Social media adds hype to NP-Palmer rivalry

Published 1:06 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Social media adds hype  to NP-Palmer rivalry

By Ike House
Two district games are left on the schedule for teams in 3A and for North Panola one of the teams left is Madison S. Palmer.
This is a team that always gives the Cougars a big challenge and the rivalry is strong especially between the fans. Social media has blown this game up even more.
This season the Cougars have a lot on the line. Not only is their team pride on the line but their playoff seeding and district championship is in the balance.
The Dragons are the third seed in the district but the Cougars must get through them undefeated to get a chance to face the Water Valley Blue Devils next week for the district title.
The Dragon team is very athletic and big on the offensive side of the ball.
The offensive line is solid and the outside receivers are big body basketball players. The slot receivers and running back can get loose if the opportunity is available.
“This is the most athletic team that we have faced all season,” head coach Carl Diffee said, “Mitchell and Independence had some athletes but this team is very athletic.”
The Cougars defense will not shy away from the challenge of facing this spectacular offense.
They have had two shut outs this season while only giving up 75 total points. They also are only giving up an average of 9.3 points a game.
The defense has 12 sacks on the season with 10 interceptions. On the other hand the Dragons are scoring over 30 points a game. A good defense against a good offense is always a great battle. Something has to give and the Cougars a determined to get the win.
“Coach Kennedy has done are great job with the defensive line and (Marc) Cobb has put the guys in the right positions to be successful,” Diffee adding “We must make sure that our guys are successful on the field every Friday.”
Now for the Cougars’ offense, they are scoring an average of 45 points a game. The Cougars also average 235 receiving yards and 246 rushing yards a game. They are coming off two games where they passed for 529 yards combined and eight touchdowns. They also had 390 yards on the ground with six touchdowns in those two games.
The Dragon defense is giving up 18 points a game and are not heavily favored against the run. The Cougars have a host of backs but the two that they are leaning on now are Antwon Oliver and Clarence Taylor.
“Antwon is the kind of back that is not going to blow you away with his speed and he is not going to try to run you over but he is going to get the yards that he can get,” Diffee said
“Clarence is a back that can get loose and every week it seems like he is making somebody look foolish the way he can maneuver around the field,” Diffee said.
With Oliver getting more and more carries every week and Taylor spelling him, the two backs can do damage tonight. Oliver has 175 yards and two touchdowns and Taylor has 443 yards and three touchdowns on the season. But the Cougars best runner is quarterback Kenneth Jefferson with 738 yards and seven touchdowns.
A combination of all three runners with the weapons they have outside the Cougars offense is bound to put on a show. The Cougars are traveling to the “Dragon’s Liar” tonight and will be looking for a win. The rivalry has long stood and the Cougars look to add to their impressive record of 33-14 over the Dragons. Kickoff begins at 7:00 p.m.

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