SP vs Southaven

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SP rebounds in second half to win over Southaven

By Angie Ledbetter

For the first half of the game it was a heated battle between South Panola and Southaven Friday night but the Tigers overcame a three point difference at the half and scored 27 unanswered points to get the 44-21win.

Tony Conner was the catalyst for the team as he scored five touchdowns on runs of 14, 5, 57, 2 and 63 yards.

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Conner had his biggest game of the season putting up 332 yards. On defense, he recorded four tackles and one pass deflection.

The Southaven offense was limited to 117 yards rushing and 156 passing. The Tigers had 475 rushing yards and 50 passing.

“Southaven is a good football team with a lot of weapons,” said South Panola head coach Lance Pogue. “They’re going to be dangerous in the playoffs.”

Southaven set the tone early after Victor Ellis kicked off and Shuntez Smith returned it 82 yards for the first score of the night. Hunter McDaniel added the PAT for the 7-0 Southaven lead.

Southaven’s defense kept the Tigers out of the end zone and forced the Tigers to try for a 27-field goal which Clayton Sibley nailed with 7:21 on the clock.

Tony Conner scored his first touchdown of 14 yards. With the PAT by Sibley, the Tigers led 10-7 at the end the first quarter.

Southaven quarterback Tyler Hatch connected with wide receiver Tyshean Norris for an 18-yard touchdown to retake the lead, 14-10 after the PAT. With 1:32 left in the half, Southaven scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass for the 21-10 lead after the PAT.

The Tigers erased some of that 11-point deficit on a five-yard dive by Conner and PAT by Sibley to cut the lead 21-17 at halftime.

It was like a new Tiger team entered the field the second half. The Tigers took the opening kickoff to start the third quarter and Conner returned it 57 yards giving the Tigers back a 24-21 lead.

“We just felt like at halftime we’d win the game. The kids believed in it and we just stormed them in the second half. I was proud of our whole team. We got down by 11 points and ran the opening kickoff back.

We could’ve pouted a little bit and said here we go again but we’re a totally different team right now than we were in August and September. I knew we could be but it’s hitting at the right time and I’m proud of them.”

Conner struck again at the 3:54 mark when he scored on a two yard run sending his Tigers up 30-21 at the end of the third.

Late in the fourth quarter Dashawn Lindsay intercepted a Southaven pass and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers took a 37-21 lead after the PAT.

“That was a game changing play that tuned the momentum our way,” said Pogue.

Conner put the finishing touch on the game with 4:17 on the clock when he drove the ball 63 yards.       

“This was a really big game and we had to come out here and get the job done,” said Conner. “Southaven is a good team and they had us down at halftime. The coaches talked to us at the half and “Tony Conner has a big heart and I told him we had to have him at halftime,” said Pogue. “He had to give it up for his team and I knew he would. He was a big difference in the game. When Conner is on defense for us we’re a totally different defensive football team. We’ve just had to have him this year so much offensively but it’s cool weather and it’s almost playoff time and no tomorrow. We’ve got to ride the horse.”

Pogue’s concern was the kickoff team.

“They just killed us tonight. We’ve got to fix that also. But I’ll say this, Southaven has a dangerous return guy with number seven. You’ve got to give him credit. We’re going to get better in that area in a hurry.”
 Lindsay had two kickoff returns for 60 yards also, DeAndrea Harris had one for 14, Ladarius Strong had one for nine and Conner had one for eight.

Conner completed his only pass for 36 yards while Tevis Flowers was one of four for 14 yards with one interception. Ron Taylor had two receptions for 50 yards.

On the defense Lakedrick Flowers had seven tackles, Lindsay had five, three pass deflections and one interception, Issac Gross had three and two sacks and Je’Tavious Turner had three.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday night when they host the Grenada Chargers. It’ll be pink night so all the fans are asked to pink the stands to show their support of fighting breast cancer.

The cheerleaders will be passing around pink buckets in the stands to take up money to give to the American Cancer Society.