ND Green Wave football

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2007

Green Wave go on road for non-district action with Tupelo Christian

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave (5-2 overall, 3-1 district) will travel about 70 miles east to Belden to take on the Tupelo Christian Eagles (3-5,1-3) in non-conference action.

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This will be the first ever meeting between these two schools as this is Tupelo Christian’s first year in the MPSA. Last year, they played as an independent school and did not compete for a championship.

The Tupelo Christian Eagles are in district 3-north with Calhoun Academy, Hebron Christian, Immanuel Christian, Macon Central, and Winona Christian.

Winona Christian leads that district with a 4-0 record and Hebron Christian has a record of 3-0. Calhoun Academy has a 3-1 district record.

The Eagles are coming after a 40-14 loss to Hebron Christian last Friday. They defeated Tipton-Rosemark 14-13 on August 13, Macon Central 46-6 on September 7, and Wheeler 34-14 on September 28. They lost to Marvell, Ark. 41-15 on August 24, First Assembly 48-13 on September 14, Calhoun Academy 20-16 on September 21, and Winona Christian 46-0 on October 5.

After winning over Marvell last week, the Green Wave are in first place with a district record of 3-1. Other district records are Desoto, Ark. 3-1; Delta Academy, 3-2; Marvell, 2-2; Tunica, 1-3; and West Memphis, 0-3.

The Eagles have a very young team of 20 players, coached by Chris McRae, with no seniors as the school only goes through the 11th grade. Ten juniors, five sophomores, four freshmen and one seventh grader make up the team.

Leading the Eagles will be junior quarterback Brett Pierce. He has thrown for an 81-yard pass, a 48-yard pass, and a 41-yard pass.

“He is very mobile and he has a very strong arm,” said Green Wave head coach Richard Russo.

Other key players to watch will be wide receiver Braxton Melancon, fullback Alex Lyons and wide receiver/kicker Darius Garrett.

According to Russo, they run Lyons more than they do the tightend.

“We ended up playing them because of the relationship that I have with Coach McRae,” Russo said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach McRae. Actually my very first year out of college as an assistant football coach at Bruce, I coached against him. He was at Winona High School. He did a lot of good things there. He knew what I was all about and I knew what he was all about, so we decided that we wanted to play each other.

“As far as the team, I was very impressed with their players on film,” Russo continued. “We are excited about playing them.”

Tupelo Christian runs a 4-3 defense. Russo said their 4-3 is different than the Green Wave’s. They also do not run a lot of different offensive formations.

“They try to run seven formations and try to run them well,” Russo said. “They do a lot of shifting and this is the first time that we have seen this all year.”

On some defensive corrections from the Marvell game are John Paul Keel led the team with 16 tackles, one for a loss. Other defensive leaders include Bateman Greenlee, 14 tackles, four for loss and one fumble recovery; Hunter West, 14 tackles, four for loss; Britt Lawrence, 13 tackles, two for loss; Michael Johnson, 10 tackles, one for a loss, one pass breakup; and Seth Barnett, eight tackles, one pass breakup, one interception.

The pep rally for the team is at 2:20 today. The pregame show is at 6:30 and kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Directions to Tupelo Christian School: Take highway 6 East, go 56.2 miles. Take MS-9 exit toward Pontotoc. Go .4 miles. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Sherman. Go 6.6 miles. Turn right at Endville Road. Go 3.8 miles.