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Tigers take down Tupelo; advance to play Oxford

Ricky Lofton wraps up a Tupelo receiver after a short gain Friday night at Dunlap Stadium. (Glennie Pou)

South Panola QB Draper connects for three TDs, Dean adds three on 254 yards

South Panola rode the arm of quarterback Anterrio Draper and legs of Janari Dean to its first playoff win in four years with a 39-23 victory over Tupelo Friday at Dunlap Stadium.

Draper threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Ricky Farmer, while Dean ran for 254 yards on 28 carries with scoring runs of 90, 80, and one yard for the Tigers who improved to 12-1 on the season.

Tupelo ended its season at 7-5.

South Panola travels to Oxford Friday for a second round contest beginning at 7 p.m.

The Tigers took an early 6-0 lead when Draper connected with Farmer on a seven-yard scoring strike on complete a eight-play ,41-yard drive.

Jordan Milton set up the scoring drive after intercepting a Tupelo pass on the second play of the game.

Tupelo answered with a 15-play, 66-yard drive midway through second quarter when David Hayes scored from one yard out to give the Golden Wave a 7-6 lead,

Whatever momentum Tupelo had quickly vanished on the ensuing series as Dean took hand off and raced 80 yards down the left side at the 5:49 mark to make the score 12-7 South Panola after the second consecutive PAT failed.

South Panola took a 19-10 at halftime lead as Draper lofted a nine-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Wright  with Wes Morgan adding the point after. Wright finished the game with five receptions for 100 yards.

The Tigers extended its margin to 26-10 as the second half got underway when Draper and Farmer hooked up again on a 57 yard bomb with Morgan adding the PAT. Farmer reeled in five receptions for 95 yards.

Tupelo took advantage of a South Panola turnover to close the margin to 26-16 with 6:59 left in the third as Trip Wilson reeled in a 25-yard pass from quarterback Jake Weir.

South Panola put the game away in the fourth quarter as Dean scored on runs of one and 90 yards.

The Tigers finished with 477 yards of total offense including 272 yards on the ground. Tupelo, who ran 74 yards to South Panola’s 52, ended with 348 yards of offense.

Milton led the South Panola defense nine tackles while Jaqualin Gillespie and Tymdarius Taylor added seven stops. Jamelvin Webb registered six tackles and five passes-broken up.

Marquavious Harris chipped in with four tackles, five passes-broken up and a fumble recovery.

Tra’ Norwood also contributed with four stops.