North Panola shuts out Water Valley to win district

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

North Panola shuts out Water Valley to win district

In Friday night’s district game against Water Valley, North Panola’s Kenneth “KJ” Jefferson carries the ball while trying to dodge the Water Valley double team.
Photo courtesy of David Howell, North Mississippi Herald

By Ike House
One team stood in North Panola’s way to a district championship and the Cougars took care of them in a big way.
With a 22-0 win, North Panola (10-0 overall, 5-0 district) claimed the 2-3A title.
Being district champs is something Panola County is used to having, but not with North Panola in the mix. But that all changed Friday in a game that included water, high winds and cold air that got sloppy and allowed for a lot of missed tackles on both sides.
However, the Cougars got the job done and got their fifth shut out of the season.
In the first quarter the Cougars had a big drive getting all the way to the goal, but could not get the ball into the endzone turning it over on the one.
The Cougars did not let Water Valley keep the ball long as Chris Clark got in the backfield and forced a safety. This was the sixth defensive score of the season.
“Each week he (Marc Cobb) does a great job of picking out two or three ways to stop the opponents favorite things,” head coach Carl Diffee said about his defensive coordinator. “The simplicity of our defense allows our boys to fly to the football.”
The offense took what the defense did and added on with a big drive. Kenneth Jefferson added to his touchdown total with a 71-yard pass to Jonathan Harris.
“I never doubted his ability to throw a wet ball this week, especially when you consider that he started as a freshman in the rain at East Side in the first round and threw for over 250 yards,” Diffee said.
The score was 8-0 as the two-point attempt failed. Nobody could get anything else going in the first half but in the third quarter Sylvonta Oliver scored on a nine yard run. The two point conversion took their lead to 16-0.
“Vonta had his best offensive night that I can remember and ran the ball with a ton of power for someone his size,” Diffee said. “Jonathan made two huge plays, one for a touchdown, that gave all our receivers and KJ confidence in the passing game.”
Then on defensive side of the ball Tracy Davis got his third interception of the season. But the Cougars could not captalize on the turnover. Jefferson did get the ball into the endzone on their next drive as he scored on a three yard run. They did not score on the two point conversion but it would not matter because the Cougars had landed the daggar score. Water Valley never got back on track and were defeated in a shut out.
“I thought the guys played as well as could be expected considering the conditions and I was pleased with our ball security and ability to move the football offensively. Defensively I thought we stopped them from doing what they wanted to do and got after it up front,” Diffee said.
Jefferson finished the night going 8-13 for 223 yards and a touchdown and had 19 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Leading the rushers was Oliver with 14 carries for 214 yards and touchdown. Other rushers were Antwon Oliver had four carries for six yards and Clarence Taylor had seven carries for two yards.
Leading the receivers was Harris with two catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Other receivers were Jamarvis Echols with four catches for 85 yards and Sylvonta Oliver with a catch for four yards.
On the defensive side of the ball Chris Clark had eight tackles, three tackles for a loss and a safety. Other defenders were Malcolm Lyons with four tackles; Quinterrious Walls with three tackles and tackle for a loss; Davis had three tackles, a deflection and an interception; Jarvis Echols had three tackles and a tackle for a loss; Norman Edwards had two tackles and a tackle for a loss; Jaylen Gipson had two tackles and a fumble recovery; Jamarvis Echols, Demarco Smith and Spencer Higganbotham all had two tackles each and Sylvonta Oliver and Tyler Shorter had a tackle and deflection each.
The Cougars face off against Aberdeen for the first time since 2014 on Friday.

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