South Panola (Batesville, Miss.)
, one of the country's most dominant programs over the last decade, can add one more notch to its belt: national champion.
The Tigers, who finished 15-0 and captured Mississippi's 6A state title, posted eye-popping statistics on both sides of the ball en route to finishing No. 1 in the Xcellent 25 Rankings presented by the Army National Guard.
Loaded with star power and groomed by excellent coaching, South Panola allowed more than one touchdown in only four games this year. They averaged more than 45 points per game on offense.
In the state final against previously-unbeaten Meridian, the Tigers turned in an outstanding effort, winning easily 28-7.
Running back Qyendairs Griffin
gave the Tigers a powerful threat running the ball, while Marcus Henry
and Nickolas Brassell
helped stretch defenses at wide receiver.Antonio Connor
and Kendrick Market
were dynamic defensive backs for South Panola, and up front, Temario Strong
and Issac Gross
were nearly impossible to block.
The Tigers rose to No. 1 following the Pearland (Texas) upset of Trinity (Euless, Tex.), which was the top-ranked team heading into the final weekend of the season.
Finishing a close second to South Panola is Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. Like South Panola, Aquinas excelled on both sides of the ball and had an equally dominant season, culminating in a 5A state title.Final Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (2) South Panola (Batesville, Miss.), 15-0
Season complete. 6A state champions. National champions.