SP vs Tupelo pregame

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 12, 2012

Tigers take on rival Tupelo tonight

By Angie Ledbetter

After last week’s victory, the South Panola Tigers lead the district with a perfect 3-0 record and hope to continue to dominate it tonight as they travel to take on the Tupelo Golden Wave (3-4, 1-2).

It’s been an emotional week for the Tigers being without head coach Lance Pogue, who is tending to his sick father, but according to offensive coordinator Trey Dickerson, they understand the situation and continue to work very hard.

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Dickerson said assistant coach Milton Talbert said something on Tuesday that really caught his ear.

“He said let us play because we never know how much time we have left and that’s true. You can be 16, 15, 46 or 66 but when it’s your time, it’s your time. I think our guys need to listen to that and realize this could be their last time to ever play a football game so make sure you’re going all out when that happens.”
Dickerson said the Tigers can continue to be in control if they play well.

“I think we’ll have a great opportunity to get a win tonight if we show up and play well, don’t make stupid mistakes, turn the ball over and miss assignments,” Dickerson said. “It’s about us taking care of our business and not our opponent. I think that’s the case every week for us.”

“Offensively what we’ve got to do is put a whole game together. One game we show up and run the ball and can’t throw it. Then the next game we can’t run it and can throw it. If we can do both we’ll be hard to stop.”

Comparing Tupelo to Columbus Dickerson said Columbus overall is more athletic as a team.

“Columbus’ defensive line is probably one of the best we’ve played and maybe the best we’ll play all year. I think a lot of us struggling against Columbus was a carryover from the Olive Branch win and that goes back to what I said about taking care of, us and not necessarily looking at the opponents but doing what we have to do each and every week and we’ll be okay.”

Tupelo has scored 82 points in seven games and given up 107.

They kicked off their season by losing to Lafayette 8-3 but followed with a 20-17 win over Center Hill.

The next week Starkville shut them out 28-0 but they answered with a 24-16 victory over Shannon.

The Golden Wave started district play September 21 with a 14-0 shutout at the hand of Columbus. Tupelo got its first district win defeating Grenada 35-14 but fell to Southaven last week 14-10.

“I think Tupelo is obviously a better running team. They’ll throw the ball occasionally but their top priority is running it.”

Junior running back/corner back Quin Tiggs has carried the ball 38 times for 299 yards scoring two touchdowns.

“He’s a really good player and I think he could play for anybody in the district,” Dickerson said. “He’s a guy that kind of does everything for them and limits what the quarterback has to do.”

Also playing running back is Otis Wilson who carried the ball 58 times for 228 yards with two touchdowns.

“Wilson is a smaller guy but runs hard,” Dickerson said. “We watched him verses Grenada and he had a lot of success running the football and also verses Southaven.

“Both Tiggs and Wilson are good players and if you don’t get where you’re supposed to be on defense they’ll hurt you,” he added.

Tupelo’s senior wide receiver Zach Johnson has 22 receptions for 153 yards and sophomore Jarvis Wilson has had 10 for 161 yards.

Most of Tupelo’s passing game consists of quick passing, according to Dickerson.

“I don’t think their vertical guys are going to stretch the field on you and try to beat you deep a whole lot but possibly could if you fall asleep. They’re just solid high school receivers.

“I don’t think there is a guy on the team when you turn on the film and say hey, we’ve got to worry about this guy running by us every play,” Dickerson added..” They’re more possession guys.”

The Tupelo defense is not as good as Columbus on the front, according to Dickerson.

“Overall Tupelo plays hard and they’re a four man front,” he said. “They’re big and they have a lot of young guys.  Tiggs had three interceptions returning two for touchdowns in the Grenada game. I look for them to match him up on DeAndrea Harris most of the night. So we have to find ways to move Harris around or other receivers have to step up if they take him away or Harris can’t get open against him.”

Other defensive front runners for Tupelo include Marcus Robinson, Rey Wells, Jeremiah Dent, States Norman and Demarcus Rogers.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.