ND Jr. High Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ND Jr. Wave ends perfect season 8-0

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave junior high football team ended their 2007 season Thursday night, October 20 with an undefeated 8-0 season.

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They traveled to Tupelo to take on the Tupelo Christian Eagles on what turned out to be a very wet evening with strong winds and rains moving through.

The seventh and eighth grade team were the only ones to play in this game winning 26-6.

The Green Wave scored first with 5:07 on the clock when Chris Rodgers scored on a four-yard run. The two point conversion by Rodgers was good to give the Green Wave an 8-0 lead.  Leading the Green Wave team was quarterback Renic Greenlee.

One minute went by and the field had to be vacated due to bad weather. The Green Wave team and fans had to go to the gym where everyone stayed for about twenty minutes.  The game resumed with 4:58 on the run. The two point conversion failed. The Green Wave led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Rodgers scored again in the second quarter when he took the ball 25 yards and the two point conversion failed. The Green Wave went up 20-0.

With 1:29 on the clock, Green Wave Hunt Howell intercepted the pass on the Eagle 40 yard line and returned it 15 yards. The Green Wave took over 1st and 10 with the ball on the Eagles’ 25.

A few plays later, the Green Wave fumbled and the Eagles recovered. The quarter ended with the Green Wave leading 20-0 at halftime.

Neither team scored in the third quarter. With 5:20 left in the game, Howell scored on a one-yard run. The Green Wave lead remained 26-0 as the two point conversion attempt failed.  

The Eagles avoided a shutout with 1:16 left in the game on a Zach Bridges 48-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Soper.

The Green Wave won 26-6 as the two point run failed.  

North Delta had 207 rushing yards on 31 carries and completed one of three passes for eight yards.

The total offense was 215 yards. The Green Wave lost two fumbles.

Tupelo Christian had 120 total offensive yards with 84 passing and 36 rushing on 12 carries. They completed four of 15 passes.  The Eagles lost two fumbles.

The leading rusher for the Green Wave was Rodgers with 101 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.  Bruce had 75 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns.  Howell had seven carries for 26 yards with one touchdown.

On defense, Chase Bruce led with six tackles.  William Dean had two tackles and one interception.  Renic Greenlee had three pass breakups. Howell had 1 interception.

Bruce said It meant a lot  to go undefeated.

“It makes me feel a whole lot better about next year’s team,” Bruce said. “ To stop them we played good defense and we just finished the game.”

Chris Rodgers agreed about the feeling of being undefeated.

“We had a tough game tonight,” Rodgers said. “The line blocked well. I was kind of worried about them at the beginning of the season. I feel pretty confident about next year’s team.  We have got to live in the weight room, work out every day, eat right, and run every day to continue this next year.”

Howell was getting really excited thinking he might get an interception.

“It just happened,” Howell said. “I got a chance to do it. It was really fun going undefeated to start off my football career. I really didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of the season.”

Greenlee gave the line credit for some good blocking.

“We gave the ball to Chris, which he ran really well,” Greenlee said. “Our defense did well. It was always in our minds that we might go undefeated. We put our minds to it and we got it done. I think that we will have another undefeated season and win another district championship next year.  Coach (Richard) Russo told us that we all did good jobs and he got to see a preview of next year and what we were going to be like.  He said that we were going to have a back-to-back district championship.”

Russo said, “It’s really an awesome feeling to go undefeated.”

He said the offseason condition program is the reason for the undefeated season.

“It is just a testament to how hard these thirty one young men and these two other coaches have worked,” he said. “The hours that they put in, was well worth it. Now we can stop, take a collective breathe and look back and reflect on what that we have accomplished.  It confirms that all the hard work that we did was good and the things that we teach them was very fundamental and the kids are buying into it. It’s great for the program now and great for the program in the future.”

In Thursday’s game, the offensive line, all six of them counting the tightend, was the first time for them to start, except for Sy Pritchard.  

“It was really Sy’s first start in a new position because with the junior varsity, he played tackle and now he is playing a guard,” Russo said. “All six of those guys did a great job. I am really excited about next year’s junior varsity team.  

For the team coming up next year, Russo is challenging them to work hard in the off season and be back-to-back junior varsity district champs.

“That sounds a lot better than just one,” he said.

Defensive leaders for season were: Copeland, 39 total tackles;  Bruce, 36; and Michael Magee, 34.  

Copeland had 9 tackles for a loss, followed by Will Dunlap, 5, Michael Magee and Carson Bailey four each,  Dalrymple, Corbin Baker, and Bruce three each.

Copeland led with three sacks for the season.

Bryan Nickle had two interceptions for the season.  Rodgers and Bruce each had three fumble recoveries for the season. Baker, Bullard and Catlin McArthur each forced a fumble.  Brasell had four pass breakups.

Rodgers had one defensive touchdown.