SP dealt first shut out in 14 years

Published 3:13 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SP dealt first shut out in 14 years

By Brad Greer

If there was a sliver lining in South Panola’s 29-0 loss to Memphis University School (MUS) Friday night it would be that the Tiger defense allowed only one offensive touchdown and 144 yards

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Otherwise the positives were few and far between as South Panola fell to 1-4 on the season while suffering its first shutout since a 22-0 blanking at the hands of Clinton in 2000.

How bad was it? Consider the fact South Panola had more turnovers (four) than first downs (zero) in the third quarter while being held to eight yards total offense going into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers ended the night with 70 yards rushing, while not completing a pass on six attempts with three interceptions

MUS (5-0) took advantage of a roughing-the-punter penalty on its first possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead on Ryan Pahlow’s four-yard pass from Steven Regis.

One of the few South Panola bright spots occurred on the following series as Patrick Shegog recovered a muffed punt on the Owl 31 yard-line with 50 seconds left in the quarter.

The Tigers could not capitalize on the turnover as the drive stalled four plays later at the MUS 35. The Owls then marched 71 yards on 10 plays that was capped off by the first of five school record field goals by Trey Thomas to make the score 10-0.

South Panola yet again squandered a golden opportunity to get points on the board as Gerrian Key returned the following kickoff 67 yards to the MUS 18 only to gain one yard before turning the ball over on downs.

The third quarter proved to be South Panola’s undoing as 10 plays from scrimmage resulted in four turnovers.

Back-to-back field goals by Thomas extended the Owl lead to 16-0 at the 6:15 mark of the third before Maurice Hampton Jr. scooped up a fumble and returned it 20 yards to make the score 23-0.

Thomas then connected on field goals of 36 and 21 yards to complete the scoring for MUS.

“Very disapointing is about all I can say,” said South Panola head coach Lance Pogue in his post-game interview.

“Our defense held them to less than 150 yards of offense and they kicked five field goals, but we turned the ball over offensively and never could get things going on a consistent level. We tried some new things at quarterback with Kanoda Lewis but it did not work out. This game reminded me of the Bentonville (Ark.) game a few years ago where we never could get things on track.

“I felt like this was our best defensive game we have played all season,” Pogue added. “MUS has been throwing the ball around on all of their opponents and we did a solid  job up front. They did not run the ball against us all night and numerous times they started out in great field position and we held them out of the endzone.”

South Panola limited the Owls to 54 yards on 14 carries and 17 yards of offense in the second half.

Markel Gleaton led South Panola in rushing with six carries for 29 yards followed by Derrick Cunningham’s 22 yards on eight totes. Jamian Johnson added 11 carries for 14 yards while Lewis chipped in with seven carries for 13 yards. John Railey and Quin Bradford registered one carry each. Morris House and Key each had four kickoff returns.

D. J. Hall led the South Panola defense with six tackles and two passes broken up. O’Bryan Goodson chipped in with five tackles. A. J. Polk chipped in with four stops while Robert Hentz, Key, Eriq Kitchen and Kalvin Hankins contributed with three tackles each.

South Panola opens Region 1-6A play at home Friday night against Horn Lake who remained undefeated with a 14-9 win over Lake Cormorant.