Pope v North Delta

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pope Bulldogs roll past North Delta Jr. High

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Junior High team paid a visit to the Pope Bulldog’s home field on Friday, May 19, for the first ever meeting between the two teams.

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It was a history making scrimmage game for the teams and the community also. It was where friends played friends.

On this given day, they would play against each other for pride and bragging rights. Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, coaches and fans all came out to watch the game which turned into a Bulldog show.

The Bulldogs defeated the Green Wave 38-14.

Coach Mike Turner’s Bulldogs were made of 41 players including 12 eighth graders. They had talent in every position,  including size and speed.

It was a running back Kendrick Market’s show as he scored four touchdowns for the Bulldogs. No one from the Green Wave team could catch him. He made a total package on offense and defense. The Green Wave team was not surprised at all.

Market started the game with an 80-yard touchdown with 7:56 left in the first quarter. The PAT for the Bulldogs was no good and left a score of 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It did not take Market long to get going in the second quarter. With 7:25 on the clock, he scored on a 40-yard run. He also scored the two-point conversion for the 14-0 Bulldog lead.

With only a few seconds left in the second quarter, Market scored on another 80-yard run and the two point conversion was good by Lee Self.

The Bulldogs were in control of the game at halftime with a score of 22-0 over the Green Wave.

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs continued to dominate the game. Market scored on a 10-yard run with 4:12 left on the clock. The two point conversion was good by Dustin Dickey.

With less than a minute left, Self scored on a quarterback keeper from mid field for the Bulldogs. The two point conversion was good to give the Bulldogs a 36-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.

With 8:07 on the clock, the Green Wave got on the score board when Michael Magee scored on a long touchdown run. The two point conversion was good by John Cody Dalrymple.

With less than a minute left in the game, the Green Wave added another touchdown when Dalrymple scored on a 25-yard run with the clock running out.

The final score of 38-14 would go down in the history books for the Pope Bulldogs’ big victory over the North Delta Junior High Green Wave.

The two teams will play a game between each other in the fall.

The “B” teams played a scrimmage also. Pope scored first with 8:41 on the clock. The touchdown was called back due to a blocking in the back penalty. With 6:32 on the clock, Pope scored on about a 45-yard run and the two point conversion was good for the 8-0 lead.

With 3:31 left on the clock, Chase Bruce scored for the Green Wave and the two point conversion was good by Bryan Nickle to tie the game at 8.

The winning score for the Bulldogs came with one minute left on the clock when Tyler beard scored on a long run and the two point conversion.

Turner was very proud of the Bulldog team and how it played.

“I thought North Delta played really, really hard and I thought they were well coached,” Turner said. “Our boys just played their usual game.

“I didn’t put much into the historical perspective,” Turner continued. “It wasn’t that large with me. I could see some of it, but it was just really another game with kids. Private playing public really didn’t mean that much to me.”

The Bulldogs had a good attitude about the game, according to Turner.

“Nothing was ever said about this was a private school that they were playing,” he continued. “Nothing like that at all. It was just like we were playing any other school.”

Turner said Market was arguably the best player that he had ever coached.

“He has got it all,” Turner said. “He has speed, strength, heart and brains. He can put it on his shoulders and carry it himself. He is very good.”

Turner described Self as “nifty.”

“He is an operator, a smart kid and a good athlete,” Turner said. “He is a great passer and he can run our offense.”

According to Turner, fullback Dustin Dicker is a “hard nose kid.”

“He runs and blocks extremely well,” Turner said. “Our big tackle, Marki McMurray is 270 pounds, a gentle giant. He squats 440 pounds in the eighth grade. He is a terrific kid.”

Turner continued to brag on the team saying he never has any trouble with them.

“There are no discipline problems out of the ordinary,” he said. “They are just boys. It isn’t like I have to look over my shoulders and worry about any of them. They are one of the best groups that I have ever been around to teach and coach.”

Market said the game was very good.

“They were a good team and I enjoyed playing them,” said Market. “We had to stop them from passing and we got back in the back field. They tried to stop me.”

Bulldogs quarterback Self thought it was just a good game all around.

“It was a good battle and they came to play and so did we,” said Self. “The game was good for the community and we had a good turnout. A lot of people came to it.”

To stop the Green Wave, Self said the Bulldogs had a lot of blitzing and confusion in the backfield.

“They like to pass a little, so we put a stop to that,” Self said.

“We knew going into the game they had great athletes and it was going to be a great challenge for us,” said Russo, Green Wave’s head coach. “We were willing to do it regardless. For the main reason, for me selfishly, so that our team could see the speed of the game that the Pope Bulldogs had.”

Russo explained the speed of the game against Pope was far better than anything they will see this year.

“That will help us,” Russo said. “It will slow down the game for us in the fall against our other teams in the district and our non conference schedule.”

Russo was complimentary of the Green Waves playing hard and using good technique.

“Overall, I saw some things that were very good that we did,” he said. “Some of our best plays were to our fullback. We have got to get where we run plays to our tailback and quarterback as well. We have got to have time to drop back and pass the football. We had some key injuries on the offensive line that hurt us and didn’t allow us to do our passing game as much as we would have liked to.”

Russo talked about some  key players in the game.

“Obviously first and foremost, Michael Magee, was one of them,” Russo said. “It was his first start as fullback and he had several long runs including a touchdown run.

“Bryan Nickle, when we gave him time, threw the ball well,” Russo continued. “John Cody Dalrymple drew his first start as receiver and he did well by catching a two-point conversion and scoring a touchdown on a reverse play.”

Russo was not surprised by the play of Dalrymple, brother to varsity quarterback Jim Tyler Dalrymple.

“I have seen his brother, so he has good genes as far as athleticism,” Russo said. “I was surprised at the level he did play because he had a whole year off. I thought that he would have been a little bit more rusty, but I think him not being able to practice with us for the past four weeks and listening and learning, he kind of knocked the rust off.”

As far as the “B” team, Russo was pleased.

“They did great,” he said. “For a lot of those guys, it was their first time to ever play football. They had never played any kind of pee wee or city league. I am very pleased with them and where they can be.”

Russo said the team will look at the film and learn from the mistakes.

Green Wave quarterback, Bryan Nickle said the game was pretty tough.

“They were better than I thought,” said Nickle. “We played hard, but it wasn’t good enough to beat Pope. One area that we need to work on is the line. That comes to mind first.

“As a leader, I will tell my team to keep their heads up, work hard all summer, and lift weights as much as they can to get better,” Nickle continued. “We probably will not face another team like them.”

Dalrymple said it felt great to be on the football field after being out for a year.

“I was nervous but I was never afraid or scared out there,” said Dalrymple. “It was fun going up against all my friends and I knew ahead of time how good they were. I felt good about the game. One of my goals was to get a touchdown and I did. Areas of improvement that we need to work on is the line and we need to get quicker.”

Magee pulled no punches and said they could have played a lot better.

“But we still hung with them,” Magee said. “I think one problem was we weren’t wrapping up on the running back. As far as what we need to work on, everything pretty much. This game helped us to see what we need to work on. I liked playing Pope and I think it will be a different game in the fall when we play them.”