Tupelo talking to renew rivalry with SP 10/18/2013

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2013

Tupelo talking to renew rivalry with SP

By Angie Ledbetter
The year was 1988 when the South Panola Tigers and the Tupelo Golden Wave first faced each other and Tupelo won 42-7 in the playoff game.

The rivalry between the two teams started in 1991 when the Tupelo shutout the Tigers 21-0 in a division game. The following year Tupelo edged past the Tigers 30-28 and later captured the 5A state championship title.

It was nine years later in 2001 before the Golden Wave defeated the Tigers again as the winning touchdown was scored in the last few seconds of the game giving them the 17-14 victory. That year marked a milestone for the Tigers as it was the last time they did not make the playoffs. Since then the Tigers have won eight state championship titles.  

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Tonight the Tigers will be tested again when Tupelo enters Robert H. Dunlap Stadium advertising an undefeated 7-0 record on their backs for the first time since 1991. The Tigers are 7-1 overall but each team has a common dominator of a 3-0 division record.

Tupelo defeated Hernando 41-7, Grenada 34-7 and Southaven 26-13.

Head Coach Lance Pogue said Tupelo has had a great year.

“They’ve got a lot of seniors that came back from last year and we felt like they’d have a really good team. They’ve done an excellent job with the new staff capitalizing on their talent and really putting their team in position to having a great year.”

This game has been smash mouthed and talked about amongst media, on social outlets such as chat lines, twitter, facebook etc. since last Friday night’s games were over pumping it up to be a raucous and wild atmosphere.

Even a YouTube video surfaced across the internet from the 2008 game when the Tigers walked away with a 14-13 victory. Tupelo went for the win attempting a two-point conversion but the Tigers’ defense broke up the pass in the end zone. 

Tupelo has given themselves a name “Them Blankets,” meaning the fighting wave man simply looks like a blanket and the name signifies pride and competition.

After last week’s victories and losses, the Tigers enter the game in the Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10 Poll at No. 2 while Tupelo is No.8. Mississippi Public Broadcasting has the Tigers at No. 2 and Tupelo No. 7. Mississippi AP Poll has the Tigers ranked No. 2 and Tupelo No. 6. Mississippi Gridiron gave No. 2 to the Tigers and Tupelo No. 9.

Second year head coach Trent Hammond’s team is loaded with seniors. Of 92 players 28 are seniors.

Leading the offense will be sophomore Daniel Bristow who is 61 of 92 passes for 869 yards with six touchdowns. Wide receiver Quin Tiggs has 20 receptions for 350 yards with two touchdowns and Rodney McIntosh has 15 for 225 yards with one touchdown.

“He has a big arm and you can tell he can really throw it,” Pogue said. “He’s got a great future ahead with just being a sophomore and that tells you the confidence they have in him.”

Most of Tupelo’s 240 points scored have come from the ground game. Tiggs has rushed 81 times for 657 yards with six touchdowns. Jarvis Wilson has 38 carries for 244 yards with five touchdowns. Reed Taylor has 38 carries for 244 yards with five touchdowns.

“Their whole defense has been outstanding all year and hasn’t given up hardly any points so they’ve been impressive,” Pogue said. “They’ve got two seniors linebackers that are really good players in Ashton Wedel and James Gilleylen. Shaun Kohlhiem has been a four-star for them as a defensive lineman. Their defensive line has played well and they’re good in the secondary.”
Pogue said that he has not put a lot of thought into Tupelo’s schedule.

“What I’m concerned with is an undefeated team coming in with a lot of confidence and playing really good football at a high level,” he said.

Kickoff for the homecoming matchup is 7 p.m. The homecoming court and the announcement of the queen will be presented during halftime.

WBLE FM 100.5 will carry the game with pregame at 6 p.m. The games will be audio streamed on www.wble101.com and video streamed at www.sptigerden.com or through www.panolian.com and click on the South Panola Tiger Den live stream link in the top right corner.

Fans may also download the new South Panola High School app located in the app store on most smartphones.