SP vs Desoto Central

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Despite heartache, Pogue coaches SP team to district championship with win over DC

Note: Tickets for the first round playoff game at South Panola against Jim Hill will be on sale Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the high school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 each. No reserved seating is available during playoffs.

By Angie Ledbetter

Taking care of business by finishing with a seven-game win streak and remaining undefeated in Region 1-6A were the South Panola Tigers’ goals Thursday night as they defeated the Desoto Central Jaguars 42-21.

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However, the Tigers had another reason on their minds. They wanted to win for their head coach.

One day after his father’s funeral head coach Lance Pogue was emotional as the game started with a moment of silence in honor of James C. Pogue.

“The last six weeks and especially the last three weeks have really been tough and I’ve been stretched at both ends but I tried to work as hard as I could with the team and at the same time with my family situation. The coaches and players took up so much slack for me,” Pogue said.

“If we can find a way to get to Jackson, it’ll be very gratifying for this football team because this will be one I’ll never forget. They’ve helped me keep it going through some tough times and they’ve very special to me.”

The Tigers took care of business in the first half scoring all 42 points. They used the air attack with junior quarterback Rip Kirk completing 13 of 25 passes for 211 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

DeAndrea Harris was on the receiving end for seven of Kirk’s passes. Harris had 121 yards with three touchdowns of four, 32 and 56 yards. Kirk connected with Bailey Lawrence for the other score on a six-yard pass.

On the ground Darrell Henderson had 21 rushes for 195 yards. Tavian Bibbs had seven for 47 yards with two rushing touchdowns of 25 and one yards. Bibbs also had one reception for 48 yards.

Clayton Sibley was six of six on extra point attempts.

The Tigers ended the game with 554 total yards while Desoto Central had 327. Both teams had 23 first downs. The Tigers had 11 penalties for 101 yards and the Jaguars had six for 52.  

“Offensively we were on fire especially early,” added Pogue. “We made a lot of plays defensively, created a lot of turnovers and our kicking game created a couple of turnovers. We also had a big hit early on the kickoff.”

The Tigers got a little bit sluggish in the second half according to Pogue.

“We did some good things but I think we kind of let our foot off the gas after being up 42-14 at the half. We’ve got to see if we can get the fire lit back up and try to find ways to keep our foot on the gas for four straight quarters all the way through.”

The defense had six sacks in the game. Sophomore Desmond Lee had two followed by Quandez Lee, Dashawn Lindsay, Matthew Davis and Anfernee Benson, who all had one each.

Getting one interception each were Brady Smith, Tevis Flowers and Ephraim Kitchens. Recovering fumbles were Hays Hudson and Davis.

Logan Roberson punted twice for 71 yards and Kirk once for 35.

Pogue said just to finish the division as No. 1 seed gave the Tigers any tie breaker opportunities.

“We’ve fought against a lot of tough situations this year but we never threw in. We never let go of the rope and kept battling,” he said.

“This team is made up of the right stuff. They’re tough and have character. The last couple of weeks when they got close or behind to some teams they found ways to overcome it and that’s what you’ve got to have.”

Winning the Olive Branch game was the turnaround for the season added Pogue.

“We put a lot into that game and played so well that night at their place,” he said. “It gave the guys the confidence that they could win against an outstanding team.”

The Tigers will host Jim Hill from Jackson for the first round of 6A playoffs Friday at 7 p.m.