Dear MHSAA officials,
I have an idea.
And I’ve already checked — Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, along with every high school and junior college stadium in the state, is available next Friday.
Don’t worry about rent; the folks in Macon and Batesville will help pay for it.
I’m talking about a Dream Game between South Panola and Noxubee County to decide which set of Tigers is king in Mississippi.
South Panola won the Class 6A state championship on Friday to finish the season 13-2, undefeated against in-state opponents. Noxubee County won the Class 4A state title on Saturday, ending 16-0.
Don’t worry about getting the coaches to agree to it.
“Any time there is a game to be played, we’d be more than welcome to playing, no doubt about it,” said South Panola coach Lance Pogue.
Ditto, says Noxubee County’s Tyrone Shorter.
“Heck yeah,” said Shorter. “I would love to play a dream game against South Panola. There are some great football teams out here, but I wish there was a dream game so we could settle it on the field.”
Well actually for these two teams, someone’s backyard would probably be better for what would likely be a hard-hitting brawl.
But that’s not likely, so instead, it will be debated in barbershops, Internet message boards and on Twitter.
Both teams have quite impressive resumes.
Noxubee County blew out nearly every team on its schedule. Only one team (Louisville) scored more than two touchdowns against Noxubee.
Itawamba AHS Dandy Dozen running back Ashton Shumpert, who ran past and through every team he faced this season, rushed for 64 yards against Noxubee County.
Shorter didn’t hesitate when asked which team he thought was the state’s best.
“Noxubee County, no doubt about it,” he said. “Because of our defense. I think we have the best defense in the state and I would put these guys up against anybody.”
South Panola’s resume is just as impressive. The Tigers from Batesville were 13-0 against Mississippi teams, losing only to Hoover, Ala., and Bentonville, Ark. Those these teams were undefeated and ranked 15th and 14th nationally by MaxPreps this week.
“With our strength of schedule, I’d put it up against anybody in the country,” said Pogue. “You look at who we’ve played. I think we proved ourselves with our body of work in Mississippi.”
Pogue watched Noxubee County on TV Saturday.
“I think they are athletic with a lot of speed,” said Pogue. “But they are always that way. They are a relentless defensive team. But at the same time, the level of play in 5A and for sure 6A is always out of sight.”
West Point’s Chris Chambless is the only coach in the state who played both teams, losing 12-10 to South Panola in the season opener and 6-0 to Noxubee in Week 5.
“It would be a real low-scoring game, that’s for sure,” said Chambless. “They both have great defenses, and it would be whoever could make a big play. It would be great to see.”
Pogue had an even better idea. “Throw (Class 2A champion) Bassfield in there too, and let’s just have a 3-team deal,” said Pogue. “If there is a game to be played, you can count us in.”
Me too, Coach.
All in favor?