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Game Preview: South Panola Tigers (2-4) at Oxford Chargers (4-1)

The+Chargers%27+offense+lines+up+against+the+Tigers%27+defense+during+last+year%27s+meet-up.+The+South+Panola+Tigers+won+last+year%27s+game+with+a+score+of+14-0.+
The Chargers' offense lines up against the Tigers' defense during last year's meet-up. The South Panola Tigers won last year's game with a score of 14-0.

The Chargers' offense lines up against the Tigers' defense during last year's meet-up. The South Panola Tigers won last year's game with a score of 14-0.

Courtesy of Cailyn Brock

Courtesy of Cailyn Brock

The Chargers' offense lines up against the Tigers' defense during last year's meet-up. The South Panola Tigers won last year's game with a score of 14-0.

Walker Bailey, Staff Writer

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South Panola comes in with a losing record, but has shown the ability to compete with some of the best teams in 6A football. Oxford comes in riding a four game winning streak after last week’s dominant win over Southaven. South Panola shut out the Chargers in last year’s meeting in Batesville and won 14-0.

Players to watch:

Oxford WR Derrius Pegues: Pegues has started to distance himself as John Meagher’s favorite target. Pegues leads the Chargers in receptions and is tied for the team lead in touchdowns. Against an extremely quick and athletic South Panola defense, Oxford’s passing game will be vital in moving the football.

South Panola RB Janari Dean: Dean has been the workhorse back for the Tigers so far this season. Dean is averaging 174 yards per game and has racked up 868 total yards through five games. He will touch the ball somewhere in between 20 and 25 times while being the focal point of the offense.

Oxford QB John Meagher: Meagher has been a lot more efficient throwing the football throughout Oxford’s four game winning streak, and will need to continue to pass the ball accurately for the Chargers to move the ball against an athletic South Panola front.

South Panola ATH Konada Lewis: Lewis is another guy who will take a lot of carries for South Panola. Lewis is a physical specimen coming in at six feet five inches and 200 lbs. Lewis has been a red zone threat that is very hard to bring down, but has also struggled with ball security. South Panola has fumbled 15 times and lost nine of them through five games. Lewis has fumbled four times and lost three of them.

Oxford LB Ashur Hickinbottom: Hickinbottom has quietly become the leading tackler for what has been a very good Oxford defense. Hickinbottom will have a large role again tonight facing a team in South Panola that loves to run the football.

South Panola LB Jaqualian Gillespie: Gillespie is the leading tackler for the Tigers defensively. Oxford’s offense has had a great deal of success running the football, and have done it with a multitude of different guys. Gillespie and the South Panola front seven will have their hands full stopping the Oxford run game.

X Factor:

Oxford Front Seven: Oxford has been susceptible to the run at times this year, and against South Panola team that loves to run the football they will have to be at their best. If Oxford can put the Tigers in third and long often, they will have a great chance to win.

Prediction: 

Tonight is a matchup of teams that couldn’t be more different. I think this one comes down to assignment football in Oxford’s front seven defensively as well as conditioning. South Panola’s defense shut out Oxford last year at home, and I think this is another low scoring affair. Give me South Panola in a low scoring game. Tigers win 21-13.

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Game Preview: South Panola Tigers (2-4) at Oxford Chargers (4-1)