North Delta Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ND protects homecoming win on last minute TD

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave survived  2007 homecoming by defeating the Marvell Eagles 26-22 in a nail biter Friday night.

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In a heated district match that came down to the last two minutes of the game, the Green Wave came out on top in a must win game situation. They needed this win to stay in contention for the district playoffs.

The Green Wave got on the scoreboard early and took a 20-6 lead.

North Delta struck first on 10-yard run by Hunter West. With the PAT by J.T. Dalrymple, the Green Wave led 7-0 with 8:45 on the first quarter clock. Holding the ball for Dalrymple was his younger brother, John Cody Dalrymple, a freshman. Helping set up that touchdown was a 44-yard pass from Bateman Greenlee to Michael Johnson.

The Eagles got on the scoreboard with 1:13 left in the first quarter when Clay Dubach scored on a one-yard quarterback keeper. The two point run failed and the lead stood 7-6 Green Wave.

With 31 seconds left in the quarter, the Green Wave responded quickly when Johnson scored on a 62 yard pass from Greenlee. With the PAT, the Green Wave led 14-6 lead at the end of the quarter and halftime since both teams were shutout in the second quarter.

The third quarter was almost a repeat of the second, but Johnson ended the drought. With 37 seconds left in the quarter, Johnson took the ball 99 yards to the other end of the field for a touchdown. The PAT failed but the Green Wave led  20-6 at the end of the quarter.

The Eagles fought hard in the fourth quarter scoring 16 unanswered points. With 10:59 on the clock, the Eagles’; Grant Ligon scored on a six-yard run and the two point conversion to get the Eagles within a touchdown.

Ligon bounced right back and scored on a six-yard run with 4:01 on the clock and the two point conversion to give the Eagles the lead for the first time, 22-20.

The clock was ticking and time was running out for the Green Wave team.

The Green Wave looked to sophomore running back Geri Lamm. With 1:58 left in the game, Lamm scored on a seven-yard run. The two-point conversion pass failed but the Green Wave had retaken the lead, 26-22.

Johnson finished the game with 87 yards on four carries with one touchdown. Dalrymple finished with 43 yards on 14 carries. Hunter West had three carries for 16 yards with one touchdown. Geri Lamm had three carries for 12 yards with one touchdown. John Paul Keel had one carry for three yards.

Bateman Greenlee completed five of 10 passes for 167 yards with one touchdown. Johnson had three receptions for 126 yards with one touchdown. Dalrymple had one reception for 33 yards and Seth Barnett had one reception for right yards.

Dalrymple had 4 punts for 155 yards, completed two of three extra points and had one two-point conversion.

Seth Barnett had one interception return for 30 yards.

The leading tackler for the game was Greenlee with 12 tackles and one fumble recovery. Keel and Johnson had 10 tackles each. Britt Lawrence had eight tackles, followed by Andy Barns with seven, West with six, Hunter Ferguson and Seth Barnett five each.

The Green Wave finished the game with 149 rushing yards and 167 yards  passing yards for a total offense of 316 yards. They had five penalties for 50 yards and lost two fumbles.

The Eagles finished the game with 311 rushing yards and passed for 43 yards for a total offense of 354. They had six penalties for 40 yards and one lost fumble.     

“I am proud of this win for our seniors,” said Coach Lance Thomas. “Every since they had been in sixth grade, they have been in a long hole. They deserve this. I am very proud of Coach Russo also.”

“I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of these 31 young men,” head coach Richard Russo said. “They again illustrate that they can overcome adversity. While I am extremely disappointed that we gave up a 14 point 4th quarter lead, I am proud that we did not get our head down when we were down by two points.”

Russo talked about the adjustments that had to be made by the coaching staff and the players on that last drive.

“All of the coaches were looking for specific things and we saw what they were giving us and we took advantage of it. That was the definition of ‘team’ effort,” Russo said.

Russo specifically mentioned the effort of Greenlee with 12 tackles on defense along with the interceptions by Barnett and Dalrymple.

A lot of elements on the offense received praise from Russo from Johnson’s offensive effort to Greenlee’s and Dalrymple’s.

“The offensive line played its best game in pass protection,” he said. “We have to improve with our running back pass protection and we have to find a way to get back to running our base runs.”

This Marvell team was the most improved team in the district Russo said, not Tunica as he had predicted earlier in the year.

“They were physical and had a lot more team speed than I remember from the spring game and the fall jamboree,” he said. “What an incredible job that Coach Tibbitt, Coach Kelly, and Coach Coats have done in a year’s time.”

The district playoff picture is getting closer every week. The Eagles came into the game tied with the Green Wave for second place in the district. After Friday night’s games, the Green Wave are tied with Desoto with a 3-1 district record. Delta finished their district play with a record of  3-2  by defeating Tunica.

Marvell dropped to 2-2 in the district. Tunica dropped to 1-3 and West Memphis dropped to 0-3.

“Well, as for the Green Wave, we must now focus on Tupelo Christian and get that job done so that we can pour our entire focus on the District 1A Championship  Game at West Memphis the following week. It is an exciting time for our program,” Russo said.

The Green Wave travel to Tupelo Christian Friday for non-conference action with a kickoff of 7 p.m. instead of the regular time.