South Panola overpowers Southaven 28-7

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

South Panola overpowers Southaven 28-7

C.J. Hardrick (left) and Terry Bishop (right) gang tackle the runner from Southaven on Friday as the Tigers defeat the Chargers 28-7.
The Panolian photo by Will Dickins

By Will Dickins
South Panola traveled to Southaven and overpowered the Chargers 28-7.
The Tigers scored two quick touchdowns and looked like they would run away with it, but as the game went on, it turned into a sloppy defensive game with both teams struggling to hold on to the football.
Turnovers plagued the Tigers on the night as they lost two fumbles and threw one interception. Fortunately, the defense was able to grab four interceptions to right the ship.
Offensively, South Panola turned to the legs of Derik Cuningham and Patrick Shegog who together had 299 yards rushing.
Cuningham started off his big night with a bang as he raced past defenders for a 59-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game.
They quickly got the ball back and found themselves threatening to score from the 18-yard line. On third down, Shegog hit Atarie Bobo with a pass who then made a few players miss before fumbling the ball near the goaline.
Fortunately, Kanoda Lewis fell on the football in the endzone for the Tigers’ second touchdown making it 14-0.
Both teams played hot potato with the football for the next three possessions with South Panola picking off quarterback Jonah Posey before throwing their own interception and losing a fumble.
Southaven quickly capitalized with a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7.
Momentum had shifted. Southaven seemed eager to get the ball back and score again.
Their plan almost worked as they made it to the two-yard line before throwing an interception to Morris House in the endzone. House returned it 64 yards to the Southaven 36.
South Panola could not capitalize and gave it back to Southaven.
They could take advantage of their second chance or so they thought. On this rollercoaster ride of a game, one could not tell who had the upper hand.
That was until Jaqualian Gillespie jumped a route, intercepted the ball, and sprinted 38 yards for a touchdown.
The Chargers missed a field goal on the next drive. After the miss, they would not sniff the end zone again never making past the 50-yard line for the rest of the game.
On top of the first two interceptions for the Tigers, Wade Thornton and Xavier Lofton also had interceptions to help in the effort.
South Panola would score one more in the second half. With 8:58 left in the game, Shegog had back to back runs. The first was for 10 yards before he took the next carry to the endzone for a 20 yard touchdown run.
Thanks to their quick start and terrorizing defense, the Tigers showed they were the better team after a shaky second quarter.
They now are in a better position in the gridlock that was the district standings.
There still is a three way tie for third, but South Panola has advantage over both Oxford and Southaven because of head to head wins.
South Panola now has two more games left against Columbus and Desoto Central. Next week’s game is at home versus Columbus with the game time set for 7 p.m.

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