NP vs Independence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cougars shut out Independence 46-0

By Myra Bean

As South Panola and North Delta struggled against their respective opponents Friday night, North Panola downed Independence in a shut out 46-0.

“That was great for our defense,” said head coach Derek King. “Offensively, we got a lot of guys rotating in. All of the assistant coaches did a great job of communicating substitutions, making sure everyone knew their assignments, seniors all the way down to eighth graders.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Working with a depleted workforce and new members of the team which just finished the junior high season, the Cougars had a few unknowns to work with.

Senior defensive lineman Izear Farmer is waiting to be cleared to play from a concussion sustained in the October 12 contest against Charleston. Sophomore quarterback Willie Hibbler was back under center Friday night, having missed the whole week of practice from a mild concussion he had sustained. He was cleared Friday to play.

This turned out to be a good game to give younger players a chance to gain some varsity game experience and give the Cougars a chance to display its potent offense. North Panola gained the advantage from the first play, refusing to relinquish ground throughout the game. The Cougars gained 319 total yards of offense and held Independence to 149.

Independence received the opening kickoff but the possession was halted by an interception on the Independence three-yard line by senior safety Jaquay Daniels with 10:11 left in the first.

Daniels’ interception set up the Cougars’ first touchdown by senior fullback Tony Hibbler, a three-yard run six seconds later on first and goal. Hibbler also took in the two-point conversion for the 8-0 lead.

On Independence’s next possession, Jerod Gordon was a big factor with a tackle on first down and an interception on third and nine from the Cougar 24 with 6:06 left in the quarter. He caught the ball and was downed on his own three. On a five-play, 97-yard drive, freshman running back Justin Conner scored from six-yards out with 3:07 left in the game. The two-point conversion failed so North Panola led 14-0 going into the second quarter.

The Cougars added three more touchdowns in the second quarter. Senior running back Cedric Clay scored on a six yard run with 7:23 left in the half. The score stood 20-0 after the failed two-point conversion.

Kendrick Austin stripped the ball from #3 and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 7:02 left in the half. The two-point conversion by Willie Hibbler was good for the 28-0 lead.

The Cougars took a 34-0 lead into halftime on a two-yard pass by Tony Hibbler from younger brother, Willie Hibbler. The two-point conversion attempt by Tony Hibbler failed.

The Cougars added two more touchdowns in the second quarter. Senior wide receiver Dameon Phillips scored his first touchdown of the year in the third quarter. He caught a 25 yard pass from Willie Hibbler with 10:17 on the clock.

In the fourth quarter, Conner scored his second touchdown of the night on a 40-yard run with 11:33 left. The Cougars converted two of six two-point conversions and one PAT was missed.

The Cougar defense was led by senior linebacker Aaron Kimmons with 11 tackles, six assists, one sack and three tackles for loss yards. Ronadarius Hunt had 10 tackles and five assists. Others making tackles were Virgin Jones and Tony Hibbler, both with three tackles and two assists.

Willie Hibbler completed six of 13 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He had 29 yards on five carries.

 Sopohomore Darrius Thomas took some snaps as backup quarterback. He rushed for 63 yards on two carries to be the leading rusher.

North Panola used a total of 10 rushers in the game. Conner had 46 yards on five carries. Clay had 21 yards on four carries.

Leading receiver was Lucius Walls with 57 yards on three catches. Dameon Phillips followed with 25 yards on one catch and one touchdown.

Tony Hibbler had two yards on one catch and one touchdown.

Robert Oliver had one catch for 19 yards.

North Panola was plagued with seven penalties for 67 yards and Independence had 40 yards of penalties on five flags.

Other Games

In other Region 3-3A games, Byhalia downed Palmer 48-6 and it was Charleston over Winona 52-17.

Friday, North Panola will travel to Byhalia for the final game of the regular season. Playoff implications are at stake as the winner will place second in the district and earn a first round home game next week.

“That game will determine if we will get a home playoff game. That’s a big deal,” King said.

King was all smiles after the shutout.

“I am very pleased. Our guys didn’t get any personal fouls. We were pretty much sound except for a couple of things. Overall, I am really, really happy how we played,” he added.