North Delta football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ND falls to Marshall

By Angie Ledbetter

Five North Delta turnovers contributed to the 41-20 defeat at the hands of Marshall Academy in non-conference action Friday night.

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The Marshall Academy Patriots came to Green Wave field with the attitude they were going to put a whipping on the Green Wave after last week’s 30-12 loss to Indianola Academy.

The Patriots scored first  on a Wesley Harris 20-yard run with 1:53 left in the first quarter. The scored stood 6-0 at the end of the first quarter after the PAT failed.

With 5:19 left in the first half, Tyler Childers scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 25 and 23 yards run. With the PATs by Brent Adams the Patriots led 20-0 at the half.

The third quarter was not kind to the Green Wave either. With less than two minutes off the clock, Childers scored on a 57-yard run but the PAT failed.

With 6:16 on the clock, Patriots’ Jake Howell recovered a fumble and scored on a fumble. The PAT was good for the 33-0 lead.

A little under three minutes remained in the third when Marshall added more points on the board when Harris scored again on a 56-yard punt return. With the two point conversion by Hunter Bolden, the Patriots went up 41-0 at the end of the third quarter.

The Green Wave found some rhythm in the fourth quarter. With 6:34 on the clock, Josh Garrott scored on a five-yard run and the PAT by J.T. Dalrymple was good.

A few minutes later, Michael Johnson scored on a 10-yard keeper and the PAT failed. With 1:20 left in the game, Garrott scored on a 23-yard run and the PAT failed.

The Green Wave ended the game with 160 rushing yards and 44 passing for a total offense of 204 on 50 plays. They had 10 first downs and four penalties for 50 yards. They fumbled six times and losing three and threw one interception.

Johnson had three receptions for 34 yards and Garrott had two for 10 yards and one touchdown for 16 yards. In passing stats Johnson did not complete a pass and Bateman Greenlee  completed five of seven for 44 yards with one interception.

In rushing, Maples lead the team with 73 yards on 14 carries, his longest being 21 yards. Johnson had 46 yards on six carries. Garrott had nine carries for 22 yards and one touchdown with 11 yards. John Paul Keel had 15 yards on four carries and Hunter West had seven yards on two carries.

The Patriots had 227 rushing yards and 93 passing for a total offense of 320 yards on 35 plays. They had nine first downs and seven penalties for 55 yards. They had five fumbles and lost four.

Green Wave head coach Richard Russo said they were playing with another starter out of the lineup and were playing  with a lot of backups.

“We got out athleted a lot,” Russo said. “We didn’t take care of the football very well. We had five turnovers and we gave them the short field a lot. I knew what happened when it was going on. We didn’t miss as many tackles as I thought that we did. The Adams quarterback was a better athlete than what I remembered him from being last year and #80 was a real good route runner as a wide receiver. Hats off to them. They are a good team. They’re going to do well this year.”

Injuries to key players are  taking a toll on the team, according to Russo.

“We’re not going to make excuses,” he said. “We’ve got to coach up and get better the 11 players that we put on the field.

“It’s discouraging to keep losing key players, but you have to keep your head up,” Russo continued. “We’re going to play again this Friday. As a coaching staff, we’ve got to be positive and we’ve got to be energetic. We’re excited about the game this week. Hopefully, that will spill over in to our players.”

The coaching staff is charged with keeping the team focused this week on the upcoming game with Tunica, Russo said.

“You have to focus on the task at hand,” he said. “We’re still undefeated when we’ve played 1A schools. We need to remain so even after this week. Our kids know that. We’re still undefeated in our district.”

Russo said it was very encouraging to know that his players did not give up.

“I’m glad to know that we didn’t quit. Even though we had some younger players in there. We kept fighting.”

Kickoff Friday in Tunica is 7:30 p.m.