine yard line knocked the Golden Wave back to the 19 yard line. Tupelo attempted a 37-yard field goal, but it fell short of the uprights.

The Tigers drove the ball down to the Tupelo 13, but could not get into the end zone and were forced to turn it over on downs. The Tigers fumbled twice during that possession, but was able to recover both.

Tupelo had one last shot at the end zone on its last possession, but a sack by Charles Corley and tackle for loss by Pope had the  Golden Wave coming up short and forced a turnover on downs.

Renfroe took a knee with 40 seconds left in the game to end the contest.

Barksdale now has 1,186 yards on the year and 15 touchdowns. He also completed his own halfback pass of the night. The Tigers were facing a third down and 13 on their own 31 yard line in the fourth quarter.

Renfroe handed off to Barksdale like he had done most of the evening and Barksdale found Mario Nash who raced to the Tupelo 34 for the first down. The possession ended when the Tigers turned the ball over on downs a few plays later.

The Tigers had 390 total offensive yards, including 335 rushing and 55 passing.

Also carrying the ball for the Tigers was Nick Parker with 52 yards on eight carries and Justin Market with 16 yards on four carries.

Renfroe completed one of five passes for 20 yards and one sack.

Nash  had the one catch for 35 yards. Xavier Lee had one reception for 20 yards.

Tupelo had 158 total offensive yards, including 157  yards passing and one yard rushing.

The Tigers dropped Tupelo for 62 lost yards.

South Panola was hit with six penalties for 65 yards, while Tupelo had three penalties for 25 yards. The Tigers also sacked Tupelo’s Garret six times.

The Tigers will travel to Southaven for the final road game of the regular season Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.

Other 1-5A action Friday included Horn Lake holding Olive Branch to 13 points, although Olive Branch won 13-7.

DeSoto Central defeated Columbus 20-16 and Starkville downed Southaven 48-20.