NP vs Rosa Fort

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2012

NP to tackle Rosa Fort with new plan

By Myra Bean

It is finally here – football season opener. Derek King will head coach his first ever football game when he leads the 3-3A North Panola Cougars against 2-4A Rosa Fort to open the 2012 football season.

Tunica is the venue for this matchup that at one time had been a district rival for the two teams in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

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Is King nervous?

“I’m ready,” he said. “Not nervous. More excitement than nervousness. I have been watching a lot of film, doing a lot of prep work. Definitely feel ready.”

North Panola enters the season coming off back-to-back 1-9 seasons. Tunica won three of its first four games last season and lost all district games to record a 3-7 overall record.

Tunica won last year’s battle over North Panola 38-0 under Ervin Norwood who is the second year coach at Rosa Fort.

As for this year’s Rosa Fort team, King said they definitely have a very solid team.

“I saw the results of their jamboree with Olive Branch so I know that they have a very tough group,” he said. “I think overall, just like we do, they have a ton of athletes. We are going to have to make sure we are disciplined. But from what I have seen they have a very solid roster overall.”

On offense, King believes Rosa Fort will spread things out between the running and the throwing game and utilize their speed.

“Their quarterback is our biggest threat,” King said.

Rosa Fort returns junior quarterback Calius Dunn who threw for 1,579 yards on 113 of 185 attempts last year and 13 touchdowns. He also threw 17 interceptions. He was the leading rusher on the team with 390 yards on 77 carries and three touchdowns.

“The quarterback is a kid who can throw and run so he is definitely a double threat,” King said. “Overall, I think we will see very much what we saw last year. I am pretty confident about what we know but we will see Friday when we get there.”

As of Wednesday, King reported all the team was healthy except for a few practice bumps and bruises.

“We made it through last week with only cramps. We look good for Friday,” he said.