Weekend Football

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tigers and Cougars finally play at home; ND and Indianola to clash in big district matchup

By Myra Bean

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For the first time this year, South Panola and North Panola will entertain opponents at home, while North Delta goes on the road for a huge district match up.

North Delta

To open the district season, North Delta will travel to Indianola Academy. Last year the Green Wave escaped with a 13-3 win.

The Indianola squad (3-0) is much-improved and expected to be “fired up” for this game, according to Green Wave head coach Dan Werner.

Werner described Indianola as a very physical team that is evenly matched with the Green Wave team.

Going into this game, Werner is concerned the Green Wave defense is not performing as well as the team knows it can.

“Indianola exploits weaknesses,” Werner said.

The Green Wave team is working on some things on the offense, but “we are real close,” Werner said.

Werner said he is not surprised by  the improvement of any of the players.

“I know what they are capable of doing,” he said. “I am pleased with the way every one of them is pushing themselves.”

North Delta is coming off a last minute come-from-behind 28-22 victory over Clarksdale’s Lee Academy Friday night.

“A regular team would have rolled over and given up,” Werner said. “There were plenty of chances to give up.

“That was a true test of their character that they did not give up.”

Kickoff for tonight is 7:30 p.m. in Indianola.

South Panola

“This is a big game, but we are just proud to get to play at home,” said South Panola head football coach Lance Pogue. “I want to thank everybody who traveled with us on all three of the road games. We had unbelievable attendance and we appreciate that so much. We want to have an overflow crowd for this first home game.”

As far as rivalries goes, the South Panola/Clarksdale game has had some rival games in the past in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

One of Clarksdale’s assistant coaches, Jeremiah Brassell, hails from Batesville. He is in his third overall year of coaching at Clarksdale. He coached for one year then went to Durant. He came back last year.

Brassell is a 2000 graduate of South Panola and was on the 1998 state championship team. He is related to South Panola wide receiver Nick “Snoop” Brassell.

“I have already been messing with Snoop and Qyen (Griffin),” Brassell said in a Tuesday afternoon telephone interview.

He said the Clarksdale team is “still young but much-improved” over last year. Clarksdale is led by a sophomore quarterback Cornelius Williams. Other team leaders include middle linebacker Jordan Harris and defensive/offensive lineman Jedarrius Garner.

Charles Reed is in his second year of coaching the Wildcats.

Last week, Clarksdale made some costly, late-game errors in the game with Christian Brothers and lost 21-14. Two interceptions and two lost fumbles were the culprits.

With about a minute left in the game, Christian Brothers intercepted a Clarksdale pass. With 28 seconds left in the game, CBHS scored on a 12-yard pass for the win.

“Our youth showed,” Brassell said. “We do have more senior leadership this year than last year, but we are still young. I am glad this is showing up now and not in our district schedule.”

Clarksdale will present a balanced attack in the game, but may end up rushing more, according to Brassell.

Nevertheless, the Wildcats are up to the challenge of meeting the No. 1 team in the nation.

“I love it,” Brassell said. “ We are up for a big challenge. It is not whether we win or lose, but how we compete against big talent.”

Pogue agreed with Brassell and said you can see some South Panola defensive schemes on the team with Brassell’s influence this year.

“We respect this team,” Pogue said. “They have nothing to lose. We are focused on being the best team we can be.”

The Tigers are led on offense by Qyen Griffin who garnered a feature in The Clarion-Ledger Wednesday. He already has 749 rushing yards on 58 carries and has scored 11 of the team’s 15 rushing touchdowns.

The Tiger defense, The Nasty Bunch, is led in tackles by sophomore Tony Conner with 27 tackles and senior Dennis Draper with 23 tackles.

South Panola remains Rivals.com No. 1 team in the nation, while the Tigers moved to the No. 2 spot in USA Today, MaxPreps and Prepnation. They remain No. 3 in Calpreps and No. 7 in the ESPN polls.

Trinity of Euless, Texas is No. 1 in all the polls except Rivals and ESPN where they are No. 2 in both. In the ESPN poll, Abilene, Texas is the No. 1 pick.

For the complete compilation poll, go to http://www.calpreps.com/2010/polls_view.htm/.

Kickoff for tonight’s game is 7:30 p.m. The ticket booth will open at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $7. Reserved tickets are $45 and chairbacks are $65 for the season. If any reserved tickets are available, they are $10 at the gate.

North Panola

A win is a win and Greenwood proves that as they enter tonight’s contest with North Panola 3-0. The Cougars however are 0-3 and facing some criticism from the public.

Senior wide receiver/running back Ricky Hunt said, “Leave our coaches alone. Don’t worry about the plays they call. Just come out and enjoy the game. We are going to win one.”

Hunt has 1,170 all-purpose yards including 302 rushing and 294 reception yards. He is the punter, kicker and kickoff return man.

Greenwood defeated Leflore County 13-12 in the opening game of the season. They defeated Gentry 28-6 and downed Yazoo City last week 15-6.

Greenwood is under the direction of freshman quarterback Kwadre Griggs who has completed 16 of 34 passes this year for 205 yards and a touchdown. The team has seven players who carry the ball and eight who has seen time at receiver. Three of those players do both: senior wide receiver Raheem Sanders, junior fullback/linebacker John Leflore and sophomore running back Rashad Stanley.

September 17

Next Friday all three teams have an open date.