• 52°

ND v Hebron 11-13-07

ND wrestles with Hebron and wins big first round playoff

By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave (9-3) won the first round of ŒA‚ playoffs Friday night when they hosted the Hebron Christian Eagles. It was a sweet 35-28 victory as they advance to the second round of playoffs.

There are only eight teams left in the class A division competing for a chance to play in the state championship game on November 30.

The victory was hard fought as the Green Wave had to play tough through all four quarters against a very good Hebron team.Tied 28-28 with only minutes remaining Green Wave  Michael Johnson caught a 9-yard pass from quarterback  Bateman Greenlee for the last touchdown of the game. JT Dalrymple capped it off with his fifth PAT to give the Green Wave the win.

The Green Wave won the toss and elected to receive the ball to start the game. Neither team scored in the first quarter, and at the end of the first quarter, the Green Wave had the ball 1st and goal with the ball on the 8 yard line.

They came right back in the second quarter and scored when JT Dalrymple took the ball in from the 8. His PAT was good giving the Green Wave a 7-0 lead. That drive took 6 plays and went 50 yards.

A few minutes later, the Eagles capitalized on a Green Wave fumble and scored when JoJo Pearson took the ball from two yards out. The PAT failed and the Green Wave kept a 7-6 lead with 8:00 on the clock. Will Dunlap recovered an onside kick for the Green Wave on the 50-yard line.

Dalrymple caught a long pass from Greenlee and Hunter West rushed the ball down to the 1-yard line, setting up a score for the Green Wave with a little over six minutes to play in the first half. Greenlee kept the ball to score on the next play and Dalrymple’s PAT was good.

That drive took five plays and went 50 yards. With 4:35 on the clock, Seth Barnett intercepted a pass and returned it nine yards for the Green Wave. On the next play, Dalrymple caught a long Greenlee pass, but the Green Wave wasn’t able to get in the end zone.

With just a few seconds left in the half, the Eagles were threatening when Dalrymple intercepted the ball on the two yard line. The Green Wave took a knee and went in at the half up 14-6.  

Starting the third quarter, the Eagles had 1st and 10 on their 13 yard line after Dalrymple kicked off. They took the ball 41 yards on seven plays to score. The two point conversion was no good.

Minutes later, the Eagles fought hard and took the lead from the Green Wave. With 2:07 left in the third quarter. Gavin Spence caught a seven-yard pass from Jo Jo Pearson and a rush was good by Pearson giving the Eagles a 20-14 lead.

The Green Wave came back going to the air and moving the ball 80 yards on 5 plays to get into the end zone. Michael Johnson caught a 23-yard pass from Greenlee and the PAT by Dalrymple was good, giving the Wave a 21-20 lead with 55 seconds left on the clock.

With 33 seconds left on the clock, the Green Wave  scored again after stopping the Eagles on their drive. Dalrymple scored on a 26 -yard rush and his PAT was good to give the Green Wave a 28-20 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was a nail biter to the very end. Both teams struggled to keep the lead until time expired. The Eagles took the ball 65 yards on six plays to score again.

With 10:30 remaining, Pearson took the ball one yard into the end zone and the two point run was good to tie the game at 28.

The Green Wave team found themselves in the end zone with only 7:33 left in the game. They would win this first playoff game on this November night in 2007.

Senior Michael Johnson had predicted a one-point win for the Green Wave before the game. Johnson had this to say after the game.

“It was too close,” Johnson said. “I was just glad that we won. I have never been to a playoff game and never seen one, so it feels good. We had to step up in the second half and make some big plays. In the first half, they couldn’t throw it to me because they had two people on me, so they threw it to JT and he made big plays. I told the other team to keep their heads up. This ballgame could have gone either way and I would have kept my head up.”

Dalrymple said it felt nice to win this playoff game. “It feels good. I like having to come from behind and win. I like having to crawl our way out. I wasn’t worried when they went ahead. I knew that we were going to win. They gave us a fight for a little while. I would say to the seniors of the other team that I know how they feel. I was in this position last year, even thought I wasn‚t a senior. They did a great job.”

Conor Ferguson said, “It feels good to win. I just feel like that we need to win more games without mistakes. We feel comfortable to come from behind sometimes. Every time in the fourth quarter, we never feel like we are going to lose, we always feel like we are going to win it. Hebron didn’t give us a fight, I feel like we just made simple mistakes. Coach Russo told us at halftime that we were just shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Britt Lawrence talked about the defense. “First we came out good, but then we got a little dull. They got into a formation that was really hard to stop. We got down in the slumps and people got upset with each other. We had to come together and come out of it and play hard. Hebron gave us a fight. They weren’t what we expected to them to be. With Winona beating them 48-0 and us beating Winona, gave us a little thing that we might have an easy time.”

John Paul Keel said it felt great to come out on top. “I was kind of worried there at the end. I knew that some how or another, we were fixing to win. Hebron came to play. I knew that we had to tighten up and play some football. Coach told us at halftime that we need to keep on playing hard.”

After the game, head Green Wave Coach Richard Russo said that it felt great to win the first round of playoffs as a Green Wave head coach.

“I just wish that we would put somebody away at one time at one point this year during the playoffs. We told them at halftime that we were up and their only six points came off of one of our mistakes, so we had to quit making mistakes. I think that we didn’t turn the ball over in the second half which is a great thing. A lot of the seniors stepped up in this game. They were excited. They didn’t want to go home. They didn’t want this to be their last game. All five of them, as well as Josh helping me out in the booth, did a great job.”

Russo said he had told people all week not to be fooled about Hebron’s 6-4 record.

“Don’t be fooled by them getting beat 48-0 by Winona Christian,” he continued. “No. 3 is one of the best players that I have seen in the entire MPSA. We were there a lot of times where we were supposed to be to make a tackle, we just didn‚t because he is that good of an athlete.”

The Green Wave ended the game with 146 yards rushing on 42 plays and Greenlee was 11 of 17 for 140 yards passing for a total offense of 286. They had 11 first downs, 8 penalties for 85 yards, and two fumbles but lost only one.

Dalrymple lead in rushing with 98 yards on 13 carries with 2 touchdowns. Hunter West had 7 for 43 yards. Geri Lamm had 3 for 24 yards. Greenlee had 8 carries for -9 yards with 1 touchdown. Johnson had 4 receptions for 66 yards with 2 touchdowns. His longest was 23 yards. Dalrymple had 3 receptions for 74 yards, his longest being 30 yards. Dalrymple had 3 punts for 139 yards, an average of 48 yards. He was perfect on the night with five PATs. He had 2 kickoff returns for 20 yards. Lamm had 1 for 28 yards, Dunlap had 1 for 0 yards, and Michael Magee had 1 for 5 yards.

The Eagles had 307 yards rushing and they were 17 of 9 in passing with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions for a total offense of 411 on 70 plays. They had 16 first downs, 7 penalties for 60 yards, and 1 fumble which they lost. They had 6 kickoff returns for 82 yards, 1 interception return for 10 yards, and 1 fumble return for 9 yards.

Leading the Green Wave defense in tackles were Keel, 20; Geri Lamm, 14,; West, 13; Britt Lawrence, 11; Greenlee, 7, including one for loss; Ferguson, 5; Blayne Joyner, 5 including one for loss, one forced fumble and also a fumble recovery; Dalrymple, 5 and one interception and two pass breakups and Barnett, five tackles and one interception.