SP Tigers v Starkville

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tigers overcome halftime deficit to defeat determined YellowJackets 35-21

By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tigers made it an even 70-game winning streak with a 35-21 win over Starkville (6-4 overall, 4-2 district) Friday night.

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The Tigers (10-0 overall, 6-0 district) also clinched the 1-5A division championship with the win.

Barksdale All-American

Senior running back Darius “Tig” Barksdale  led the Tigers with 71 rushing yards on 40 carries and three touchdowns.

The school also received notice Monday morning Barksdale has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl held on January 5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Barksdale joins former teammates Derek Pegues and Chris Strong, who also played in the game. A news conference will be held in the high school’s media center (library) at 9 a.m. Friday morning for the official announcement.

The Game

The Tigers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but found themselves shutout in the second quarter as Starkville scored 15 points and took a 15-14 lead into halftime with three seconds left on the clock.

“We were kind of our own worst enemy,” Tiger head coach Lance Pogue said. “We had them 14-0 then with a couple of turnovers, let them back in.”

Pogue said the Tigers did not change the game plan at halftime, but kept doing what they were doing to score.

“It was like Tupelo and Olive Branch. I am proud we came back in the second half and took control of the game,” Pogue said.

Though Barksdale carried the ball the first six plays of the eight play drive, it was sophomore running back Nicholas Parker who carried the ball the last two plays to cover 19 yards for the 12-yard touchdown run with 6:39 on the first quarter clock.

Quarterback David Renfroe kicked the PAT for the 7-0 lead.

Starkville turned its next possession over on downs thanks to a hard tackle by junior defensive lineman Kendrick Strong on fourth down and four from the Tiger 44.

Barksdale carried the ball all seven times of the possession by the Tigers and scored on a one-yard run with 1:58 left in the quarter. Renfroe’s PAT was good for the 14-0 lead.

Starkville had the ball going into the second quarter. Though the Tiger defense did a good job of closing off the run, Starkville was able to complete some short passes and move the ball down the field. They were also aided by a perfectly timed pass interference call which put them on the 10-yard line.

Three plays later, Yellowjacket running back Patrick Shed scored on a one-yard run with 8:43 left in the half. The extra point kick by William Arick was no good and the score stood 14-6 Tigers.

On the first play after the kickoff, the Tigers fumbled the ball with 8:24 left in the half and Starkville recovered on the Tiger 27-yard line.

On third and 11 from the 28, after Terrance Pope tackled the Starkville runner for a loss of six yards from the 22, Jacket quarterback Brad Henderson found wide receiver Kasey Akins for a 28-yard strike with 7:23 left in the half. Shed’s two-point conversion was no-good and the Tigers held a precarious 14-12 lead.

Neither team could do anything on their next possessions and exchanged punts.

The Tiger’s final possession of the first half ended in a Starkville interception returned to the Starkville 49 with 1:31 left in the half.

Since Starkville’s running game was going no where, the Yellowjackets resorted to the air game to get them to the 15-yard line with three seconds to go in the half.

Arick’s 32-yard field goal was good as time expired for the 15-14 Yellowjacket lead.

The second half was all Tiger football although the Jacket defense was hanging tough.

Barksdale came out with a vengeance, carrying defenders with him as he got the Tigers out of short yardage possession plays.

In the first possession of the third quarter, Barksdale shook off a pair of defenders around the 20 yard line, then shook Jacket’s Nick Shumaker off his feet and sprinted for the rest of the 22-yard touchdown with 6:05 on the clock.

The touchdown capped off a 11-play, five minute 55  second drive. The Tigers led 20-15 after the two-point conversion failed.

On the Tigers’ next possession, a 49-yard touchdown by Parker was negated on a holding penalty and the Tigers turned the ball over on downs a few plays later.

Starkville fumbled the ball on the first play of its next drive and Pope recovered for the Tigers on the Starkville 17 yard line with 41 seconds left in quarter.

Four plays later, David Renfroe used the “bootleg” and scored on an 11-yard run after 53 seconds ticked off the fourth quarter clock.

Renfroe then booted the extra point kick for the 27-15 lead.

The Tiger defense buckled down and it was three and out for Starkville on the next possession.

The Tigers got the ball on their own 46 and Parker, Justin Market, Barksdale and Renfroe took the ball to the 10 yard line.

On second and five from the 10, Barksdale scored his third touchdown of the evening with 5:56 left in the game. WBLE radio personnel, Judge George Carlson, described the run as the “Tigmanian Devil” run as he spun around, shaking off defenders in route to the end zone.

Renfroe hit tightend David Baker for the two-point conversion and the 35-15 score.

The touchdown capped a 10-play, 54 yard drive in four minutes and 18 seconds.

On the possession after the kickoff, Starkville used the clock and carried the ball down the field from its own 39 to the Tiger 17 and scored on a Shed 17-yard run with 2:22 left in the game.

Then Starkville tried an onside kick, which hit a South Panola player and Starkville recovered on the Tiger 43 yard line. Two plays later, Tiger Montez Austin made the touchdown saving interception in the endzone to stop the Starkville drive with 1:39 left in the game.

Parker rushed for 76 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Renfroe rushed for 39 yards on four carries and one touchdown.

The Tigers had 379 yards of total offense, all rushing.