BATESVILLE — The South Panola Tigers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 12-10 upset of Madison Central on Friday night.
There wasn’t much offense to speak of for either side. South Panola only accumulated 256 total yards against a stout Jaguar defense, but it was enough to get the job done. According to South Panola head coach Ricky Woods, the last eight quarters — going back to last week’s win over Germantown — is the most complete stretch his team has put together this season.
“Madison Central is a great team,” Woods said. “This is the best eight quarters we’ve played in a long, long time. All year long we’ve been working but we haven’t played anywhere near as good as we’ve gone out and played the last two games.”
South Panola’s defense stopped the struggling Jaguar offense in their tracks.
The Tigers held the Jags to 208 total yards, and an average of 4.4 yards per play. South Panola generated pressure on Madison Central quarterback Vic Sutton all night. The Tigers forced the Jaguars into some bad penalties as well.
According to Madison Central head coach Anthony Hart, a lot of the offense’s issues were self-inflicted.
“Yeah, penalties didn’t help us at all,” Hart said. “A lot of our stuff was self-done and in order to compete we have to play better. Hats off to them. They played pretty good.”
The Jaguars finished with 53 yards in penalties. Madison Central still has a lot to play for in the next couple of weeks in a wild Region 2-6A playoff race. According to Hart, he has little doubt that his team will bounce back.
“We’ll come back and play better next week,” Hart said. “We’ll have a good week of practice and we’ll come back and play harder next week.”
South Panola got a huge boost from sophomore running back D’mariun Perteet. Perteet carried the ball 16 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. According to Perteet, his offensive line played their best game of the season.
“The offensive line did more than their part tonight,” Perteet said. “The only way I can make big plays is with them opening holes and allowing the running backs to get the first downs that we need.”
Perteet finished multiple runs through contact to gain first downs on South Panola’s second touchdown drive. According to Woods, he’s a fantastic player who continues to grow.
“He’s really a fantastic player,” Woods said. “We try so hard to get the ball to him and I can’t say enough about my quarterback David Hubbard. He made his first meaningful start last week and he has played like a veteran and done what he’s been asked to do.”
South Panola has a week off before traveling to Vicksburg to play Warren Central. If the Tigers want to advance to the playoffs, they have to win in Vicksburg for that to be a possibility. According to Woods, he’s not worried about his team maintaining focus.
“We’ve already lost twice,” Woods said. “Losing will make you focus even more than you did before and we’ve already lost twice. I’m not worried about this team’s focus.”
— Walker Bailey
(Feature photo by Keith Warren)