NP Cougars

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

North Panola falls to Oxford, 34-14, despite better stats

By Myra Bean

By statistics and time of possession, North Panola should have wiped the field with the Oxford Chargers at their homecoming Friday night. But the reality is that the Cougars were the mop in a 34-14 loss.

North Panola (4-3 overall, 3-0 district)had almost 400 yards of total offense and controlled the ball 26.55 to 21.45 minutes.

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The two touchdowns were a breath of fresh air in stale atmosphere.

With 18 seconds left in the third quarter, junior running back Vernon Lewis scored on a five-yard run, but the two point conversion failed.

The last touchdown was a fumble return by senior all-around player Tyrus Mack. He picked up the ball on the Oxford 17-yard line and scored with 32 seconds left in the game. The two-point conversion was good by Lewis.

The Cougars had some interesting possessions which they could not turn into a score.

The first possession of the first quarter lasted over five minutes and the Cougars turned the ball over on downs on the Charger 28 after 13 plays.The second possession carried into the second quarter and lasted over three minutes and ended in a turnover on downs on the nine yard line. The drive lasted nine plays.

The third possession was three plays which resulted in a lost fumble on the Cougar 30-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on North Panola gave Oxford the ball at the 15.

The Cougars were working on their 12 play of the final drive from the Charger 11-yard line of the first half when the time ran out.

The time was divided evenly between the teams in the second half but the same tune was playing for the Cougars. In the third quarter, they turned the ball over on downs while at the Charger 35 and in the red zone at the 18 in the fourth quarter.

The Cougars had 398 yards of total offense, including 215 rushing yards and 183 passing yards.

Oxford had 237 total yards of offense with 136 passing and 101 rushing.

Lewis led the Cougars in rushing with 119 yards on 19 carries  and a touchdown. Mack had 49 rushing yards on three carries. Rodregus Salter had 24 yards on seven carries.

Ricky Hunt caught 11 passes for 168 yards. Kiwanis Bobo had one catch for 14 yards.

Quarterback Quin Ellis had 26 yards rushing on 11 carries. He completed 13 of 27 passing attempts for 183 yards.

Logging sacks for the evening were Mack with two, Salter and Cortez Hibbler, one each.

The Cougars will play their third straight road game and fourth straight homecoming game against district foe Independence (2-5, 1-3) Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Independence is coming off a big district loss to Lewisburg (3-4; 2-1) 47-26. Other 3-3A scores from Friday include Tunica Rosa Fort (3-2; 3-0) over Holly Springs (2-5; 1-3) 24-20 and Senatobia (3-4; 2-1) over Byhalia (0-7; 0-4), 45-0.