NP vs. Rosa Fort

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

North Panola’s Vernon Lewis rushes for the Cougars’ final touchdown against Rosa Fort on Friday. The Cougars won 19-6. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

NP handles Lions in quagmire

By Myra Bean

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For the second time this season, North Panola has had to host a district team on a field best described as “quagmire.”

The Cougars (3-4 overall, 1-2 district) hosted the Rosa Fort Lions (5-3, 2-2 district) in district action. The Cougars won their homecoming game 19-6.

Because of the rain leaving wet and muddy conditions, homecoming festivities including the parade, were canceled.

Catonya Newsom was named Miss Homecoming in coronation ceremonies September 24.

Neither team had much success throwing the ball and did not attempt many passes. North Panola senior quarterback Quin Ellis completed two of four for 28 yards. Rosa Fort junior quarterback Bernardrick McKinney completed eight of 13 for 73 yards.

North Panola scored on its first possession after a pass broken up by Cougar linebacker Cortez Hibbler that forced the Lions to turn the ball over on downs on their first possession.

The Cougars got the ball on their own 49 to start the game. Running back Vernon Lewis was back for the Cougars and was the workhorse taking the ball to the 26-yard line in four plays. Ellis hooked up with wide receiver Ricky Hunt to put the icing on the cake with a 26-yard pass touchdown with 4:37 to go in the first quarter.

Hunt kicked the PAT  for the 7-0 lead and the Cougars led 7-0 at the half.

In the third quarter, Rosa Fort scored its first and only touchdown with 4:32 left. McKinney scored on a  one-yard run, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive in 4:32. The two-point conversion run attempt failed and the Cougars held a 7-6 lead going into the fourth.

The field got worse as the rain became heavier but the Cougars dug in and kept playing.

Defensive back Martez Hooks took a fumble return 65-yards for a touchdown with 11:42 left in the game. The two-point conversion run failed and the Cougars led 13-6.

The Cougars got the ball back on the Rosa Fort 27-yard line after a punt from the end zone. Lewis scored on a seven-yard run with 6:09 left in the game, capping a six-play drive. The two-point run was no good.

The Cougars got the ball back on an interception by Darius Loveberry with 3:14 left in the game and ran out the clock.

The Cougars had 144 total yards of offense with 116 rushing yards. The Lions had 186 yards of offense with 113 rushing.

Lewis was the Cougars’ leading rusher with 103 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.

Hunt had one reception for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Cougar head coach Clifton Davis Jr. said he felt the team presented a complete game on the field where the offense, defense and special teams performed to expectations.

“We put everything on the line in this game. We had nothing to lose,” Davis said. “We knew the field conditions and hope we don’t have to play in them any more this year.”

The Cougars lost to Senatobia two weeks ago when the field was in the same shape from the continuous rain pounding the area.

The Cougars will take the road Friday to face Lewisburg (1-7 overall, 0-2 district) in a district showdown. North Panola defeated Lewisburg 30-7 last year.

Rosa Fort has to face Senatobia Friday and Lafayette County on October 23 to finish the season.