Tigers crush Center Hill on Senior Night; will host Oxford in playoffs

Published 8:08 am Friday, November 5, 2021

Sophomore standout Julius Pope accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) as South Panola clinched the Region 1-6A championship with a 42-9 victory over Center Hill on ‘Senior Night’ Thursday at Robert H.Dunlap Stadium.

The Tigers (8-3) will host Oxford next Friday in round one of the North 6A State playoffs with a 7 p.m kickoff.
The Chargers enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed from Region 2 after losing 48-7 to Madison Central Thursday.
Quarterback David Hubbard was 10-of-15 passing for 115 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers led 14-3 after one quarter and 28-9 at halftime. Hubbard also rushed six times for 50 as part of South Panola’s 234 yards rushing on the night.
John Blockmon and Seandun Clark were on the receiving end of Hubbard’s touchdown strikes. Demarion Shaw added a five-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Landis McKinney posted eight tackles while Mykel Allen and Marcus House,Jr. recovered fumbles for the Tiger defense that held Center Hill to 193 yards total offense.
After Clark returned the opening kickoff the Center Hill 35, South Panola took advantage of the short field position as Hubbard hit a wide-open Clark from five outs out on fourth down to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

The Mustangs and their  rarely seen triple option offense responded with a nine-play, 67-yard drive that ended in a 25-yard field goal at the 4:24 mark of the first quarter.

South Panola answered with a 10-play, 47-yard drive that resulted in a one yard plunge by Pope followed by Conner West PAT to make the score 14-3 with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter. The drive was aided on a 13-yard run by Hubbard on  3rd-and 4 at the Mustang 41.

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 Center Hill showed its resilience on the first play of the second quarter  on a 24-yard touchdown run that close the margin to 14-9.

 South Panola yet again punched back with a quick, three-play scoring drive resulting in a spinning 23-yard run by Pope into the end zone to extend the lead to 21-9 after West’s successful point after.

 The Tigers closed out the half as Hubbard connected with John Blockmon on a 12-yard pass with 23 seconds remaining.

 Things began to unravel for Center Hill in the third quarter as a unsuccessful hook-and-lateral play resulted in a fumble return by Mykel Allen to the Mustang 14-yard line where Hubbard tossed a touchdown pass to Pope on the next play for a 35-9. cushion.

 Demarion Shaw accounted for the final South Panola touchdown with a five-yard plunge with 7:24 left in the third quarter.

“ I feel like the kids came out with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder after losing to Horn Lake last week. We had a short week to get ready, but they came out got prepared and played really well tonight. Next week starts a new season with Oxford and I’m sure we will be ready to play,” said South Panola head coach Ricky Woods.

 The Tigers amassed 358 total yard of offense with 243 coming on the ground and 115 through the air. South Panola moved the first down chains 21 times compared to 12 by Center Hill. Both teams were penalized five times.

 D’Mariun Perteet led South Panola with 62 yards on eight carries while Shaw added 51 yards on also eight carries. Pope carried the ball six times for 42 yards and caught one pass for 14 while returning two kickoffs for 75 yards including a 44 yarder that set up a score.

 Terrion Hughes supplied three carries for 56 yards in a reserve roll. Clark caught four passes for 56 yards while LaAric Harris and Ethan Johnson had one reception each. Trey Drumheller had two catches for 17 yards.

Jalen Kerby collected six tackles for the Tiger defense while Mo’trell Chapman added five stops. Allen provided four tackles while House contributed with three tackles and three passes broken up. Tavion Cotton and Antione Wright also had three stops. Kaderious Frost also cause a fumble for the South Panola defense.