Cougar defensive holds Charleston

Published 12:45 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

By Brad Greer

North Panola’s defense held a Charleston offense, averaging 237 yards a game, to just 53 yards in a superb showing Friday night in Class 3A playoffs. The stingy Cougars allowed just nine yards in the second half, smothering the Tigers and ending their season with a shutout loss.

Of the Tigers 12 possessions in the game, nine ended in punts while the other three resulted in turnovers. Charleston crossed midfield just twice in the game.

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“These kids never seem to amaze me with the effort they show. Every time you think you’ve seen their best performance they come out and play even better,” said North Panola defensive coordinator Marc Cobb.

The rest of the night belonged to the Cougar defense who picked off Tiger quarterback Jay Brown twice in the second half as Jamauri Milton interception a tipped pass from teammate Mario Fenner in the third quarter. Shorter then iced the game by returning a interception to the Charleston 22 with 2:38 left in the fourth quarter. Roderick Taylor recovered a fumble in the second quarter.

“These kids have worked hard every day during the summer and even before that. We played six and sometime seven sophomores tonight. The future is so bright for these guys. We try to tell them tradition never graduates and that’s something they strive to live by and be proud of. We had a feeling this was going to be a defensive ball game and one or two big plays might be the difference so Sunday when we came in for our meetings Norman Edwards said don’t worry coach, we got you.When a kid says what you just trust them and let them go out and play their game,” Cobb said.

Head coach Carl Diffee said the defensive unit carried the team on a night when star quarterback K.J. Jefferson was playing hurt, and couldn’t get the offense on track.

“There’s really nothing you can say about the job our defense did tonight. It was an unbelievable effort on their part. Time and time again they come up with big plays and kept us in the game until we could make that one big play on offense,” Diffee said.