SP vs Jim Hill

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 9, 2012

Tigers to host Jackson’s Jim Hill in first round

By Angie Ledbetter

After a rocky 2-2 non-conference start to the season, the South Panola Tigers made it through the distrist portion of the season unscathed to earn the district championship.

With that distinction, the Tigers host Jim Hill of Jackson in the first round of playoffs tonight in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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Jim Hill enters Robert H. Dunlap Stadium as the No. 4 seed team from Region 2-6A with a 6-5, 5-3 record.

This will be the first meeting between the teams and Jim Hill’s first appearance in the playoffs in 10 years.
They won just four total games the past two seasons but it changed this season. A win last Friday night over Warren Central would have landed them in the  No. 2 spot but Jim Hill lost 16-9. They then had to wait on the outcome of the Murrah and Northwest Rankin game where Murrah won 38-28 which helpedJim Hill get a playoff berth.

Tiger head coach Lance Pogue said he knows Jim Hill is excited to make the playoffs.

“It’s been 10 years and I know they’re going to give it their best shot,” he said. “They’re a quality 6A team that’s played in a league with Madison Central and others down there. So to get to the playoffs that tells you they’re a good football team.”

As a new season begins tonight, Pogue said the seniors and older guys will help turn it up.

“It’s a new four quarters and we have to play all four of them. We had some hits and misses lately. We’ve got to find a way to put it all together. The guys are real excited about the playoff opportunity and they know what we need to do,” he added.

Jim Hill mixes the offense between run and pass and junior quarterback Justin Tidwell is the key.

Tidwell, 5’10”, 164 pounds, has completed 63 of 159 passes for 997 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

“Tidwell seems to be the leader and the team believes in him,” Pogue said. “He can run and throw the ball which makes him a dangerous threat. I’m really impressed with him.”

They have two running backs in Marjarvis McGee and Zachary Tidwell who are two good senior football players that have put up a lot of yards for them, according to Pogue.

Zachary Tidwell, the cousin of Justin, has rushed 159 times for 913 yards with four touchdowns and McGee has 103 carries for 534 yards with six touchdowns.

“They have two quality receivers in Alex Williams and Joshua Palm and they’re an explosive team,” Pogue said. “Both are very athletic, fast and can make plays so that always concerns you.”

Williams, a 6’2”, 165-pound junior has 483 yards on 21 receptions with seven touchdowns. Palm, a 5’9”, 156-pound senior, has 15 receptions for 218 yards with two touchdowns.

“Defensively Jim Hill has done an excellent job all year,” Pogue said. “They seemed to be really fast and can get to the ball. The defensive line is big guys that are active. People haven’t scored a lot on them and it’s been hard to move the ball on them.”

Junior linebacker Eric McPherson has 46 solo and 27 assists giving him total of 73 tackles. His younger brother T. J. has 37 solo and 22 assists.

  “Eric is 5-10 and about 230 and seems to be a tough and physical kid who makes a lot of plays,” according to Pogue.

Also senior defensive back Elisha Frazier has recorded 58 total tackles that includes 33 solo and 25 assists.

An impressive stat for Jim Hill is the 34.5 sacks they recorded. Seniors Isiah Williams has six-and-a-half and Xavier Woodard has six.

“Woodard is a big guy at 6’1”, 345 pounds who’s strong and tough.”

Pogue said he expects Jim Hill to come in playing their best and the Tigers have to match that.

“We have to be ready to go and charged up and I think they will be.”

Tickets will be sold at the high school for $7 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.