NP football v Independence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cougars down Wildcats; earn playoff berth with 4-0 division record

By Myra Bean

North Panola not only has to look forward to finishing the season, now they get to look toward the first round of playoffs after a 30-25 forfeit win over Independence Friday night.

The forfeit came with 2:05 left in the third quarter when Independence coach Kevin Edge was ejected, but refused to leave the game in a timely manner.

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North Panola led 30-13 with six minutes to go in the third quarter.

On back-to-back possessions, aided by a successful onside kick, Independence closed the gap with two touchdowns in the third quarter. The Wildcats scored on a 50-yard run at the 4:40 mark and a six-yard run at the 2:09 mark, after recovering the onside kick at the Cougar 48.

The PAT (point after touchdown) and two-point conversion failed, respectively.

Independence had missed earlier PATs which totaled a potential four points.

The quarterback Quin Ellis-wide receiver Ricky Hunt connection put the Cougars in the leading position they held at the end of the game. On the first play from scrimmage, Independence fumbled and North Panola recovered on the Wildcat 29-yard line with 11:42 on the clock.

Unlike Independence, the Cougars on their first play from scrimmage, hooked up for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 11:32 on the clock. A Wildcat penalty moved the ball to the 24. The two-point conversion run by Ellis was good for the 8-0 lead.

The Wildcats answered in the same quarter at 5:14 to pull within one point with the PAT, 8-7.

In the second quarter, the teams exchanged touchdowns again. For the Cougars, Ellis found Hunt with a 31-yard pass with 10:26 on the clock. Less than three minutes later, Independence scored on a five-yard run at the 7:44 mark. The PAT failed and the Cougars maintained a 14-13 lead after the Cougars’ two-point conversion pass was incomplete.

Both teams had 53 yards of rushing in the first half. North Panola had 75 yards of passing and Independence had 36 yards of passing in the first half.

The teams came out smoking in the second half.

The Cougars scored on both their possessions in the third quarter. The Cougars took the opening kickoff and Darius Loveberry returned it to the Cougar 37-yard line. The Cougars drove 63 yards in seven plays to score on a two-yard run by Ellis with 9:29 to go.

The drive was aided by the running prowess of Vernon Lewis. Lewis carried the ball five of the plays racking up 65 yards in that drive. Lewis had 121 yards on the evening on 16 carries.

It was three-and-out for Independence on its first possession of the third quarter and the Cougars took it at their own 45 yard line.

The seven-play, 55-yard drive was capped by Ellis’s second touchdown run of the night on a 14-yard scamper with 6:04 left. The two-point conversion pass from Ellis to Kiwanis Bobo gave the Cougars a 30-13 lead.

Independence then started its comeback but gave up the game in a forfeiture.


The Cougars (5-3 overall, 4-0) became playoff eligible with four wins and return home Friday after three road games to host district foe Senatobia who defeated Lewisburg 42-6 Friday night.

North Panola and Tunica Rosa Fort are both tied for first place in 3-3A as Rosa Fort defeated Byhalia 40-22 Friday night and also became playoff eligible.

The Cougars and Rosa Fort Lions will meet Thursday, October 30 instead of Halloween night, October 31. Davis said he made the decision to change the schedule because he does not want any potential pranks.