Cougars head to East Side for first round of 3A playoffs 11/6/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 6, 2015

Cougars head to East Side for first round of 3A playoffs

By Ike House
The playoffs are something many teams do not get to experience every year but in North Panola’s case this makes their fourth year going, the second time facing Cleveland East Side.
Head coach Derek King said that he has not been to Cleveland but has heard good things about their fans and their home field presence.

This week North Panola will be playing a talented and a perennial team that usually makes a deep playoff run. King said that the defense is loaded with “maniacs” and that they swarm to the ball.

“We have really been harping on being 1-0 this week and we have done so for the past two weeks. When our guys came in on Sunday evening, we told them this is the third week of the playoffs for us,” King said. “We will prepare like we did against Independence which was our best week of practice. No matter what East Side has or what they do, we have to make sure we can control what we can.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Last week the defense gave up 163 of total offensive yards. This season they have made many defensive stands against several tough opponents. They had a few big plays on defense that were accumulated into points such as an interception returned for a touchdown or even fumble recoveries. This week the Cougars will have to do the same with East Side and bring their best efforts to the table.

“The best way to show them that is to show them effort plays that we missed. Snaps where we didn’t get enough pursuit or snaps that allowed them to have chunk plays against us,” King added “We were far from perfect last week and that was the approach that Coach Cobb took with the defense.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the Cougars moved the ball for over 400 yards of offense. They put up 40 points and seemed basically unstoppable. The run game for the Cougars brought forth an offense showcase that the Cougars have only shown in a few games this year. The run game will have to be prolific again with the weather playing a role.

“I think we have a great chance to move the ball. Our kids understand some things that they thought they understood in the beginning of the season. Even in the game against Water Valley that we lost, we moved the ball really well,” King said “For the past three plus weeks our kids really understand now. I think the rain won’t play a factor but it helps that we have kids that like to play in the rain. Our big guys are going to be excited because they know that we will run the ball all night.”

As of last week we saw different runners in the back field from Kiron Convigton to Lavonte Towns. This week the rotation will be deep behind Justin Connor.

“We have options. We have Bud (Harris), we have Kiron and Lavonte Towns has grown up a lot in the last month,” King added “If Kordariel (Preston) has to run the ball he will. If David (Burton) has to he will. We are not limited of weapons.”