SP Spring game

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010

As the South Panola offense waylays the Louisville defense, tailback Quin Griffin (front) proceeds to take this ball 80-yards for a touchdown in the spring game at Louisville Friday. On his tail providing blockage coverage if need be is Taylor Rotenberry. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Tigers dominate in spring games

 By Angie Ledbetter

For the South Panola Tiger fans that took the road to Louisville Friday night to watch their Tigers play, they got a showing they haven’t seen in a spring game in several years as the Tigers dominated all four games.

The Tigers played two storied football teams having no problems and showed fans what they have to look forward to in the fall.

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In the first 12 minutes against the Louisville Wildcats, the Tigers won 6-3. Tailback Quin Griffin scored on a 3 yard touchdown but the PAT by Richie Kovacs was missed.

The second game against the Wildcats was different as the Tigers handed them a 21-3 loss. With only four seconds off the clock, Griffin scored on an 80-yard run and the PAT was good by Kovacs. Less than four minutes later, quarterback Lee Self connected with wide receiver Nick Brassell on a 41-yard touchdown pass and the PAT was good to put the Tigers up 14-0. The Tiger defense held the Wildcats to a 36-yard field goal with 4:52 left in the game.

On the next play Brassell took it 90 yards on the return for another Tiger touchdown and the PAT was good by Kovacs to give them a 21-3 lead and the victory.

The defending 5A state champions, the West Point Green Wave, gave the Tigers a better test but they passed in all areas.

The Green Wave got on the score board first taking a 7-0 lead with five minutes on the clock. Griffin got the Tigers on the scoreboard with his touchdown and Kendrick Market took the ball in for the two-point conversion to give the Tigers an 8-7 lead with 3:56 left. Griffin continued his pace scoring the last touchdown of the game with 2:57 on the clock, giving the Tigers the 15-7 win.

The Tigers shutout the Green Wave in the second game 13-0.  Marcus Henry scored the first touchdown with 8:19 on the clock and the PAT by Kovacs was good. Griffin added his fifth touchdown of the night when he scored a five-yard run with 3:11 left in the game. The PAT by Sawyer Oates was blocked.

Head Coach Lance Pogue told his team after the game that they had one simple key left to take care of. “You need to do the very best you can this next week in your school work. Take care of business and do what you’ve got to do because we have got to have everybody eligible.

“Second of all is our work ethic this summer. We have got to make a commitment to it but we’ll talk about it later . . .it needs to be in your mind,” Pogue added. Pogue then told team members that they had the makings of another championship team and then said, “Ask Madison Central if they give that stuff to you. They’ll tell you ‘no’ right now. Don’t rest on what we did tonight…keep working on it.”

Pogue then told his team that the spring game was just a building block and stated,

“We’re going to get a lot better than this. You physically dominated a 5A state championship team. Lets not back off what we’re doing.”

Pogue later said “There is no question that this has been the best spring game we’ve played since I’ve been here. We’ve never really won one and I don’t know what the answer was tonight but I thought our preparation through the spring was good. I think taking off a week for state testing rejuvenated us some. It was a great performance by our team.”

The three-year Tiger head coach cited leadership and character on the current team and explained, “We were youthful last year but we’ve grown a year . . . At the same time, I saw some young kids tonight that have a lot of promise. I was really proud of our entire spring and our effort tonight. We played two of the historically best football programs in the state of Mississippi and I thought we had a great showing.”

As far as improvements, Pogue said his team is still “a work in progress.”

“We’re still working on our offensive line and we played a lot of different guys tonight in different places just to experiment. We’ve got a little bit more work to do at linebacker just for depth purposes,” Pogue noted and singled out Lakedrick Flowers.

“He did really well at linebacker tonight playing behind Justin Wright,” Pogue said.

Pogue said the secondary is going to be good but coaches want to keep developing depth.

“We’re playing a couple of guys in the spot where  (graduating defensive lineman and University of Memphis signee) Devin Clark played but they’re doing a good job,” Pogue noted.

Pogue also spoke positively about the junior varsity stating, “I thought from top to bottom everybody did well . . . I like our football team and I like our young kids for the future.”

The junior varsity played one session with ten snaps on offense from both teams and then the varsity played a twelve minute half. The junior varsity played again after that.