• 63°

Tigers host Meridan tonight; look to be 5-0

Tigers host Meridan tonight; look to be 5-0

South Panola offense is averaging 419 yards, 41 points per game

By Brad Greer

South Panola High School will be looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 2015 as they host Meridian in the second of a three-game home stand tonight at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m

The No. 4 ranked Tigers improved their record to 3-0 last week with a 39-13 win over Cordova High School while Meridian(1-2) fell hard 62-7 at the hands of Picayune.

The Wildcats opened up the season with a 22-18 victory over Northeast Lauderdale before losing 35-12 to Hancock.

Tonight marks the first meeting between the two schools since 2016 when Meridian grabbed a 18-7 win.

If the ‘Cats want to pull off the upset tonight they must find a way to slow down a South Panola offense that is lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 41 points per game.

The Tigers are averaging a whopping 419 yards rushing and a much-improved 95 yards through the air.

Meridian will have its hands full trying to stop tailback Janari Dean who was already amassed 646 yards on 37 carries for 17.4 per carry.

Dean is second in the state in rushing only behind Pearl’s Kenyatta Herrell with 742.

Quarterback Anterrio Draper is 15-of-25 passing for 285 yards and two touchdowns. The junior also leads the team with five rushing touchdowns.

Atarie Bobo, Cameron Wright and Martez Clark have been Draper’s go-to receivers through the first three games.

The Tiger defense that is surrendering 12 points per game is led by senior linebacker Jaqualian Gillespie who has 31 tackles to his credit.

Jordan Milton is second on the team with 29 while cornerback Caleb Grayer has broken up a team-leading six passes.

Sophomore quarterback Jonathan Vaughn leads a youthful Meridian squad that boasts 16 seniors on its 66 man squad.

Kexavious Burton (5’9”,180) is the ‘Cats leading rusher while Jaquarris Collins (6’3”,170) is the main receiving threat.

Marquez Grace (6’2”, 288) and Joshua Ruffin (6’2” 235) spearhead the Wildcat defense.