The undefeated North Delta Green Wave hosted the Leake Academy Rebels on Friday, November 5, in the first round of the MPSA AA playoffs.
The Green Wave shut out the Rebels 55-0, the Green Wave’s first of the year, before a huge crowd at Green Wave Field.
Leake finished the season with a 7-3 record after coming into this game as the runner up in District 2 under Simpson Academy.
Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston said, "Our second team came in and made some big plays. They held them out there at the end on three downs inside our five yard line. Those guys are getting better and better every week. They are pushing the other ones and there is a lot of competition out there. I think that they showed that tonight. They protected it and protected the shutout. The kids played real well and I am happy for them."
By defeating the Rebels in the first round of the playoffs, the Green Wave advanced to the second round and will host the undefeated Simpson Academy Cougars for the title of 2004 AA North Half Champions Friday night.
Simpson Academy defeated Lee Academy 48-19 on Friday night to advance to the second round. Since the Green Wave and Simpson are both undefeated, a coin toss determined the venue and the Green Wave won.
The Green Wave racked up on a total offense of 551 yards with eight touchdowns. The leading rusher was Dustin Maples with 270 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns, all in the first half of the game. Adam Goodwin had 132 yards on 7 carries with 1 touchdown. Hunter Coy had 76 yards on 9 carries with 1 touchdown. Forrest Wilbanks had 5 carries for 49 yards with 1 touchdown and a two point conversion. Cody hallmark had 1 carry for 20 yards with 1 touchdown and a two point conversion. Patrick Ellis had 3 carries for 10 yards.
Hunter Coy, Harrison Nickle and Nick Douglas each had one interception. Clint Egbert recovered a fumble.
The Rebels were limited to 72 yards rushing on 28 carries. They were 11 for 27 for 102 yards passing for a total offense of 174 yards.
The game started with the Green Wave receiving the opening kickoff. It did not take the Green Wave long to get on the scoreboard. With 10:31 on the clock, Maples took the ball 39 yards into the endzone for the first touchdown of the evening. The PAT failed and the score stood 6-0.
A few plays later, the Rebels fumbled the ball and Clint Egbert recovered it for the Green Wave.
On a quarterback keeper, Forrest Wilbanks scored on a 49 yard run with 6:46 left on the clock. The two point conversion failed but the Green Wave were up 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, the Rebels’ quarterback was sacked by Patrick Ellis for a loss of 6 yards. The Rebels had to punt the ball and a few minutes later, Maples took the ball from 42 yards out into the endzone. With the two point conversion by Hallmark the Green Wave led 20-0.
With 7:09 on the clock, Maples scored on a 76 yard run. The two point conversion by Forrest Wilbanks was good and the Green Wave went up 28-0. A few minutes later, Harrison Nickle intercepted the Rebels’ ball and returned it to the 20 yard line of the Rebels. With 6:42 on the clock, Hallmark scored on a 20-yard run.
The PAT by Jonathan Shedd gave the Green Wave a 35-0 lead. The Green Wave defense stepped up again and held the Rebels.
With 3:34 left in the second quarter, Maples scored on a 47 yard run when the offensive line made some big holes for him. The PAT by Shedd gave the Green Wave a 42-0 lead at halftime.
The Rebels received the kickoff to start the third quarter. With 10:46 on the clock, Hunter Coy intercepted a pass from the Rebels’ quarterback, Cory Burns. One play later, Goodwin scored on a 73-yard run.
The PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 49-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Harrison Nickle came in to relieve Forrest Wilbanks as the quarterback for the Green Wave.
The Green Wave team saw a lot of new faces come into the game for the fourth quarter. They scored early when Coy took the ball from 10 yards out. The PAT failed and the score stood Green Wave 55-0.
With 7:00 left in the game, Nick Douglas intercepted the Rebels’ ball and the Green Wave took over 1st and 10 with the ball on their own 30 yard line. The next play, the Green Wave fumbled the ball and the Rebels recovered it on the Green Wave 27 yard line with 6:24 left in the game.
The Rebels had a chance to put some points on the board, but they ended up facing a fourth down and 10 with the ball on the Green Wave’s 17 yard line. The Rebels tried for a pass for the first down but it was incomplete and they turned the ball over on downs.
The Green Wave took over 1st and 10 with the ball on their own 17.
With only 44.4 seconds on the clock, the Rebels were held short of the goal line by the second defense of the Green Wave team. With 34.4 seconds left on the clock, the Rebels had a first down and goal with the ball on the Green Wave’s one yard line and they spiked the ball.
With 26 seconds left, the Rebels were held short again when Christain Amberson made a huge play.
With 24.1 seconds left, the Rebels spiked the ball again and they took a time out.
The Rebels were facing a third and goal with the ball on the Green Wave’s three-yard line. Jon Michael Ware met the ball carrier in the backfield for a tackle. A flag was thrown on the Green Wave for off sides, so the Rebels went half the distance to the goal line. They would have one more chance to score with 15 seconds left on the clock and they were on the Green Wave’s 1 1/2 yard line. The ball was handed to the fullback and the second team defense stepped up and stopped the runner for a touchdown saving play.
Several players were asked about this game afterwards and asked who would they rather play, Lee Academy or Simpson Academy.
Maples said that this game was a great win for North Delta.
"We came out here in the first playoff game of the year after losing the first one last year and it hurt so bad, so we just came out here fired up and ready to win," said Maples. "We probably could have had a few more shutouts, but our second defense stepped up big in the fourth quarter and held them tonight. I want to play Simpson Academy and that is what everybody has been waiting for and it is going to happen here at North Delta. I just want to see how we stack up against them."
Nickle said, "It is very special, the first shutout in a playoff game. Our second team has been having miscues and not stopping the other team. This time, they did on the one yard line and it was great. About my interception tonight, they had been trying to run up the middle and throw a pass and I was sitting right on top of it. I made a good play. I want to play Simpson, because we can stop the run better."
Cody Hallmark said, "I think that it is a great feeling. It is our first time all season that we shut out someone. The second team really stepped it up on the goal line right there at the end of the game. It all came together tonight as a playoff game, a big important game, but we came out all fired up. That is always what we do and we got it done and we came away with the shutout and the first round playoff victory. I would rather play Simpson. It has been a lot of talk about Simpson being 12-0 and us. It is just going to be a game here next week and I would advise everyone to come out and see the game."
Scott Ross said, "Tonight, we just came out and played real hard. We knew at the beginning that if we played real hard, we probably would shut them down. We just played hard and had a good team effort. Everybody played together. Next week is going to be a real good game. I really don’t care who we play next week. Whoever comes to this place is going to have to handle something."
Adam Goodwin said, "About my 73 yard touchdown, I just owe it to my offensive line. They have been there all year long. It wouldn’t be anything without them. They are everything. They hold our team together and it is great. There was hope for us to shut out a team in a playoff game, but not like this. Next week is going to be a good game. They are coming to our place and have to walk the Green Mile."
Nick Douglas said his interception felt great.
"It felt good to me because the second defense had a real good game and that was the turning point of the second defense. We just had a great game because we just stopped them and had a shutout for us. I would rather play Simpson, so we can knock them off of their undefeated record. We are going to beat them."
Kickoff for Friday’s game is 7 p.m. on Green Wave Field.