SP football vs Grenada

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 1, 2013

SP to host much-improved Grenada

By Brad Greer 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Off to their best start since 2002, the Grenada Chargers will look to defeat South Panola for the first time in recent history tonight as they invade Robert H. Dunlap Stadium at 7 p.m. in a key Region 1-6A showdown.

Grenada and Tupelo are currently tied for second place in the division standings with 4-1 records while No. 1 ranked South Panola sits in first place with a 5-0 record. Should the regular season end tonight, Tupelo would own the tiebreaker over the Chargers by way of their 34-7 victory on Oct.4. The Golden Wave visits Horn Lake tonight.

Grenada (8-1) has not beaten South Panola in the previous nine meetings between the schools but did give the Tigers all it wanted and more before falling 15-8 last year.

The Chargers are coached by Ashley Kuhn who is in his third season at the helm and is sporting a 16-15 overall record.

Grenada has outscored its opponents 275-124 on the year and is averaging 356 yards rushing per game. The Chargers have only thrown the ball 55 times the entire season.

Look for Grenada to use a two quarterback platoon system as the senior duo of Will Jordan and Nathan Evans have split time under center. 

Jordan is the leading passer on the club with 311 yards and two touchdowns while Evans is 9-of-21 passing for 183 yards and one touchdown. Evans is the third leading rusher on the team with 561 yards and six touchdowns.

Junior running back  Kesner Spencer leads the Grenada rushing attack with 869 yards on 90 carries and nine touchdowns to his credit. Spencer’s backfield mate D. D. Bridges has accounted for 624 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

When the Chargers do put the ball in the air, senior Tyrin Jones leads the receiving corps with 10 receptions for 248 yards and one touchdown.

Grenada’s offensive line consists of John Austin Cook, De’terrion Woodall, Chance Davis and Jarvis Jackson.

As impressive as Grenada has been on offense thus far, South Panola head coach Lance Pogue said the Chargers are equally impressive on defense.

“Grenada does not do anything fancy on offense. They are very physical up front, just line up and pound you. But as good as they are on offense, their defense is just as good. In my opinion they have two of the best linebackers in the state in (Genard) Avery and (Shareef) White. The front four are big and fast and fly to the football. We will have our work cut us out for us that is for sure,” said Pogue.

White and Avery, both University of Louisiana-Lafayette commitments, lead the team with 62 tackles while junior defensive end Willie McCaleb has a team-leading eight quarterback sacks. Senior Javoris Redditt has registered three interceptions from his defensive back position.

South Panola (9-1) meanwhile comes into tonight’s grudge match fresh off a 29-6 win over Southaven last week. Senior signal-caller Rip Kirk directs a Tiger offense that is averaging 34 points per game. Kirk has thrown for 1,161 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year with five interceptions.

As normal, the Tigers’ powerful ground game is led by Darryl Henderson with 1,303 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. Henderson is also lethal catching the ball out of the backfield as the junior speedster has 11 receptions for 188 yards and three scores.

Sophomore Oluwain Hoskins and senior Tavin Bibbs also add duel threat to the already lethal Tiger backfield with a combined 883 yards rushing. Antavion Reed leads South Panola in receiving with 418 yards on 28 receptions.

On defense, the Tigers will rely on the front four of Javon Norris, Matt Davis, Quandez Lee and Reginald Morris to stonewall the Charger rushing attack. Ryan Lee and Stephen Sanford lead the linebacking corps. Gabriel Lloyd, Ephraim Kitchens, Brady Smith and DaShawn Lindsay round out the defensive backfield.

“Hopefully we can control the line of scrimmage and keep their offense off the field. As always, the offensive and defensive lines are going to be the key to the game. Our game plan  is to establish the run first but as good as their front seven are, we will have to mix it up and hit some big plays,“ said Pogue.