SP beats Desoto Central to set playoff matchup against Madison Central

Published 9:53 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SP beats Desoto Central to set playoff  matchup against Madison Central

South Panola cheerleaders congratulate head coach Ricky Woods for win number 300 in his career. Woods also led the Tigers to the playoffs in his first season back as head coach.
The Panolian photo by Andy Young

By Brad Greer
South Panola eased their way into the North 6A state playoffs with a Desoto Central 48-3 win Thursday night at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium.
The real excitement and fireworks, literally, occurred afterwards as the Tiger football team and fans celebrated head coach Ricky Woods’ 300th high school coaching victory complete with banners and celebratory ice water bucket bath.
“My wife (Susan) and I were talking the other day about it and we said how great it is to come back here and get win No. 300. It surly has been an honor to have some great players and a lot of good coaches along the way. I’m just glad to get it over with and move on to the playoffs,” said Woods.
South Panola (9-3) overcame a slow start in which they led 7-3 to reel off the next 41 points. Desoto Central (3-9) spoiled the shutout with a 36-yard field goal by Seth Embrey late in the first quarter.
Patrick Shegog threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Tigers rolled up 449 yards of total offense. Quin Bradford rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries that included a ten-yard scoring run to give South Panola a 7-0 lead.

Atarie Bobo tried to avoid two Desoto Central defenders on Thursday. Bobo led the Tigers in receiving with six catches for 95 yards. The Tigers won 48-3 and will face Madison Central Friday in the first round of the playoffs.
The Panolian photo by Andy Young

The Tigers began to pour it on in the second quarter as Shegog followed a convoy of blockers 16 yards around left end into the endzone for a 14-3 South Panola lead after Blaine Ware’s PAT with 6:31 left in the half.
Shegog found paydirt later in the half by scoring on almost the exact play only this time from six yards away to compete a seven-play; 42-yard drive with Ware booting the point after as the Tigers led 21-3 at intermission.
South Panola tacked on two more scores in the third quarter as Shegog connected with Barry Flowers on a diving 35-yard touchdown reception with 7:33 left in the third quarter to make the score 27-3 after the point after attempt failed.
Later in the stanza, Shegog, who was a sharp 11-of-13 passing for 179 yards in third quarter, caught the Desoto Central defense off guard with a 25-yard screen pass to Bradford on 3rd-and-15 to extend the South Panola advantage to 34-3 at the 3:26 mark.
Derrick Cunningham got into the scoring act with an eight-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for a 41-3 Tiger lead. Jordan Strong, one of 15 seniors honored before the game, picked off a Reid Musselwhite pass for a 49-yard interception return followed by Ware’s PAT. Strong finished the game with two tackles and two passes -broken up.
South Panola’s defense once again was its dominant self as they limited Desoto Central to 82 total yards of offense. The Tigers have not given up an offensive touchdown in the last three games.
“This group of guys has improved each and every week. We are lining up better. Looking back at the Brandon game it looked as if we were lost out there. We’re not the same team we were back then so I belive we are playing our best football right now,” said defensive coordinator Chuck Friend.
Shegog finished the night 14-of-20 passing for 213 yards while rushing for 65 yards on 12 carries. Bo Williams completed two passes for 35 yards in a backup role.
Cunningham finished the night with 24 yards on eight carries. Anterrio Draper added two carries for 17 yards while Teo Collins garnered two carries for nine yards. Nate Harris garnered one carry for three yards.
On the receiving end, Atarie Bobo led the way with six catches for 95 yards. Flowers added four catches for 86 yards. John Railey had two receptions for 22 yards while Kanoda Lewis had two catches for 19 yards. Norman Smith garnered one catch for one yard.
Robert Hentz led the South Panola defense with nine tackles and two quarterback sacks. Quin Benson also added a quarterback sack and six stops.
Jaqualin Gillespie chipped in with five tackles, Wade Thornton contributed with four stops. C.J. Hardwick, Terry Bishop and Jaylen Heffner all recorded three stops. House also picked off his team leading sixth interception on the season.
South Panola travels to Madison Central Friday in the first round of the North 6A playoffs.

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