Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: South Panola (Miss.)

Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: South Panola (Miss.)

Super 25

Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: South Panola (Miss.)

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Coach Lance Pogue and the South Panola Tigers won the 6A state title last season. (Photo: Keith Warren/Special to The Clarion-Ledger)

Coach Lance Pogue and the South Panola Tigers won the 6A state title last season. (Photo: Keith Warren/Special to The Clarion-Ledger)

While the preseason Super 25 football rankings won’t come out until late July, this is the second story in a series on teams that could contend in the Super 25 high school football rankings next season. We previously looked at De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).

Team: South Panola, Batesville, Miss.

2014 finish: The Tigers went 15-0 to win the state 6A title and finished No. 12 in the Super 25 rankings.

Tradition: The Tigers had an 89-game winning streak from 2003 to 2008 and have won 11 state titles. Five former South Panola players have been drafted by the NFL since 1997. Coach Lance Pogue, who took over in the 2007 season, has won five state titles at the school.

Spring football: Spring practice opened April 20 and wraps up with a jamboree at Mississippi State with Starkville and Carver (Birmingham, Ala.) on May 15.

2015 schedule: Opens Aug. 20 at Clinton, whom the Tigers narrowly defeated in the second round of the playoffs. Another big game is Southaven on Oct. 22.

Top returnees: QB Tyler Pogue; DB DeMetrius Market; DE Dre Porter; RB Oluwain Hoskins; WR Cole Rotenberry.

Toughest to replace: The Tigers lost Dandy Dozen running back Darrell Henderson, who ran for 2,253 and 32 touchdowns, including 196 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game. He has signed with Memphis.

Outlook: South Panola coach Lance Pogue isn’t sure his team can replace Henderson, but the Tigers have plenty of other talent returning, including Hoskins, a senior-to-be who ran for 1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

“I feel good about our team,” Pogue said. “I don’t know if you ever replace a guy of (Henderson’s) quality. He was a difference-maker and I think he will be that way on the college level, too. Oluwain is a kid we think has a lot of potential. He’s a bigger kind of back. He has a lot of ability.”

Another key returning senior is quarterback Tyler Pogue, who threw for 2,103 yards and 27 touchdowns with only five interceptions and is the son of the coach. His top receiver is likely to be Rotenberry, who had 724 total yards, including 587 receiving yards.

“He has some experience under his belt now,” Coach Pogue said of his son. “We have established that we can pass as well as run. We’re throwing the football better than we ever have.”

The Tigers also have a solid defensive line, led by senior DE Dre Porter.

“We really feel good about our defense,” Pogue said.

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