Big plays were the name of the game, and unfortunately for Meridian High School, South Panola hit several of them in the Tigers’ 42-14 win at Ray Stadium Friday.
South Panola scored first on a 75-yard run by senior Martez Clark with 5:30 left in the first quarter, and the Tigers extended their lead to 14-0 with 9:36 in the second on a 35-yard scamper by quarterback Anterrio Draper.
Several minutes later, a bad snap on a punt attempt gave MHS the ball on the Tigers’ 8-yard line, and two plays later, Daniel Hill scored on a two-yard run to cut the South Panola lead to 14-6. MHS recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the drive stalled and forced the Wildcats to punt, and South Panola drove down the field before D’mariun Perteet scored on a 1-yard carry with four seconds to go before the half, giving the Tigers a 21-6 lead at intermission.
Perteet scored again with 8:26 left in the third quarter on a 65-yard run, and he scored his third touchdown of the night on a 12-yard carry with 11:03 remaining in the fourth. A fumble by MHS on its own 24 set up a 24-yard scoring run by Clark with 10:43 remaining to give the Tigers their final touchdown of the night.
The Wildcats’ Elijah Brown had a 3-yard touchdown run with 6:22 left in the fourth and also ran in the two-point conversion to make it 42-14.
“I was talking to them about something we talk a fair amount about around here, and that’s the journey,” MHS head coach John Douglass said. “There’s not always going to be an easy road, it’s not always going to be smooth. There are a lot of things you have to encounter and go through on the way. I felt like we were in the game until the end, and things kind of got away from us. I think this will make us a better football team. Now, we have to come back to work with the right frame of mind and continue to improve and stay focused, but if we do that, a couple of weeks from now when we start district play we’ll be in a much better position.”
MHS (0-2) travels to Starkville next week.