SP opens season at Clinton Thursday

Published 10:09 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SP opens season at Clinton Thursday

South Panola receiver John Railey comes down with the ball over Lafayette County’s highly recruited junior cornerback Brandon Turnage and then ran 46 yards for a touchdown in Friday’s South Panola jamboree. South Panola won the jamboree 21-14. The Tigers will open the season Thursday at Clinton at 7 p.m.
The Panolian photo by Andy Young

By Brad Greer
Nine month’s after losing a first-round playoff game to Warren Central, August could not get here fast enough for the South Panola Tiger football team
In hoping to erase the haunts of that fateful November night, the Tigers are set to embark on what they hope will be a state title contender as they open up the 2017 season at defending 6A state champion Clinton Thursday night in a 7 p.m kickoff.
To add intrigue into the highly anticipated matchup, both teams enter the Clarion-Ledger Super 10 prep poll as South Panola enters No. 6 while the Arrows claim the No.10 spot.
While Clinton looks to life without All-American running back Cam Akers, South Panola head coach Ricky Woods warns not to sell the Arrows short.
“They have a majority of their defense returning plus they have a transfer from Madison Ridgeland Academy that threw for 2,800 yards last year. He‘s definitely not a Cam Akers but he is a solid player,” said Woods. “We watched them in the spring and they’re going to be one of the top contenders in the state along with Brandon.”
Junior signal caller Hunter Hulsey (6’2”-180) is who Woods is referring to while Walker Burchfield (6’2”-200) could also take snaps under center.
The Arrows are led on the defensive front by linebacker Haven Barnes (6’2”-230) and cornerback K.D.Dixon (6-foot; 175).
South Panola will look to carry the momentum of last week’s 21-14 jamboree win over Lafayette County as a building block.
The Tiger offense will consist of Thomas Turner, Jamaul Lofton, Terrick Bibbs, Brandon Johnson and Lacory Pegues on the offensive line.
South Panola’s backfield will be running backs Derrick Cunningham along with Quin Bradford. Senior Patrick Shegog will direct the South Panola offense. Shegog’s main targets will be John Railey, Barry Flowers and Kanoda Lewis while Jordan Strong could be in the mix.
“For us to be successful Thursday we can not turn the ball over is one main thing. We need to improve on our kicking game because special teams is always critical plus our defense will have to come up with some key stops at some point and time,” said Woods.

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