Cougars dominate Coahoma Ag. in first 3A district meeting
By Brad Greer
On a day where North Panola retired the jerseys of the all time best quarterback in school history and another standout that was taken from this world to soon, the Class 3A No.1 ranked Cougars celebrated homecoming with a 52-12 rout of Coahoma County AHS in front of an estimated 5,000 fans Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, North Panola improved to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in Region 2-3A play.
Junior quarterback Kenneth Jefferson threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as the Cougars shook off a slow first quarter start before blowing the game open with three scores in the second period to take a 38-12 lead at halftime lead.
With all distractions of homecoming festivities going on before and during the game, Cougar head coach Carl Diffee said keeping his team focused was a challenge but turned out to be an success.
“Homecoming is was it is here at North Panola it is a big ordeal sometimes you get caught up in everything that you forget there’s a game to be played. I never felt offensively we let it get too out of hand. We executed our game plan pretty good but defensive wise I never thought we brought that standard that we normally play with in the first half and the guys did a better job in the second half,” said Diffee.
After holding the Aggies on their opening series, North Panola went to work as Jefferson hit Jarvis Echols on a five-yard scoring strike to complete a six-play; 52-yard drive with 7:23 left in the quarter for a 6-0 following to missed PAT.
North Panola extended its lead to 14-0 later in the stanza after forcing the Aggies to turn the ball over on downs at the Cougar 46, the Cougars marched 60 yards on seven plays as Jefferson hit Jamarvis Echols on a 25-yard strike. Jarvis Echols then hauled in the two-point conversion from Jefferson.
Coahoma AHS got on the board late in the quarter as on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Darron Banks caught the Cougar defense late coming on the field and raced 51 yards before being chased down at the North Panola 15-yard line. Three plays later, Banks called his own number and went in for a six-yard run with 25 seconds remaining for a 12-6 North Panola lead.
The Cougars blew things open with three touchdowns in the second quarter on a Sylvonta Oliver two-yard run followed by a 27-yard strike from Jefferson to Jarvis Echols that made the score 30-12 at the 3:07 mark of the first half.
Jefferson closed out the first half with a one-yard run with three seconds left before Oliver ran in the two-point conversion as the Cougars led 38-12 at intermission.
At halftime, former North Panola standout Clifton Davis III along with the late Dexter Thomas both had their jerseys retired.
Oliver added his second touchdown of the day on a 12-yard run with Jefferson adding the two-point conversion as North Panola extended its lead to 46-12 in the third quarter.
Jonathan Harris put a cap on the North Panola scoring with a 26-yard pass from Jefferson with 4:23 left in the game.
North Panola generated 500 yards of total offense with 212 of it coming on the ground. Jefferson finished the afternoon 13-of-17 for 288 yards passing.
Antoine Oliver led in rushing with seven carries for 71 yards followed by Sylvonta Oliver with 37 yards on five totes. Spencer Higgenbothan hd one carry for 37 yards. Carl Robinson chipped in with five carries for 14 yards. Marvin Adams added one carry for five yards.
Jamarvis Echols led the receiving corps with four catches for 84 yards with twin brother Jarvis contributing with three catches for 41 yards. Tyler Shorter had one reception for 80 yards. Karterikkous Walls intercepted a pass for the Cougar defense.
The Cougars host Holly Springs Friday at 7 p.m in their final regular season home game.