SP vs. Olive Branch Matchup

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2009

“White out” stadium Friday – The King and the Contender to clash in televised event

By Myra Bean

South Panola fans have been asked to “white out” the stadium Friday night in the much-anticipated rival match between the Tigers and the Olive Branch Conquistadors.

The Y’all Vs. US thriller highlights the 15 greatest rivalries in Mississippi today. Friday, Olive Branch at South Panola will be highlighted as the game of the week pitting Clarion-Ledger ranked  No. 3 against No. 4.

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The teams enter the contest with identical 4-1 records, both having lost to Memphis University School by similar scores. South Panola lost to MUS 21-19, Olive Branch 20-15.

In the book, this rivalry is headlined, The King and the Contender. South Panola and Olive Branch played each other in the former Chickasaw Conference from 1972-1990. They took a break from 1991-1998 and renewed their competition in 1999.

In 12 meetings since 1999, Olive Branch only has one win in 2000, 17-16.

The teams have met in the North Half playoff three times, in 2005-2007.

A television crew was in town shooting footage of the football team and the community. The first game of this series was Friday night when Clinton hosted Madison Central. Madison Central came out on top 24-3.

Over 10,000 people are expected at Friday night’s showdown. During the glory years of 2005-2007 as many as 15,000 fans were packed into the stadiums to watch this gridiron clash.

A big night of celebration is planned by the host television station with a pregame ceremony and fireworks throughout the game.

 Skydivers will land on the field prior to kickoff and unfurl a sponsor flag. Twenty students from South Panola and Olive Branch will be on the field to unroll the flag.

Aerial shots of the game will be shown and a 9×16 Jumbotron will be beside the scoreboard.

There will be a press conference this week which includes the mayors of both towns.

White T-shirts are on sale for $10 at the high school. Tickets for the game will be on sale Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tickets are $6 for general admission and $10 for reserve.

The game will be televised on NBC Channel 5 out of Memphis.

Tupelo, Greenwood. Jackson, Biloxi, Meridian and Hattiesburg channels will also carry the game.