Tigers stay perfect in 6A Region 1 – host Lake Cormorant Friday

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Quarterback Michael Johnson accounted for four touchdowns and running back Mykel Allen added another as the South Panola Tigers rolled over the Center Hill Mustangs 34-14 on a Friday the 13th Homecoming night at Robert H. Dunlap Stadium.

The Tigers are now 6-1 overall, the lone blemish a week two loss to 7A Oxford.

South Panola, now 2-0 in region play, will host Lake Cormorant, 5-1 overall and 0-2 in 6A Region 1 this Friday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on WBLE 100.5 and streamed on the station’s website.

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Replays of Tigers games broadcast are available at www.sptigerden.com on Sunday afternoons and on demand.

Lake Cormorant has lost both region games this season, taking a 42-0 whipping at Grenada and dropping a two-touchdown game 28-14 to Saltillo at home last week. The Gators are led by defensive end Kamarian Franklin (6-6, 260), one of the most highly recruited players in the Southeast this year. He has committed to play at Ole Miss next season.

Against Center Hill, the Tigers racked up 434 offensive yards and held the visiting Mustangs to 135 to pick up their second 6A Region 1 win of the season. South Panola moved to 6-1 overall on the season and 2-0 in district play. Center Hill dropped to 4-3 and 1-1.

Johnson carried the ball 19 times for 138 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 110 yards and one touchdown on a 9-for-14 performance. Marcus Christon carried the ball five times for 38 yards and caught five passes for 74 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown.

Allen rushed 26 times for 151 yards and scored one touchdown. Kicker Xavier McFadden connected on four-of-five point after attempts to round out the scoring.

South Panola scored on their first two drives of the game and led 14-0 after one quarter. Center Hill scored on a 87-yard interception return in the second quarter while the Tigers put together drives that resulted in no points. The Tigers led 14-0 at halftime.

In the third period, South Panola scored once and held Center Hill out of the endzone for a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored twice more, including an 8-yard scamper by Allen that sealed the game. The Mustangs had a 57-yard touchdown pass in the final period to round out the scoring.

The Tigers defense was stingy, allowing 65 rushing yards and 70 through the air. The Mustangs ran just one offensive play in the second quarter, although they did score on defense with an interception return for touchdown.

South Panola had 22 first downs on the night, compared to Center’s Hill’s five.

“We played good offensively but a couple of times we got the ball down there and couldn’t finish drives,” said Tigers head coach Brooks Oakley. “Overall I’m proud of our guys, they just keep getting better. We have to find a way to keep getting better the rest of the year.”

“That was a good defensive front that we played against and defensively we just continue to do what we do,” Oakley said.

The Tigers were led on defense by Jamarcus Flowers, Marques Curry, and Ken Jones with four tackles each. Flowers also added an interception.

South Panola was penalized 10 times for 80 yards and Center Hill drew seven flags for 40 yards.

“We have to work on the penalties,” Oakley said. “We can always find a way to get better. We scored 34 points but it’s still too many penalties.”

Photos by Kendall Bowlin