North Panola football

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 9, 2011

3A NP heads to 6A Desoto Central in game-of-the-week

By Myra Bean

After two games in which they were shutout 38-0 each, the North Panola Cougars are back on the road again tonight to take on the 6A undefeated Desoto Central Jaguars in the Panolian’s game-of-the-week.

The Cougars are stepping outside of the box to take on this team which plays in what has been dubbed the toughest conference in Mississippi, maybe the mid-south.

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Desoto Central each year has to play South Panola and Olive Branch in conference play.

This is the first ever meeting between the two teams. Only one difference separated the two teams last year. North Panola won one game while Desoto Central went winless.

Second year head coach Matt Wallace has the team putting up winning numbers that it has not seen in a few years. Desoto Central played its first football season in 2004 in 2A. Then moved to 4A and in 2007 moved to 5A which became 6A two years ago.

Desoto Central has not enjoyed a winning season since the 2005 season and has not won a district game since 2008.

This year Desoto Central has outscored its non-conference opponents 105-33.

The Jaguars opened the season with a 27-13 win over Lewisburg, followed by a 42-14 win over Potts Camp. Last week Desoto Central held Lake Cormorant to six points in the second quarter as they rallied for a 36-6 victory.

North Panola head coach Robert Hunter is still trying to find the answers to his team’s woes as the season rolls on.

One of the main concerns is that he is fielding a team of sophomores and juniors, some of who have never played the game before. Also seeing playing time are a couple of freshmen in Jatavious Farmer and Willie Hibbler.

Hunter said for tonight, the Cougars will go back to its running game.

“We threw too much the last two games,” he said. “We are going back to old-school football and will pound it.”

Against Lewisburg last week, the Cougars only mustered up 40 total offensive yards.

North Panola will be without two defensive line starters K’Shawn Morgan who is probably out for the season, according to Hunter. He was hurt in the opening game and went through knee surgery.
Fred Kimmons is out indefinitely as he suffered a sprained knee last week.

The team’s attitude is good, Hunter reported. He said they are getting better and he is seeing improvement in practice.

Kickoff for tonight is 7:30 p.m. at Desoto Central.

Directions to Desoto Central: Take I-55 to Church Road exit. Take a right on Church Road going east. Take a left on Getwell Road. About half a mile, take left on Central Parkway to enter the parking lot for the stadium.