SP vs. Southaven
By Angie Ledbetter
With its 40-0 win over Southaven, the South Panola Tigers (8-1 overall, 5-0 district) logged its second straight shutout and third one of the season.
It was not a cruise to victory but a huge battle for the Tigers.
As a few faithful took to I 55 north for 45 minutes, they dealt with cold weather, wind blowing and rain in the fourth quarter but they could be heard across town cheering their Tigers to keep battling.
Not only did the Tigers battle the Chargers (7-2, 3-2) on terrible field conditions, they also had a battle of the penalty flags.
The Tigers racked up 15 penalties for 150 yards. Eight of those penalties came in the first two quarters of the game.
Even though the Tigers dominated the time of possession in the first half, other stats did not look promising. The game was scoreless at the half. The Tigers had 117 total yards where the Chargers had 72.
“Southaven came out playing us really hard and throwing the ball all over the field,” said Tiger head coach Lance Pogue. “I give a lot of credit to them in the first half. I knew they were going to throw the football and felt like they weren’t going to run it on us and have a chance to win. They had a great plan and got it rolling early when they got that first drive but the defense stopped them on fourth and short.”
Pogue focused his attention on linebacker Temario Strong.
“He has got a great future. With his high motor, he can really run. This is his kind of game with four wide outs there and throwing the ball all the time. He made some big plays along with our entire defense.”
The defense racked up 40 total tackles, seven for a loss, nine sacks, five interceptions and three pass deflections.
“We refocused in the second half a little bit,” Pogue said. “We played great defense all night but finally got the offense clicking in the second half. The field condition was bad on both sides and when it’s like this, you’ve got to be able to run it. You can’t be afraid or get discouraged when it’s time to punt. You have to keep playing defense. We got pressure on their guys.”
Strong ended the game with six total tackles, two sacks and one interception returned for a touchdown.
Also logging tackles were Kendrick Market, six total tackles, one pass deflection, one interception; and Devin Clark, four tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery.
“Our secondary did a great job because they kept covering those guys over and over. It was a great performance by our defense.”
The Tigers ended the game with 16 first downs, 356 total yards and two lost fumbles. Market had eight carries for 74 yards and one touchdown. Nick Parker followed with 23 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown. Qyen Griffin had one carry for 45 yards with one touchdown and Domonique Carothers finished with 13 carries for 39 yards and one touchdown.
Lee Self was seven of 13 in passing for 106 yards.
Market scored on a 27-yard run in the third to put the Rebels on the board. Parker scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth. Strong scored on a one-yard interception return to give the Tiger’s a 19-0 lead.
Carothers added a three-yard run and two-point conversion. The Tigers took a 27-0 lead. Rotenberry scored an 11-yard run and Griffin finished it off with a 45-yard touchdown run and Nolan Parker’s PAT was good to give the Tigers the victory.
The Tigers have two remaining regular games at home to finish out district action. They host the Starkville Yellowjackets this Friday night.