Tigers to have hands full with Southaven for homecoming 10/24/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Tigers to have hands full with Southaven for homecoming

By Angie Ledbetter
With three games remaining in high school football regular season, tonight’s game between the South Panola Tigers and Southaven Chargers is one of the most important games remaining on the horizon in 1-6A.

Both teams enter the game with undefeated 4-0 district records. The winner has the chance to continue to be in position at the No. 1 seed so both teams will put everything on the line tonight.  
South Panola 8-0 overall is ranked No. 2 in the state while Southaven 7-1 made the Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10 this week at No. 10.

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The Tigers are ranked No. 24 nationally by MaxPreps.

Southaven has taken over Desoto County 6A teams this season where in the past Olive Branch held strong.

Their season started by handing Clarksdale a 38-0 shutout. The following week they edged past Trezevant in Memphis 35-34. In week three they handily defeated Christian Brothers 38-12. Their only loss came by way of McCracken County in Paducah, Ken. 52-49 on September 20.
Since getting into division play, South Panola has outscored opponents 188-46 and Southaven has outscored theirs 113-48.

Southaven started with a 40-21 victory over in county rivalry Olive Branch. The game was tied at 14 at the half. Southaven scored 14 points in the third quarter while Olive Branch added seven giving Southaven a 28-21 lead entering the last quarter. Southaven scored 12 points in the fourth and held Olive Branch scoreless for the victory.

The following week Southaven sneaked one past Hernando 14-13. Hernando had a 13-7 lead going into the fourth quarter and Southaven scored late to win the battle. In their third week of district action they defeated Tupelo 17-7. Last week they traveled to Grenada and left with a 42-7 victory. 

Tiger head coach Lance Pogue said hands down this is the best Southaven team he has seen in his eight years while at South Panola.

“Southaven is a complete football team by every stretch of imagination,” he said. “They’re outstanding with a lot of speed, putting up a lot of points and playing really good defense.
“They’ve always been a good team but this year for whatever reason they have really stepped up to a higher level,” Pogue added. “They have a lot of confidence right now and they just destroyed Grenada last week.”

Pogue said it will be a big time game.

“They just made the top 10 in the Clarion-Ledger this week so they’re feeling it again right now with lots of confidence and a lot of quality players,” he said.

Under center for the Chargers will be No. 16 Nic Kennedy, a 180 pound senior.

“Kennedy is a first year starter who is an outstanding guy and seems to be a leader for them,” Pogue said. “It all starts with him. He can throw the ball and run it.”

Leading the ground attack will be 5-9, 217 pound senior running back Kevaunn Johnson.
“He’s a real physical guy. Between him and Kennedy it’s their major part of the offense.”
Terrence Davis Jr. is a 6’4”, 200-pound senior wide receiver who has committed to Ole Miss to play basketball.

Davis played last year and scored the only touchdown of the game for Southaven. South Panola won that contest 29-6 at Southaven.

“They have 10 senior starters on their defense to go along with those offense guys.”

Some of the leaders on the defense are No. 45 senior Travis Merriweather, No. 1 senior Mike Shirley, No. 20 senior Antonio Reed and No. 36 senior Dearius Johnson.

As far as preparing for Southaven Pogue said they will not prepare any differently but they have to improve in some areas from the Tupelo game

“We have to do a better job on penalties because we had some on offense that backed us up a few times. We had gotten better at that so I don’t know whether it was just a lack of concentration or what. Defensively we played well but sometimes we’ll give up a big play or two so we can’t afford to do that.”

Pogue added, “You don’t change things this time of the year but fine tune some things. You just play as hard as you can play and see where it takes you.”

Pregame show with Pogue is at 6:00pm on FM 100.5 and kickoff is at 7. Seniors will be recognized before the game. The 2014 homecoming court will be introduced at halftime with the queen being crowned.