By Brad Greer
After dropping a 27-26 nail-biter to Memphis Kingbury last Friday, the North Panola Cougars will look to bounce back tonight and record their first victory as they play host to John F. Kennedy High School from Mound Bayou at 7:30 p.m.
Even though he has not seen the Hornets on film, Cougar head coach Clifton Davis Jr. has got a pretty good feel for their opponent.
“They run a pretty conservative offense, said Davis.” They really do not do anything fancy. They will get in the ‘I’ formation and just run the ball. This will be their first game of the year so we really do not know a whole lot about them personnel wise. We are just going by things they have done in the past. They have a 70/30 run ratio so chances are they well keep it on the ground.”
Junior quarterback Quinn Ellis will be under center for the Cougars. Ellis passed for 143 yards last week while rushing for a pair of touchdowns. Vernon Lewis had 18 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown to go along with a pair of catches for 31 yards. Anthony Hibbler put the Cougars on the board with an 11-yard TD run in the first quarter. Junior Ricky Hunt led the Cougars offensively with 139 total yards including four catches for 100 yards. Marque Phillips hauled in three receptions for 39 yards.
Davis said special teams were the focal point of this week’s practice since the Cougars failed to convert all four chances that led to the one-point loss to Kingbury.
“The kicking game really hurt us last week. If we would made just two extra points we win the game. They ran back a kickoff return to start the second half that put us in a hole plus we had an 11-yard punting average so needless to say we have been working hard on that this week,” said Davis.
Kennedy meanwhile is coming off a 3-6 record from a year ago and is coached by Sheldon Hodge. The youthful Hornets, who have only two seniors on the roster, are led by the quarterback combo of junior Brandon McDaniel and sophomore Samodrian Melton.