Petal will open up its brand new state of the art football stadium Saturday night at 7:30 against the nation's 5th ranked team in the South Panola Tigers. Some folks around the Batesville area are saying this could be the best Tiger football team ever.
Keys to Victory: There is no doubt that each team will be ready to play this game. One of the biggest keys to victory in this game will be to see which team can harness its emotions in the early stages of the game.
South Panola has definitely played in big games before, the players for the Tigers are experienced and should have little problem with early game emotions or penalties. Everyone in the Petal community has been looking forward to this stadium opening ever since the last out was made in the Petal-Madison Central state championship baseball series.
Little doubt remains that the stadium will be packed to the gills and the tension will be thick enough to cut with a knife. The team that scores first in this game will have an advantage. Momentum in big games like this can factor in tremendously and being the first team that scores can go a long way into gaining momentum.
Match-ups to look for: Who will cover Nickolas Brassell? Brassell, is a 6-1, 175 pound Dandy Dozen wide receiver/defensive back for South Panola.
The talented Brassell is an amazing prospect, he will double teamed on every pass route that he runs. Man-to-man coverage will not be enough to contain Brassell.
Another match-up to watch for is the three headed monster of Antony Alford, Maverick Parsons and Terry Davis running the ball for the Petal Panthers.
Alford, Parsons, Davis will me matched up against defensive linemen Taylor Rotenberry, Isaac Gross, Temario Strong and linebackers Lekedrick Flowers, Kendrick Market and Dennis Draper. Needless to say, the Tiger defense will be very fast, talented and ready to tackle anyone who has the ball. When on offense, the Tigers will look to get the ball in the hands of its playmakers.
Those playmakers will be quarterback Lee Self, Brassell, wide receiver Marcus Henry and running back Qyen Griffin. Griffin started at linebacker last year and now will start at half back.
Last Year's Score: South Panola won 38-0 last season in Batesville.
Prediction: Petal will be ready to play and keep this game close, but South Panola pulls away in the end.
South Panola 31