SP v Desoto Central

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 24, 2007

SP finishes another year umblemished; Tigers ready for Provine

By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tigers took a rare Friday night off after finishing the regular season with a 45-21 win over DeSoto Central Thursday night.

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Since no other 5A games were played that night, many took advantage of the Thursday night game and came to watch the nationally-ranked Tigers in action as the home stands were almost filled.

The Tigers ended the game on a high note as the extra point snap was fumbled.

Holder Xavier Lee did not panick. He picked up the ball and started looking for some open field to run the ball in for points. Instead, he found 6’6” defensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick all alone at the end zone and threw him the ball. Hardrick caught the pass and rolled into the end zone for the two-point conversion.

The Tigers (11-0 overall, 7-0 district) finished their six consecutive undefeated regular season.

South?Panola holds the nation’s longest active win streak at 71.

South?Panola will be home Friday night to host Provine in the first round of the playoffs. Provine was expected to win the 2-5A division and was in first place going into Friday night’s contest. The Rams lost to Clinton Friday night and were bumped all the way to fourth place. The game will be at 7 p.m.

Tickets will be sold Thursday and Friday at South?Panola High School for $7 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. No reserve seating is sold for playoff games.

The ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. Friday night.


DeSoto Central took the opening kickoff, but threw an interception to Tiger linebacker Justin Carothers on the second play of the possession with 11:25 on the clock.

The Tigers capitalized and scored on a one-yard run by senior running back Darius “Tig” Barksdale with 6:25 left. Barksdale scored on a fourth and goal from the one.

The touchdown capped a 12-play, 65-yard drive in five minutes.

Before the end of the quarter, Desoto Central tied the game at seven on a 27 yard run by Kyle Williams with 2:09 on the clock. The run capped a nine-play 80-yard drive in 4:14 minutes.

Williams weaved in an out of the Tiger defenders and outraced them to the end zone.

All night long, DeSoto Central tried onside kicks. The kickoff after the first touchdown was recovered by Tiger Jevon Robertson. The Tigers punted the possession away and downed the ball on the Jaguar five yard line.

Tiger linebacker David Conner tackled the Jaguar runner at the two, and, on second down, Marjarvin Chapman tackled the runner at the one.

On third and 14 from the one, Conner and Marvin Burdette joined forces to sack the quarterback in the endzone for a safety with 11:18 left in the first half to give the Tigers a 9-7 lead.

On another onside kick, South?Panola fumbled, and the Jaguars recovered on the Tiger 34. The Jags had to punt the possession away.

On the first play of the Tiger’s next possession, on a key block by Xavier Lee, Barksdale weaved and pushed his way down the field for a 77-yard touchdown run with 7:48 to go in the half. With David Renfroe’s PAT, the Tigers led 16-7.

The Tigers put Bud Barksdale into the running back mix on their last possession before the half and he scored on a 10-yard run with 1:22 left.

The run capped an eight-play, 56-yard drive in 2:19 minutes.

The PAT by Renfroe gave the Tigers a 23-7 halftime lead.

Nicholas “Big” Parker found the end zone in the third quarter on an 11-yard run with 10:50 on the clock. The run capped a four-play, 28-yard drive in 52 seconds.

The Tiger lead was 30-7 going into the fourth quarter after Renfroe’s kick.

The drive was set up with a kickoff return by Tig Barksdale to the Jaguar 28 yard line.

The Jaguars stopped a possible Tiger scoring drive with an interception with 2:12 left in the quarter.

Renfroe scored the Tiger’s next touchdown on a six-yard run when he could not find an open receiver with 11:13 left in the game. After Renfroe’s PAT, the Tigers led 37-7.

The drive was set up by Lee’s punt return to the Jaguar 28. The run capped a four-play, 29 yard drive.

Neither team was finished scoring as DeSoto Central’s quarteback Jake Bramlett found his favorite receiver, Tyson Sims, for a 45-yard strike with 9:13 left in the game. With the PAT, the Tiger lead was cut 37-14.

The Tigers fumbled the kickoff and the Jaguars recovered it on the Tiger 44 yard line with 8:57 left in the game.

The drive was also aided by a Tiger pass intereference call.

DeSoto Central capitalized on the turnover with an eight yard touchdown run by Williams with 7:36 left in the game to close the gap 37-21 after the PAT.

The onside kick ploy did not work the last time as South Panola recovered it on their own 48.

With 5:40 left in the game, the Tigers fumbled the ball again and DeSoto Central recovered. They did not score on the recovery but were forced to turn the ball over on downs.

The Tiger backup unit was on the field for the last possession drive and behind quarterback JaPeri Mitchell, the Tigers scored on an eight-yard run by Domonique Carothers.

Carothers had run 53 yards on one play but was caught from behind.

The two-point conversion by Hardrick sealed the Tiger victory.