Senatobia squeaks by NP Cougars 21-20
By Brad Greer
One way to neutralize a high-powered offense is to keep them off the field.
That strategy worked to perfection for Senatobia High School as the Warriors ended North Panola’s 17-game district winning streak with a 21-20 victory Friday night.
An estimated 2,500 fans from the rival schools packed Cougar Field for the Region 2-3A opener for both teams.
With the win, Sentatobia improved to 4-2 on the season while North Panola dropped to 5-1 on the year.
Nickisis Sipp ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns with the last one coming on a a 28-yard scamper to give the Warriors a 21-12 lead with 1:56 remaining in the game.
North Panola made things interesting in the closing seconds as quarterback Cadarrius Pride connected with Carl Robinson on a 10-yard scoring strike with 52 seconds remaining to close the margin to 21-20 after Pride converted the two-point conversion.
The Cougars lined up for the onside kick, but the ball did not travel 10 yards before the defense touched it, giving Senatobia possession and the chance too run out the clock.
North Panola scored three TDs, but could only covert the 2-point try once. They attempted no PATs.
“I will put this loss solely on my shoulders for not having our kids prepared tonight. Take nothing away from Senatobia because they earned this win, but this one is on me,” said North Panola head coach Carl Diffee.
“The bottom line is when you have a week of practice like we did where you have guys doing stupid stuff and getting suspended it shows,” said Diffee.
“We had started two new guys on the right side of the line and nothing seemed to click tonight. We’ve got to do a better job on converting two pointers. Penalties hurt us tonight also.We are going to hit the reset button come Monday and put this one behind us and get ready for Byhaila Friday,” said Diffee.
North Panola was limited to a season-low 220 yards of offense, well below their 462 yards per game average, and was flagged nine times for 75 yards.
The Cougars took advantage of a Q.D Walls blocked punt on the Warrior 11 yard-line to grabbed a 6-0 lead after one quarter of play as Pride zipped a 21-yard scoring strike to Steven Edwards with 6:14 remaining in the period.
Senatobia answered with two scoring drives in the second quarter to lead 14-6 at halftime as Sipp scored on a three-yard run with 1:08 left to end a 15- play drive that took 7:48 off the clock.
The Warriors pounded out 234 yards rushing on their way to 283 yards of total offense. Senatobia was penalized 12 times for 100 yards.
North Panola closed the margin to 14-12 on the first play of the fourth quarter as Pride connected with Demartius Wright on a 21-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and 10, but failed on the conversion attempt.
Pride finished the game 12-of-21 passing for 159 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
Robinson led the way in receiving with six catches for 85 yards while Devonta Pratcher added three for 11 yards to go along with nine rushes for 33 yards.
Edwards pulled down two receptions for 40 yards. Walls and Edwards both added interceptions for the North Panola defense.