South Panola wins 5th straight title

Published 12:46 am Sunday, December 9, 2007

Darius Barksdale rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns to lead South Panola to an unprecedented fifth straight Class 5A state title with a 28-21 win over George County on Friday.

It was the Tigers’ seventh overall state title and the team’s 75th consecutive win, a state record. South Panola (15-0) hasn’t lost a game since the 2002 Class 5A championship against Wayne County.

Barksdale’s touchdowns included short scoring dashes and a 71-yard run in the first half.

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South Panola led 21-0 at halftime.

Barksdale’s 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter put South Panola ahead 28-7.

George County (13-2) scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on two touchdown passes from Tookie Hopkins to Johnny Fairley and pulled within 28-21 with 2:54 left in the game.

George County recovered the onside kick and marched to the South Panola 28 yard line but turned the ball over on downs with 39 seconds remaining in the game.

This was George County’s first state championship game appearance.