SP Tigers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SP Tigers turned up the heat against Chargers in 2nd half

By Angie Ledbetter

The South Panola Tigers and the Southaven Chargers were locked in a battle of wills for the first half Friday night.

With the score knotted at 13,  the Tigers had to find a way to shake the Chargers during the second quarter.

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The No. 1 nationally-ranked Tigers kept their 21-game win streak alive with a 48-13 victory.

 “We started out 13-0 and had control but let them come back,” said Tiger head coach Lance Pogue. “Then we had a fumble that would’ve put us up three touchdowns but that’s part of it. They hit two passes on us that tied it but then we scored one to take the lead at the half but I really wasn’t pleased. We had a bunch of mistakes offensively and a lot of penalties.”

The Tigers (9-0, 5-0) held the Chargers (8-2, 4-1) to 222 total yards, which was the least Southaven has had all season, according to Pogue.

“They had been averaging over 400 yards a game and scoring in the high 30s or 40s. A lot of those were several passes they hit. That quarterback was a heck of a player. If you didn’t hit him on the ground he made plays and he had good receivers,” Pogue added.

The 294 total yards on 37 plays were also South Panola’s lowest yardage for the season.   

South Panola senior tailback Qyen Griffin started the scoring with an eight-yard touchdown run capped off with Clayton Sibley’s PAT with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.

Senior wide receiver Marcus Henry caught a 56-yard pass from Lee Self. The PAT failed and the Tigers led 13-0 with 6:19 left in the first quarter.

Southaven’s wide receiver Tremaine Cunningham answered with a 15-yard pass from quarterback Dominique Harris. Mike Robbin’s PAT attempt was no good as the Tigers’ lead was cut to 13-6 with 5:01 left in the quarter.

Harris then connected with wide receiver Anthony Williams on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Robbins PAT tied the game at 13 with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

The tie was broken as Griffin scrambled to the end zone on a five-yard run. With Sibley’s PAT the Tigers led 20-13 with 9:46 left in the first half.  

Pogue said he did not make a lot of adjustments at the half.

“We wanted to get our kids to understand that they needed to play with a lot more intensity, a lot more effort and a lot more of excitement,” he said.

The team did all of those things, the four-year coach said.

“We just have to build on that and be proud of the good things that we did and try to fix the things that we need to fix,” he added. “We ran the opening kickoff back, had a 100-yard interception return and got a lot of pass rushes on their quarterback.”

The Tigers dominated the second half of the game shutting out the Chargers.

Tiger senior wide receiver Nick Brassell received the opening kick  and returned it 91-yards to score. The PAT attempt failed.

Tiger sophomore athlete Tony Conner intercepted a Charger pass and returned it 99 yards for another Tiger touchdown. Self connected with Henry on the two-point conversion putting the Tigers up 34-13 with 7:42 left in the third quarter.

Self found Brassell for a 23-yard touchdown pass and Sibley kicked the PAT to give the Tigers a 41-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The last score of the game came with 8:22 left in the game. Rotenberry blocked a Charger punt and Conner recovered and ran 75 yards to score. Sibley’s PAT was good.

“I had a pretty good game,” Conner said. “On the interception I saw it coming. I just redirected the other way and flew to the ball. At first I wasn’t really running until I felt somebody on my back and then I had to push it on in.”

Griffin led the team on offense with 124 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

Self completed seven of 11 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

On the receiving end, Brassell had four receptions for 85 yards with one touchdown and Marcus Henry had three catches for 72 yards and one touchdown.

Pogue was pleased with the defense “other than a couple of plays.”

Leading the defense were Temario Strong, six tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery; Gregdrecus Leland, five tackles; Issac Gross, four tackles, two sacks; Al Hentz, four tackles; Lageffery Glover, three tackles, a fumble recovery; Conner, three tackles, an interception returned for a touchdown; Kendrick Market and Quandez Lee, three tackles each.

“We made big mistakes on our own the first half,” Gross said. “I know I did a couple of things that I never do. The adjustments we made at halftime is ‘I’ve got you and you’ve got me.’”

Southaven quarterback, Harris, was hurt and airlifted to the hospital late in the third quarter. Latest information on Harris was he was going to be okay.  

“I know I got back there but as soon as I touched him it was about 12 people came,” Gross said. “It was a good group tackle and everybody all bundled up and tackled.”

As far as the penalties, Pogue said it was way too many. South Panola was penalized 11 times for 108 yards.

“We had a lot of holding penalties,” he said. “It just kills drives. We had big play that they brought back and we haven’t been doing that. It was just one of those nights and we have to get that cleaned up and we will.

“We have to get ready to go to Starkville next week and the district championship is on the line.” Pogue added. “It’s a big game because the winner is going to be in control of the division and you’re playing for that first playoff seed.”

Pogue compared the coming match up with Starkville to a playoff game.

“It’s something for us to really get going and work really hard this week in practice and get motivated. We’re going to get ready to go play our best game.”

Other games in region action Friday night, Olive Branch defeated Starkville 40-36, Horn Lake defeated Columbus 3-0 and Tupelo downed Desoto Central 35-17.