NP Cougars ready to roar at M.S. Palmer

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, August 24, 2022

North Panola’s quest for a return trip to the North 3A championship game begins in earnest as the Cougars take the short trip to Marks this Friday to open up the 2022 football season against old rival M.S. Palmer in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

The meeting marks the 27th time the two former district counterparts have met with North Panola leading the series 20-6, including a 44-0 win last year.

The two schools first played in 1972 when Palmer was known as Quitman County.

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North Panola, coming off a 10-2 record and an undefeated district championship, returns electrifying senior signal-caller QD Walls who accounted for 41 total touchdowns a year ago. Walls has plenty of firepower at his disposal with three-star recruit J.J. Harrell at wide receiver along with M.J. Newson, also a wide receiver and defensive back.

Travious Hayes will see time in the offensive backfield. Senior linebacker Jakeen Bowdrey anchors a stout Cougar defense.

M.S. Palmer looks to improve on last season’s 1-9 record, when they still managed to make the playoffs in Class 2A. They are led by quarterback Jeremiah Henderson and junior running back Jamarious Wilson.

The Cougars got a jump on the season with a dress rehearsal last Friday (Aug. 19) in a jamboree at Southaven. The Chargers took a 20-6 win in a contest that featured two, 12-minute quarters.

North Panola’s lone score came late in the first quarter as Walls connected with Harrell on a 60-scoring strike to make the score 7-6.

The Cougar defense held Southaven’s offense to two scoring drives with the score coming on an interception late in the second quarter.

North Panola head coach Randal Montgomery was pleased with his team’s effort against the 6A Southaven squad.

“That was a very good football team we played tonight. They had a lot of big guys on both sides of the ball and the running back will probably be playing division one ball somewhere, but overall I liked the way our guys competed not only in spurts but in both quarters,” Montgomery said.

“There were a few drives where we had our backs against the wall, but they came up with some nice plays,” Montgomery said. “Like I told them afterwards, the defense is always going to be ahead of the offense. We have some moving pieces and new guys on offense, but once we get it going in the right direction, it’s going to be exciting to watch.”