SP vs West Point

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2012

SP games set for TV on Comcast/ABC

South Panola head football coach Lance Pogue confirmed Thursday that CSS (Comcast/Charger Sports Southeast) has picked up the Hoover @ South Panola football game on Friday, August 31. Game time is 7 p.m.

Comcast is not available in the 38606 or 38620 zip codes, but it is available in the Sardis, Como, Senatobia areas on Comcast Channel 6. In Oxford on Comcast Channel 73 and Metrocast Communications Channel 75.

The September 7 Gulfport @ South Panola game will be televised statewide on ABC sports channel, according to Pogue, with a game time of 7 p.m.

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#1 SP to host West Point in Saturday’s season opener

By Angie Ledbetter

When the 2011 football season ended the South Panola Tigers were ranked No. 7 but as the new one kicks off tomorrow night at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium, they top the state at No. 1.

South Panola head coach Lance Pogue said it feels good to be respected throughout the state.
“The polls are fun to talk about but we’ve got to play the game and get it done on the field,” he said. “We have a lot of experience coming back so it feels good about where we stand but real anxious to get on the field Saturday.”

When the Tigers take the field tomorrow night they will face the West Point Green Wave that has been one of the best 5A programs in the state the last few years. They start the season ranked No. 3 in 5A with Picayune at No. 1 and Starkville No. 2.

The Green Wave fields a team of 76 players that consist of 24 seniors, 23 juniors and 29 sophomores.
According to Pogue, West Point was similar to the Tigers last year.

“They lost a lot of players from the year before and struggled a little bit but traditionally they’re always a great program with a lot of pride,” Pogue said. “I know the kids are going to fight hard because they’re like us, they want to get back to the state championship and this is just the start of it.”

West Point returns five starters on defense and three on offense.

“They lost some players but have some great ones coming back that have played a lot.”

On defense West Point returns two linemen who anchors the defense, senior defensive linemen Ed Brown and Freddie Reed.

“Those guys played a whole bunch last year,” Pogue said. “They’re big athletic guys who are hard to block. If you’re going to be good on defense, you’ve got to be good on the defensive line and those are two of their better players up front defensively.”

Also contributing on the defense will be senior linebackers Mario Virges and Antreon Bennett.

“Both of them are really good physical guys who are just typical West Point players that can run or hit you.”

One big weapon the Tiger’s defense will face is senior tailback Tez Lane. Lane rushed for 1,089 yards and scored 12 touchdowns last year.

“Lane is an outstanding player with great speed and about as good as anywhere in the state,” Pogue said.

West Point’s quarterback graduated but according to Pogue they’re prepared for Lane to step in that position.

“We think he’ll play there, running back and receiver. You’ll see him everywhere. He’s their focal playmaker and their offense will revolve around him so we’re giving him a lot of attention,” Pogue said. “We’ve got a lot of experience on defense so we just have to identify Lane, keep our eyes on him and stay locked in. Having Tony Conner back full time on defense will make a difference.”

Pogue said there is no question that Lane is West Point’s biggest weapon as he returned an 89-yard kickoff against the Tigers last year.

“He’s got great speed, can make people miss and a guy that can make big plays so we’re very concerned about him.”

Pogue believes the Tigers are game ready after correcting some mistakes from the scrimmage last Saturday. Cutting down and eliminating mistakes the first game is what he considers the biggest threats facing the team.

Last year when the two teams met Pogue was satisfied with the lack of turnovers and penalties.

“We didn’t turn the ball over, really didn’t have any penalties so that’s a real good recipe to win. I hope we can duplicate that” he said.

WBLE will again carry the game live on 100.5 FM with George Carlson starting with the pregame at 6:30 with 7:30 kickoff.

Live video streaming will be available on www.sptigerden.com or through The Panolian website at www.panolian.com.

Live streaming will also be available at www.panola.com.

Catch Coach Lance Pogue each Thursday night on WBLE at 6:30 p.m. on the call-in show.