Green Wave football v strider

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Green Wave holds off late push by Strider to win

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave varsity football team traveled to Charleston on Friday night to open their 2007 football season against the Strider Academy Rams with a 40-22 win.

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It was not the battle on the field that was the toughest. It was the scorching temperature and the bugs in the air. But the Green Wave played the hardest.

Head Green Wave coach Richard Russo was very proud of his team.

“I felt like we came out and we established the pass. We established the run, we played solid defense, and we played sound special teams,” he said.

At one point the Green Wave led 34-0 and Russo said the first team got a shutout.

“The offense had accomplished everything that we wanted to see done in the game so we decided to play everybody,” he said.

The Rams scored 22 points on the relief players.

“I was very tickled with the way that we played for an opening game,” Russo said.

When Russo put in the younger players, he said they showed flashes of brilliance. In other spots, the second team needs work.

“Now that we have film on them, we can show them what they need to correct,” Russo said.

Last year, the opening game for the Green Wave did not have the same happy ending as Friday night. They lost to Magnolia Heights, who is  not on the Green Wave schedule this year.

“Obviously the level of competition was no where near where it was the first game of last year. But I did enjoy starting out the year on a positive note,” Russo said.

The Green Wave put the first points on the scoreboard when wide receiver Michael Johnson caught a 45-yard pass from quarterback J.T. Dalrymple with 8:46 left in the first quarter of the game. The Green Wave led 6-0 after the extra point was no good.

A few minutes later, Dalrymple scored on a 39- yard quarterback keeper and the two-point conversion run by Devin Maples was good to give the Green Wave a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter of the game.

The second quarter was all Green Wave football. With 9:15 on the clock, Devin Maples scored on a 38-yard run and the PAT by  Dalrymple was good.

Maples came back and scored again on a 54-yard run with 6:34 on the clock. The PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 28-0 lead at halftime.

Dalrymple started the third quarter by scoring on a nine-yard keeper with 8:56 on the clock. The PAT was blocked by the Rams. The Green Wave led 34-0.

With 3:44 on the clock, the Rams finally got on the scoreboard when Clyde Davis scored on a 5-yard run and the two point conversion by Mitchell Clark was good to end the third quarter with the Green Wave on top 34-8.

In the fourth quarter, Dalrymple attempted a 35- yard field goal but missed.

With 9:04 left in the clock, Matt Borg scored on a 59-yard interception return but missed the PAT.

The Green Wave’s Maples scored again on a 33-yard run with 7:44 left in the game to put the game away for the Green Wave with a 40-14 lead.

The Rams came right back and scored when Mitchell Clark scored on a 78-yard quarterback keeper and the two-point conversion to end the game.

Maples, who put up 20 of the 40 points for the Green Wave, said that it felt good.

“I knew going into that game that I was going to have a good game,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous before it and I didn’t have any butterflies in my stomach. I was just ready for it.”

Maples said being on the football field after a long break from playing felt pretty good to him.

Dalrymple said everybody did what they were suppose to do and that is how the Green Wave got a big lead on them.

Dalrymple talked about the first touchdown of the game when Michael Johnson caught the 45-yard pass.

“I knew when the coach called it, we were going to pull it off because I could hit Michael when he ran his route,” Dalrymple said. “He caught it and ran it in the end zone. It felt good.”

The Green Wave ended the game with 299 yards rushing on 30 carries and were three of eight passing for 76 yards with a total offense of 375 yards. They had eight first downs, seven penalties for 90 yards, one interception, and two fumbles, losing one.

The leading rusher was Devin Maples with eight carries for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Dalrymple had five carries for 47 yards with one touchdown. Geri Lamm had seven carries for 28 yards. John Paul Keel had two carries for 20 yards. Michael Johnson had two carries for 14 yards and two receptions for 65 yards with one touchdown.

Blane Joyner had one carry for nine yards and one touchdown and had one reception for 11 yards. Hunter West had two carries for five yards and Chance Crites had two carries for two yards.

On the Green Wave defense, John Paul Keel led the team with nine tackles, followed by Britt Lawrence with seven tackles and Blane Joyner with five tackles and one interception.

Geri Lamm also had five tackles and one fumble recovery. Cameron Goodwin, Hunter West,  Dalrymple and Josh Garrott logged four tackles each. Dalrymple had two tackles for lost yards and Garrott one tackle for a loss. Andy Barns, Clayton Cole and Rob Maddux each had two tackles.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams had 29 carries for 162 yards rushing and were two of four for 37 yards in passing for a total offense of 199 yards. They had six first downs, seven penalties for 40 yards, three fumbles, losing one and one interception.