SP looking for berth after big win

Published 12:32 pm Thursday, November 5, 2020

The South Panola Tigers have been fighting for their playoff lives the last three weeks,but nothing has been more thrilling than what occurred Friday night in the regular season finale at Warren Central.

With its season on the line following a two-yard touchdown run by D’mariun Perteet in double overtime, the Tigers trailed 35-34 and decided to go for the game-winning two-point conversion rather than a potential game-tying extra point.

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The gamble paid off as after a offsides penalty against Warren Central moved the ball half the distance to the goalline, Perteet crashed his way into the endzone to give the Tigers a 36-35 victory.

“We had a’ no play’ called, but thought if we could get them to jump offside our chances were just as good from the one-and-a-half yard line than kicking an extra point,” said Tiger head coach Ricky Woods on the decision.

The Tigers (8-2) still are not playoff bound as they must hope Clinton defeats Starkville Friday night. A Clinton victory would give the South Panola a No. 2 seed in the Region 2 standings and a home playoff game Nov.13.

Should Starkville win, the Tigers would miss the postseason for the first time since 2000.

Against Warren Central, South Panola jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter as quarterback David Hubbard connected on scoring strikes of 42 yards to John Blockmon and 65 yards to Cam Wright. Hubbard would finish the night with 213 yards and three touchdowns.

Warren Central got on the board early in the second quarter before Perteet raced 20 yards around left end to give South Panola a 21-7 cushion following a Conner West’s PAT. The Vikings countered with a one-yard run with 2:48 remaining in the half as the Tigers would take a 21-14 advantage into the locker room.

The Vikings knotted the score at 21-21 late in the third quarter on a 48-yard pass that eventually sent the game into overtime. South Panola won the coin toss and elected to go on offense in the first extra session. Following a holding call, South Panola faced a 3rd-and-goal from the 18 when Hubbard placed a perfectly thrown touchdown pass to Wright in the corner of the endzone for a 28-21 lead following West’s PAT.

Warren Central answered with a three-yard run to tie the game at 28-28 before taking the lead in the second overtime 35-28. Perteet then crashed his way across the line on 4th-and-goal from the two before adding the game-winning conversion.

“We are so proud of these guys, we’ve been through so much this season from being in quarantined to having some guys deciding when things went bad they quit. It’s great to see these guys rally around and do what they’re supposed to. These last twelve quarters we have played as hard as they possibly could,” said Woods.

In the Tigers last three games have been by a combined six points.

Wight finished the night with 110 yards receiving while Blockmon added 89. Ethan Johnson had 15 yards. James Scott and Martez Clark had six yards each while Christoin Bobo had one catch for three yards. Marcus House, Jr. had an interception from his defensive back position.