BATESVILLE | Coming into this season, South Panola coaches and players wouldn't publicly say that they had their game against MUS circled on the schedule. As the game progressed on Friday night however, it was clear that last season's loss to the Owls was still on the mind for the Tigers.
As we near the halfway point of the 2017 high school football season, let's take a look at what defined the game, as well as who stood out.
THREE THINGS OF NOTE
South Panola was able to play mistake-free football for the first time this season
For a team that had struggled so much in recent weeks holding onto the ball, those watching this one would have never known. The Tigers came into this game fully healthy, and it showed with their decision making throughout. The Tigers head up to Horn Lake next week to play the undefeated Eagles, led by Rivals250 linebacker NaKobe Dean.
South Panola's QB, Patrick Shegog was responsible for five touchdowns on Friday night
Shegog, who is committed to Tulane, really played well on Friday night, combining for a total of five touchdowns. The defining moment of the game came on what looked like a negative play, but Shegog took the ball back from Bradford, and took it 43 yards for the first points of the game for the Tigers.
The streak continues
Week five in high school football is now complete, and I am still yet to have a competitive game for four quarters since week one, when Meridian fought hard late against Tupelo on the road.
MUS was outmatched on the field from the moment the game kicked off,it was just a matter of South Panola valuing possession. Next week I will be leaving the state of Mississippi to see if I can break this streak.
THE FIVE WHO IMPRESSED
D'Jordan Strong (2018 South Panola ATH)
Coming into the season, Strong was thought of almost exclusively as a cornerback at the next level. On Friday night, he continued to show his versatility, especially in the short passing game. Strong's big play of the game came in the second quarter on a screen pass, where he was able to get by Maurice Hampton and the rest of the Owls defense for a 65-yard touchdown.
Strong recently decommitted from Arkansas State, and has heard from Vanderbilt, Missouri, Middle Tennessee, and South Alabama. He hasn't heard from Ole Miss since July, but says that is still the offer he and his family are waiting for.
Patrick Shegog (2018 South Panola QB)
Shegog is fully committed to Tulane. He made plays with both his arms and legs, and if he were to pursue it, he'd be a Power 5 quarterback. He's too humble to tell you, but he's easily the best quarterback I have seen all season at the HS level.
He will visit Memphis with his teammate OL Jamaul Lofton today for the UCLA game, but is all in on the Wave currently.
Caleb Grayer (2020 South Panola CB)
Grayer's recruitment is still in the beginning stages. Grayer was matched up with Hampton when Strong wasn't, and didn't allow a big play all game. Grayer has the makeup of a future four-star cornerback, and the size to go with it.
Maurice Hampton (2019 MUS ATH)
Coming into this game, after hearing everything about Hampton throughout the week, it would have been impossible for him to live up to the expectations others have placed on him. The LSU commit (for both baseball and football) could end up leaving football altogether if the money is right in the MLB, but he was all over the field on Friday night. He remains committed to the Tigers, but says that he is "open to other schools."
Contrary to several rumors elsewhere, Hampton will not be transferring to IMG.
He will visit Starkville today, and plans to be in Oxford for the LSU game on October 21st. Ole Miss has now offered him in both sports, and he is in consistent contact with the staff.
Marcus Henderson (2020 MUS OL)
The moment MUS stepped on the field for the first time offensively, I had to do a double take as I looked at the roster. The biggest offensive lineman on their roster was only a sophomore? He was 6-foot-5 and over 300 pounds? I was blown away. Henderson is extremely raw, but with the right coaching/development, he could be a future SEC. left tackle.