SP Tigers Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tigers wipe out rival OB 42-7

By Angie Ledbetter

One of the biggest all time rivalries in Mississippi high school football was played Friday night where the No. 1 team in the nation, the South Panola Tigers defeated the Olive Branch Conquistadors 42-7.

A standing room only crowd at Leslie Poole Field came to witness the Great American Rivalry Series game.

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Dating back to the 2001 regular season and playoffs, the Tigers (6-0 overall, 2-0 district) have won 13 consecutive games over the ‘Dors. They continued to dominate, racking up 502 total yards while holding Olive Branch to 119.  

Tiger head coach Lance Pogue said the Tigers played a complete game.

“I asked the players before the game to play every phase of the game, to be physical and play our best,” he said. “We did that offensively and defensively we were outstanding. The kicking game was good also. It was a big win for us.”

Pogue said the team is coming on defensively.

“We got a lot of pressure on the quarterback and they had minus yardage until late in the game,” he said. “I really like what we got going on defense, we have just got to continue to do that.”

Running back Qyen Griffin was presented the Most Valuable Player of the game for his performance of 103 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and 13 in the air.

“This trophy means a lot to me,” said Griffin. “This is my first MVP trophy that I’ve ever got and it feels good. I hope I get plenty more.”

Griffin said the team stuck together and got this win.

“We practiced hard all week and were ready for it. They’ve got some good receivers if they can get down the field and catch it.”

Pogue said, “It was a big deal for Qyen and I was proud of that. It’s an individual award for him but I know he’d be the first to say to put his team up there first and to give credit to his offensive line. I think throwing the ball tonight helped open some of that stuff also.”

Quarterback Lee Self was presented the Student Athlete Award based on his academics receiving a $500 scholarship before the game.

“It’s a great award and a very humble one I think,” said Self. “I’m really pleased that I got it. This win was great for us also. Olive Branch has a great team and they’ve got a great tradition up here. I’m just glad we came up here and played our game.”

At the 5:15 mark in the first quarter, the Tigers scored when Issac Gross recovered an Olive Branch fumble in the end zone for a safety.

Griffin scored on a two-yard run but the two-point conversion failed with 11:29 left in the first half. 

Marcus Henry scored on a 35-yard run. The PAT was blocked. Griffin scored on a three-yard run with 3:35 left in the half. At the half, the Tigers were up 28-0.

In the third quarter, Self connected with Henry on a 56-yard touchdown and the PAT by Taylor Rotenberry was good to give the Tigers a 35-0 lead.

The only score in the fourth came by way of a Self to Tony Conner connection on a 15-yard touchdown. The PAT by Rotenberry was good for the 42-7 win.

The Conquistadors got on the scoreboard with 6:11 left in the game on a Courtney Gladney 20-yard reception from Wynton McManis. The PAT by John Pittman was good.

The Tigers finished the game with 21 first downs, six penalties for 55 yards, three kickoff returns for 55 yards, two punt returns for 71 yards and seven sacks for 52 yards. Time of possession was 21:07. They converted four of 10 third down situations.

The Conquistadors’ time of possession was 26:53 with 11 first downs, one fumble lost, one penalty for three yards, six kickoff returns for 61 yards, and six punt returns for 173 yards. They were three of 11 for third down conversions and one of three on fourth down.

Self completed 11 of 17 passes for 219 yards with three touchdowns. On the receiving end was Marcus Henry with four receptions for 134 yards with two touchdowns. Nick Brassell had six receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown.

Also carrying the ball for the Tigers were Kendrick Market, four for 68 yards and Conner, three for 33 yards and one touchdown.

Leading the defense was Dennis Draper with 11 tackles and two and a half sacks. Other defensive leaders were Temario Strong, eight  tackles, two and a half sacks; Gross, eight tackles, one sack; LaKedrick Flowers, five tackles, one sack; Conner, three tackles, one sack; Market, three tackles, one fumble recovery; and Deshun Henderson, three tackles.

The younger players got some game experience. They were driving and could have scored, but took a knee in the final minute inside the five yard line.

“I didn’t feel like we needed to do that right there,” Pogue said. “A lot of guys on the defense got some action also. I’m excited about their future.”

The Tigers return home to face Columbus in another district match up. Columbus fell to Southaven Friday night 35-14.

“It feels good to still be undefeated but each week is different. We have to put this one behind us and get ready for Columbus coming in. We need a big crowd at home to keep putting the energy out there because this team has a chance to be special.”

Kickoff for the game is 7 p.m. South Panola High School will be selling tickets for the game Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.