Tigers on road to play Clinton – Now 3-1 after C’dale win

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. So might be the mantra of the South Panola Tigers, a team that is coming off another football victory after being shut out in the first half.

The Tigers (3-1) will take a road trip this week, heading to Clinton High to play the Arrows in a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Sept. 22.

The 7A Clinton team has had a rough start to the ‘23 season, losing to Warren Central, NW Rankin, Brandon, and Grenada. The Arrows were shut out 35-0 last week against Grenada.

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Against Clarksdale last week, the  Tigers came back from a scoreless first half to score three touchdowns in the second half, this time overcoming a 7-0 deficit to score 21 unanswered points for a 21-7 non-region win Friday night at Robert Dunlap Stadium in Batesville.

Tiger running back Mykel Allen scored on a 28 yard scamper with 9:10 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-7. The Tigers defense held the Wildcats and on their next possession quarterback Michael Johnson hit a wide open Marcus Christon for a 71-yard touchdown.

South Panola’s defense didn’t allow another score after the Wildcats connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass with less than three minutes in the first half. The teams had exchanged punts and turnovers on downs until that first score.

The Tigers scored their third touchdown on a 10 yard run by Johnson with 3:09 left in the game to ice the victory. That drive went 60 yards on 13 plays.

South Panola kicker Xavier McFadden was good on all three PAT’s and has not missed a point after this season. He attempted a 26 yard field goal in the first quarter- his first every field goal try – but was wide left.

Head Coach Brooks Oakley said the team’s slow start in the first half for the second Friday in a row, was puzzling, but the player’s response after the halftime break was impressive and made the difference in the final score.

“That’s two weeks in a row and me as the coach has to figure this out,” Oakley said. “But you see what we can do. M.J. had a big night and Mike’s playing both sides of the ball so we can be a really good football team. We have to figure out a way to play four full quarters.”

“We gave up one big play on defense, but other than that we stuffed them,” he said.