NP Cougars hosting No. 1 Winona in 3A quarterfinals Friday

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Two of the most explosive offenses in perhaps the entire state will meet Friday in the quarterfinal round of the 3A state playoffs as No.1 ranked Winona (10-1) travels to No.2 North Panola (9-1) in what should be a standing room only crowd at Cougar Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

 Both teams advanced into the third round in different ways as Winona eased past Noxubee Co. 36-8 while North Panola went on the road and held off a scrappy Aberdeen squad 20-6. Limekin Walls scored two touchdowns including a three-yard run with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

 The Cougars trailed 6-0 late in the second quarter before Walls’ one-yard plunge tied the game at 6-6. On the ensuing series, QD Walls scored on a 33-yard fumble return to give North Panola a 12-6 halftime lead. 

Winona meanwhile has won five straight games after suffering its lone loss 41-15 to Alexandria, La.Sept. 24. Since then the Tigers have outscored their opponents 231-64 not including a forfeit win over Yazoo City. Winona is averaging 44.5 points per game while North Panola is at a 38.6 clip per contest.

The Tigers offense is led by senior quarterback Jekeyvion Burnley (6’3;210) and senior running back Deriaun Townsend(5’10;190). Burnley has thrown for 1,125 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 577 yards and ten touchdowns. Townsend has amassed 2,034 yards of total yards with 1,883 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns.

Chase Richardson is Winona’s main receiving target with 22 catches for 352 yards and four touchdowns. Linebacker Eric Boone leads the Tigers with 59 tackles followed by Marlon Small with 58 tackles and sophomore Fred Clark with 52 stops.

Winona leads the series 3-1 with North Panola winning the last meeting 12-7 in 2012 .