NP and Water Valley to battle for coveted district 2-3A championship

Published 1:17 pm Friday, October 27, 2017

NP and Water Valley to battle for coveted district 2-3A championship

The North Panola duo of offensive lineman Chris Clark, No. 58, and junior quarterback Kenneth “K.J.” Jefferson has the team on the cusp of doing something great and historical. The Cougars face Water Valley tonight with their 9-0 season on the line for the district championship. Kick off is 7 p.m.
The Panolian photo by Ike House

By Ike House
North Panola is attempting to do something that they have not done since implementing the playoff system in Mississippi high school football – win a district title.
The Cougars will travel to “Death Valley” tonight to take on the Blue Devils of Water Valley to make their dreams come true in a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Water Valley (7-3 overall, 4-0 district) and North Panola (9-0, 4-0) have alternated between second and third in the district in recent years because of the success of Charleston but with that team out of the way both teams are out to win the district title.
This season the Cougars have been more successful than in past because for the first time they also have a chance to finish the regular season undefeated.
Last season the Cougars defeated the Blue Devils 32-7 with a team full of sophomores and juniors. But this time around the Cougars have a team full of veterans.
The Cougars are averaging 470.8 yards of offense per game (231.6 through the air and 235.4 on the ground) and have scored 336 points.
They have only allowed 8.1 points per game and have forced 20 turnovers this season.
On the other hand Water Valley averages 375.4 yards per game and has scored 358 points.
On paper this rival matchup looks to be a shoot out.
The difference in these two teams is their style of play, Water Valley uses more of a run style of offense with three running backs with over 200 yards on the season and their top two rushers having over 600 yards.
Their quarterback, Ty Varner, has thrown for 1,429 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
On the defensive side of the ball the Blue Devils have two defensive stoppers, a defensive lineman and a linebacker. Both have combined for 162 tackles, 28.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and two interceptions.
North Panola has definitely game planned for both players, according to head coach Carl Diffee, but the Cougars have their own weapons on both sides of the ball.
On offense the Cougars have Kenneth Jefferson who has thrown for 2,026 yards with 29 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Jefferson has also leads the team in rushing along with Clarence Taylor. Jefferson has rushed for 808 yards with eight touchdowns while Taylor has rushed for 465 yards and four touchdowns.
On defense for North Panola are Tyler Shorter, Sylvonta Oliver, Kylan Osborn and Demarco Smith. They have combined for 144 tackles, 25 sacks, nine interceptions and three blocked punts.
Both teams appear evenly matched in this high staked game.
With rain in the forecast for tonight, both teams will be grinding harder than ever to come out with a victory. The Cougars have forced three shutouts this season and are coming off a win against a big rival in M.S. Palmer, the number three team in the district at this point.
With a win, North Panola will become the first Cougar team to finish with 10 wins since 1989.

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