Tigers stay clean in region play – Two games left before playoffs
Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023
The South Panola Tigers cruised to an easy 33-7 region win over Lake Cormorant last Friday and have set their sights on this week’s game – a road trip to play the Olive Branch Conquistadors.
The Tigers won their third region game and improved to 7-1 and 3-0 with Friday night’s win over the Gators. Lake Cormorant dropped to 5-3 overall and 0-3 with the loss.
South Panola will wrap up the season with two away games – Olive Branch and then at Grenada in what Tiger fans expect to be a pivotal game for both teams heading into the playoff season.
Olive Branch has played through a down year for that program, posting an overall record of 2-6 that includes three region losses. The Conquistadors have lost five straight after last week’s 21-17 defeat at Saltillo. The week before, Grenada bested Olive Branch 42-7.
Against Lake Cormorant, the SP quarterback Michael Johnson scored three rushing touchdowns, gaining 97 yards on 15 carries. Mykel Allen led the team in carries and yardage on a 21-for-119 performance with a touchdown.
Anderrius Flowers scored a rushing touchdown while gaining 19 yards on six touches.
Xavier McFadden connected on 3-of-5 PATs.
Johnson attempted just five passes, connecting on five for 34 yards and one interception.
Defensively, the Tigers were led by Othaevius Toliver with six tackles, Jamarcus Flowers with five, and Martavous Milan with four stops.
Jamarcus Flowers and Tyson Lee each had interceptions in the game.
In team stats, the Tigers ran the ball 49 times for 2180 yards and the Gators rushed 27 times for a net of 77. Through the air, each team had nine attempts with the visitors picking up 62 and the Tigers 34.
The Tigers won the ball possession battle 31:27 to 16:33. South Panola was penalized 13 times for 98 yards and Lake Cormorant drew nine flags for 70 yards.
South Panola scored in the first quarter, but missed chances in the second period and took a slim 7-0 lead to the locker room. Head coach Brooks Oakley said the halftime speech wasn’t loud, but effective, as the Tigers put up 19 in the third quarter before subbing liberally in in the last frame with young players on both sides of the ball.
“There weren’t any chairs thrown and no coolers kicked, we just needed to clean some things up,” Oakley said. “We blocked them pretty well, but we would have a bad penalty, a holding or I wasn’t getting the play in quick enough. We just needed to settle down and play our kind of football in the second half.”
“Sometimes we get in our own way,” Oakley said. “But our defense keeps us in it when we are struggling.”
The Tigers and Conquistadors will kickoff at 7 p.m. in Olive Branch. The live broadcast can be heard on FM100.5 or on the WBLE website where streaming is available.