NP vs Charleston

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NP falls to Charleston but not in a shutout

By Myra Bean

The North Panola Cougar team (5-5 overall, 2-2 district) may not feel good about the 49-20 loss to Charleston (8-1, 4-0), but they did make some strides against the Tiger defense that had many Tigers upset after the first Cougar touchdown.

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North Panola scored 20 points on a defense that had only allowed one other team to score that much this year – in a loss to Olive Branch way back on September 6. Charleston also shut out its last two opponents and had only allowed 10 points to all district opponents.

After Willie Hibbler caught a nine-yard pass from quarterback Jatavious Farmer with 28 seconds left in the first half, it was pretty obvious witnessing the reaction of Charleston that they had planned a shutout for North Panola.

Hibbler had a stellar night as he caught four passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

One touchdown capitalized on a fumble recovery by Virgil Jones with 1:01 left in the half.

Farmer completed 13 of 23 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns.

Charleston set the tone early, as on the first play of the opening possession senior running back Calwaun Street ran for a 56-yard touchdown with only five seconds off the clock to take a 7-0 lead after the extra point kick by sophomore Walter Barnes.

Charleston went up 21-0 before the first touchdown by Hibbler.

After halftime, a re-energized Cougar team emerged. The Cougars put together a nine-play, 67-yard drive to put more points on the board.

Farmer found junior tightend Robert Oliver for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 8:16 left in the third quarter. However the two-point pass attempt failed to cut the lead to 21-12.

On Charleston’s first drive of the third quarter, it was Street again on an 80-yard touchdown run as he broke through tackles and ran through would-be tacklers en route to the end zone to put the Tigers up 28-12 with 7:58 left.

The Cougars were not finished. On a play that could be called nothing but athletic, Hibbler caught a pass from Farmer and turned it into a 69-yard touchdown pass. 

Farmer dropped back to his own 35 and Hibbler caught it on the 42 between two Charleston defenders who sandwiched him. They went to the ground but he did not. Two more Charleston defenders put hands on him and turned him a little but he broke from them. Later down the field one more speedy Charleston defender hit him from the front but Hibbler spun away and, with his blockers getting other defenders out of the way, sprinted into the end zone with 7:17 left in the quarter.

The two-point conversion run by Farmer cut the Charleston lead 28-20.

Charleston did answer later on a two-yard run by junior running back GeVonte Jones with 3:10 left in the quarter. With the PAT, Charleston led 35-20.

The Cougars were driving on their next possession from their own 41-yard line. With 1:27 left int he quarter, Hibbler was in the end zone but so was Charleston defensive back Ivory Madkins. It was Madkins who intercepted the ball in the end zone and cut the Cougar drive short.

The Cougars could not put together a scoring drive after that, but Charleston was able to score two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The Cougars had a total of 278 offensive yards with 234 passing and Charleston had 521 total yards, 436 rushing.

In penalties, North Panola was flagged seven times for 60 yards, but Charleston was flagged 19 times for 180 yards.

Connor was the leading rusher with 38 yards on 18 carries. Tevin Wink had nine yards on two carries.

Oliver had 65 yards on four catches and one touchdown. Darius Thomas had 33 yards on three catches and Lucius Walls had 17 yards on two catches.

On defense, Jones was the top defensive player with eight solo tackles, two assists and one fumble recovery. Jones remains the team’s leading tackler despite playing with a sprained MCL.

Also getting tackles were Hibbler, eight solo tackles, one assist, one tackle for loss (TFL); Mike Hollins, four solos, two assists, one TFL; Darius Thomas, six solos, one assist, one pass break up; Wink, three solos, two assists; and Kevin Merrill, one solo, one assist who is credited on the defensive line for opening up space for the linebackers to make plays.

Charleston secured first place in 2-3A going into the playoffs and upon a win Friday night, North Panola will retain third place.

North Panola will travel to Independence to take on the Wildcats in the last game of the regular season for both teams with a 7 p.m. kickoff.