NP v Senatobia

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2008

NP faces huge 3A matchup with Senatobia tonight

By Myra Bean

It has been 18 years since North Panola defeated Senatobia in 1990. Offensive coordinator Clifton Davis III was leading the team as quarterback then. It was also the last time North Panola won the district championship.

Now, they are on the verge of that championship as they take on the Warriors tonight in 3-3A action.

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“It’s your time,” Davis told the players in Tuesday afternoon practice. “Overall, we are the better team this year. I have confidence in you.”

This district matchup kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight on Cougar field. Cougar fans are asked to wear red and paint the stadium red in support of the team.

Each week the Cougar coaches are prepping the team to face stronger competition. This week was no exception. Going back to last week’s game against Independence, the Cougars had a commanding lead, but Independence was able to pull within five points before the unexpected interruption.

North Panola had Independence at a fourth down and then the Wildcats broke for a 50-yard touchdown run. Head coach Clifton Davis Jr. called that “take a play off.”

“We have to be diligent about what we are doing,” head coach Davis said. “We have to stay focused every play. The play we let up on is the one that will hurt you.”

Though again there is some talk that North Panola’s competition is not as tough as they have been in the past, Davis does not take anything for granted with Senatobia.

“We exchanged the last two game tapes and they still looked like Senatobia,” Davis said. “They don’t make mistakes. They give a good effort every play.”

Davis said Senatobia does not boast a lot of standout players.

“It is a total team effort,” he said. They execute, believe and don’t beat themselves.

“We have to be disciplined and aggressive,” Davis added. “We have to minimize our mistakes and capitalize on theirs.”

Senatobia is expected to mix it up on offense with the run and play-action-pass.

“They will get at you on defense and play hardnose football.”

Senatobia took on some traditionally tough non-conference football teams the first of the season and lost those three to Corinth, 2A state champion Itawamba AHS and Oxford and also lost to Rosa Fort in the district opener on September 26.

In 2007, Senatobia defeated all but Itawamba AHS.

Senatobia enters tonight’s contest 4-4 overall, 3-1 district and in third place in the district behind Rosa Fort (6-2, 4-0) and North Panola (5-3, 4-0).

Unless Rosa Fort is upset by Lewisburg tonight, the district championship will come down to next Thursday’s game between North Panola and Rosa Fort. Even if North Panola loses to Senatobia and defeats Rosa Fort, next week’s game will still be a factor in the championship as the champion will have to be decided by points.

The Forfeit

Last week’s game between North Panola and Independence ended in a forfeit as Independence head coach Kevin Edge was ejected from the game and refused to leave the field.

This week Edge’s actions were under investigation by the school and the MHSAA. He was fined and reprimanded and will return to coach Independence (2-6, 1-4) at Kosciusko tonight.

In Wednesday’s Clarion-Ledger, MHSAA director Dr. Ennis Proctor said, “The principal and superintendent up there did a good job of handling the situation and handling it quickly.”

There was no word on whether any student would face any discipline due to last week’s actions.