NP Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This was not year for NP to topple Senatobia

By Myra Bean

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Though North Panola lost to Senatobia 26-16 Friday, they are not out of the running for the district championship. Instead of playing Friday night, the district championship will be decided when North Panola hosts Tunica Rosa Fort Thursday.

With Senatobia having one district loss to Rosa Fort on September 26, there is a three-way battle for the district championship. With Rosa Fort’s 25-7 win over Lewisburg, the Lions are 5-0 in the district and in sole possession of first place.

However, if North Panola defeats Rosa Fort by nine points, the Cougars could claim their first district championship since 1990. Kickoff is 7 p.m. October 30.

NP v. Senatobia

There were some high emotions for both the Cougars’ and Warriors’ teams going into Friday night.

Senatobia got the opening kickoff, but fumbled with 10:11 left in the first quarter. North Panola’s Jarmetric McNeil recovered the fumble on the Cougar 35 yard line.

The Cougars captalized on the fumble turning it into a touchdown with 8:03 on the clock on a 29-yard touchdown reception by Ricky Hunt from quarterback Quin Ellis. The two-point conversion was good on a handoff from Ellis to Vernon Lewis who handed it off to Hunt who passed it to Kiwanis Bobo. The Cougars led 8-0 on a seven-play 65-yard drive in 2:08 minutes.

Senatobia scored two quick touchdowns at the end of the first quarter to take a 13-8 lead into the second quarter.

Senatobia’s second possession was littered with six penalties between the two teams. The 11-play drive covered 75 yards and culminated in a three-yard run by Senatobia with 1:47 left in the quarter.

It was a quick three and out for North Panola on their next possession with a two-yard run, an incompleted pass and a quarterback sack of Ellis to give Senatobia the ball with one second left in the quarter.

Senatobia scored on one play, a 47-yard run. The first PAT was good, but the second one went wide left.

The teams held each other scoreless in the third and fourth quarters.

In the second quarter, the Cougars lost the ball on the Warrior 38 on a fumble. Cougar Cortez Hibbler forced a turnover on downs for Senatobia who had fourth and inches. Hibbler tackled the runner for a loss of a yard.

The Cougars’ next two possessions were turnovers on downs on the 15 and 17 yard lines, respectively, of the Warriors.

Recording a tackle for a loss for the Cougars was Kenneth Lyons on Senatobia’s second possession. Cougar Darius Loveberry had a sack for a loss of nine yards.

The third quarter was a defensive battle as Cougar Rodregus Salter recorded a quarterback sack. Senatobia had a fourth down and one and a combined tackle by Hibbler and Chris Davis forced a turnover on downs.

The Senatobia defense was up as it intercepted an Ellis pass and also recorded a second sack. Senatobia had possession at the beginning of the fourth quarter following the interception and scored on a seven-yard run on the first down of the quarter on second and goal with 11:54 left in the game. The PAT failed, but the Warriors lead was 19-8.

On the kickoff, Hunt returned the ball 96 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 19-16 after the two point conversion pass from Ellis to Bobo.

A 53-yard touchdown reception by Hunt was negated in the first part of the fourth quarter on a holding call. On that same possession, Ellis was sacked for the third time. The Cougars turned the ball over on downs.

Senatobia scored the final touchdown with 7:14 left in the game on a 16-yard run right up the middle. After the PAT, the Warriors had a 26-16 lead.

On the Cougars’ final possession, they were facing a fourth and 10 and Ellis attempted a throw to Marques Phillips, but Phillips was on the ground. One official threw a pass interference flag, but the head official waved it off. Instead of a first and 10 from the 18, the Cougars had to turn the ball over on downs.

Then Senatobia took a knee to run out the clock.

Rosa Fort

When North Panola was going through some coaching changes, Davis landed at Rosa Fort for a few years as assistant coach then moved to head coach. He retired from there and returned to North Panola.

Rosa Fort has retired other district foes Holly Springs, 24-20; and Byhalia, 40-22.