Friday night outlook

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2010

North Panola defensive lineman Eric Hibbler (back), along with teammate Martez Hooks, wraps up a Lewisburg runner last week. The Cougars are on the road to Center Hill tonight for a district contest at 7 p.m. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

SP to entertain Southaven while ND and NP take to the road

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave will travel to 1A Greenville Christian for non-conference action. The North Panola Cougars will take to the road to Desoto County to take on the Center Hill Mustangs while the South Panola Tigers will battle district foe from the north, the Southaven Chargers, as they celebrate senior night.

North Delta

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

After having a week off, Green Wave head coach Dan Werner said his team is well rested.

“It was good and we still had some guys banged up so it helped us. Now we’re well rested for the stretch,” said Werner.

“We’re going to be prepared no matter who we play especially with an extra week off. We feel confident just like we do every game.”

The Green Wave will take its 6-1, 3-0 record to Greenville Christian where the Saints hold a 5-3 overall record and 1-1 district. Their losses were to Bayou 20-13, Lee Arkansas 28-21 and Marvell 50-21. Head coach Jimmy Jennings’ red, white and blue team has outscored opponents 200-158.

Werner said, “They’re a really good 1A team who has won five games this year. They’ve scored a bunch of points and put up a bunch of stats. We’ve got our work cut out for us trying to stop them.”

Werner said the Greenville quarterback is good.

“They’ve got a quarterback that’s the best we’ve faced all year, throwing wise, and he’s a great player. In the shotgun, he’s hard to get to and he can run with the ball too.”

The quarterback is No. 8 Justin Leavy, a 6’3”/ 190 senior who has thrown for 11 touchdowns for 1,262 yards. He has also carried the ball 74 times for 10 touchdowns for 623 yards.

“They also have a receiver that is the best we’ve faced all year,” said Werner.

The receiver,  No. 5 Mike Hardy, a 5’10”/175 senior, has 23 receptions for 590 yards with six touchdowns.

“I haven’t seen anybody cover Hardy yet,” said Werner. “He just takes off running and makes plays.”

  Another key player is No. 7 Tyler Findley, a 5’9”/170 senior running back who has 495 yards and four touchdowns.

“Findley is a good solid player who has gained a bunch of yards too,” said Werner.

“David Ray, No. 2, is a small slotback that they throw the ball to or hand it to, who is really athletic.”

Ray is a 5’7” sophomore who has 488 yards with five touchdowns.

“Greenville’s defense has actually given up some points but I think that’s their attitude is they’re going to get in a scoring fest with some people. They feel like they can score against anybody. The thing for us is going to be to stop their offense. We need to control our offense to keep theirs off the field.”

Hardy also plays defense and has 63 total tackles with four interceptions.

“He’s a safety and very athletic who has made a lot of plays on balls and I’m sure he’s had a few interceptions, too,” Werner said.

North Panola

The North Panola Cougars will still be looking for that first victory tonight as they travel to take on the Center Hill Mustangs.

The red, black and white Mustangs which have 69 players on the roster are 7-2 overall and 3-2 in 4A region 2. They’ve outscored their opponents 261-159.

The Mustangs are coming off a victory last week when they defeated Byhalia 37-8.

Head Coach Sean Norwood said it’s very hard.

“It’s even harder trying to keep the guys up and keep their morale up,” Norwood said. “Everybody has been to practice this week and we’ve had two good days so far. It shocked me that everybody was here. They’re still with me and I’m glad to see that. I think they’re looking forward to their first win more than I am.”

As far as preparing for Center Hill, Norwood said the type of offense they run is what they’ve gone up against for the last two or three weeks.

“We’ve just been trying to come up with different ways to adjust to what they’re doing and stop them. We’ve been working on getting all the different people to the ball on defense instead of sitting back and watching one guy make the tackles,” Norwood said.

“Offensively, we’ve done okay this year,” he continued. “We’ve just got to come up with something defensively and make some stops.”

According to Norwood, Center Hill quarterback, No. 16 Jacob Marsh, is good. He is a 5’11”/164 sophomore who has 35 completions for 479 yards with three touchdowns.

“He’s not a mobile guy but when he runs, he runs downhill and runs hard. They have a real good running game. The running game seems to be more of their suit.”

Carrying the ball will be No. 27 Richard Hampton, a 5’11”/196 junior who has rushed for 803 yards on 136 carries and eight touchdowns.

“Hampton is a pretty tough fullback, too,” said Norwood.

Another key player carrying the ball will be No. 40 Robert Jones who has seven touchdowns on 68 carries for 458 yards.

On defense is No. 40 Caliph Muhammad, a 5’10”/234 junior linebacker who has 79 total tackles.

“Muhammad is a real good athlete and not afraid of anything. He’ll take on whatever comes his way and he’s got bad intentions,” Norwood said.

Directions: Take the Highway 302/Goodman Road exit toward Olive Branch. Continue on Highway 302 passing Hackcross Road.  Go one block about 1/2 mile and turn left on Polk Lane.  Go 1.5 miles on Polk Lane and turn right onto Kirk Road. Follow Kirk Road for 1 mile to the 4 way stop.  You will be in front of the school. Football teams and bands should park in the drive between the school and the football stadium. Visitor parking for football games is located on the north end of the stadium.

South Panola

It will be a battle among two ranked 6A teams from the north half of the state as the No. 1 ranked South Panola Tigers (8-0, 4-0) take on the No. 5 ranked Southaven Chargers (7-1, 3-1) in the last regular season home game at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium.

Twenty-six players will be honored tonight during senior night along with cheerleaders and band members.

The Chargers will showcase 73 players with 22 seniors. They’ve outscored their opponents this season 332-145 while the Tigers have scored 391-57 on their opponents.

Comparing early season schedules, the Tigers have played a much harder schedule with a 5A, 6A, 5A Georgia and 2A Tennessee team.   The Chargers started their season off playing a 3A, 4A, 5A and a Tennessee A school before getting into the division. They lost to Tupelo 48-34 October 8.

Pogue feels good about the team’s schedule.

“We thought we played a good early schedule and I think that helped us in a lot of ways. We’ve both played eight games now and it’s getting late in the season, so everybody’s got a lot of games under their belts. I don’t know how much affect that will have on us for this particular game but we feel like our early non-division games were good competition for us.”

The Tigers remain in the driver’s seat in the division with Southaven trailing them.

“We’re fortunate right now having not lost in the division. Southaven and Starkville have one loss. The games are all big now because of the opportunity for the playoffs.”

“Southaven has a good team,” Pogue said. “They had a good team last year and took up where they left off. They’re a well-rounded good team and well-coached.”

The Tigers are coming off a 62-6 win over Tupelo while the Chargers escaped a narrow 28-27 victory at Starkville.

“They traveled to Starkville last week and with the way Starkville has been playing, it was a great win for them.”

Leading the Chargers will be No. 12 Dominque Harris, a 6’5”/230 senior. He’s completed 65 passes for 24 touchdowns on 1,473 yards.

“He’s a heck of a player who’s done a great job,” Pogue said. “I feel like he’s going to be a big time rivalries recruit. He can really throw the ball and move around good. He’s dangerous and can throw the ball way down the field. If you don’t get pressure on him and let him have time, he’ll pick you apart.”

Key receiver will be No. 10 Anthony Williams, a 5’8”/165 senior wide receiver who has 16 receptions for eight touchdowns on 500 yards.

Carrying the ball will be No. 5 Chris Rice, a 5’9”/185 junior running back who has 55 carries for 454 yards with five touchdowns.

Pogue said, “They have a bunch of good little receivers that are good players. Some are small guys mixed with some 6-2 and 6-3 guys.

“They’re a team offense that throws the ball a lot and that’s their style of play. It’s a big challenge for us,” Pogue added.

On defense will be key player No. 33 Chris Ingram, a 5’11”/220 junior linebacker who has 72 total tackles.

“Ingram is a good player. They have a lot of speed on defense.”

To beat them, Pogue said they have to find a way to contain the quarterback.

“We have to get pressure on that quarterback and do a good job defensively. Offensively, we’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he said.

Senior presentations will start at 6:30 p.m. with kickoff following at 7:00.