MaxPreps named South Panola as the most dominant high school football program in Mississippi for the past decade, winning three state titles and having two undefeated seasons. But the Tigers, who have won a state record 12 state titles, took a back set to Clinton and senior quarterback Caleb Miller Friday night.
Miller passed for 129 yards and two touchdowns and ran 16 times for 73 yards and one TD to lead Clinton to a 24-21 victory over South Panola in a MHSAA Class 6A, Region 2 game at Clinton. South Panola came in as one of the state’s best Class 6A teams and had won 15 of its last 17 games.
For his outstanding performance in this huge win for Clinton, Miller has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Football Player of the Week.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Miller completed 9 of 14 passes, 64.2 percent, and found Michael Hughes for an 18-yard TD in the first quarter and Montavious Warren for a 40-yard TD in the second quarter. Then, Miller ran for a 1-yard TD to put Clinton up 24-14 in the fourth quarter.
Miller converted four of four fourth down conversions for the Arrows, including two in the final drive to keep South Panola from getting the ball back. On fourth down at the South Panola 39, Miller drew South Panola’s offside to keep the drive alive. Then with less than a minute to go, Miller ran for 5 yards on fourth down for a first down at the South Panola 21. Miller took a knee to run out the clock on the next play.
Miller has passed for 470 yards and six TDs and ran for 284 yards and three TDs for the Arrows, which improved to 2-2 and bounced back after consecutive losses to Northwest Rankin and Madison Central.
“Caleb had excellent preparation and effort during this past week,” Clinton coach Judd Boswell said. “Caleb has such a competitive air about him and he usually makes the dudes around him better. We said all week the plays were there to be made, we just didn’t execute against Madison Central and the senior class did a tremendous job of capitalizing on the opportunities we had this past week against South Panola. We were 3-5 vs. South Panola and our kids love that challenge. I’m very proud of how they responded to the loss last week.
“Caleb converted two of those fourth downs on the last drive. One was for 2 yards as he willed his way on a quarterback power and the other one was a hard count that they jumped on and didn’t jump the entire game. He came to the sideline and said they are onto the call so he changed the name of the play in the timeout.”
Miller passed for 1,204 yards and five TDs and ran for 349 yards and four TDs last season.