ND Football v Desoto

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2008

North Delta’s Michael Magee, No. 9, tackles a Desoto runner Friday night. Helping him out was Jay McClora, No. 64. Photo by Martha Mills, NDS

In shutout, ND running out of excuses, says Coach

By Brad Greer

Sooner or later,  North Delta will get tired of shooting itself in the foot, or will run out of bullets whichever comes first..

In  Friday  night’s 21-0 district loss to homestanding Desoto, Ark.,  the Green Wave turned the ball over four times, three of which came deep in Thunderbird territory as North Delta dropped to 0-2 on the young season. Counting last week’s 14-12 setback to Strider, the Wave coughed up the ball nine times and have  been held scoreless in six consecutive quarters.

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“We’re running out of excuses. We’ve got to find a way to put the ball into the endzone,” said Wave head coach Lance Thomas. “We were inside their 20 five times and did not score a point. That’s terrible. You cannot expect to win ballgames like that. We are moving the ball from the 20 to the 20 (yard line) but we get down there and cannot seem to punch it in.”

North Delta had an excellent opportunity to set the tone early after a five-yard punt put the Green Wave on  the Desoto 20, but were forced to turn  the ball over on downs after losing three yards. Later in the quarter, the Wave had an eight-play, 28-yard drive stall on the Thunderbird 42.

“We had a chance to gain momentum on the first series and did not take advantage of the short field. Again just like last week, we have nobody to blame but ourselves,” said Thomas.

North Delta drove to the Desoto 17 early in the second quarter only to be turned away again as Dylan Cruz picked off a Bateman Greenlee pass in the endzone. Two more times in the second half the Wave threatened to score but came away empty-handed.

Trailing 7-0 early in the fourth quarter, North Delta put together a 14-play drive to the Thunderbird five where they faced a 4th- and goal, but were stuffed when Tres  Brasell was dropped for a 2-yard loss. The Wave last gasp came with 4:44 left in the game as they drove to the Desoto 30, but turned over the ball when Greenlee fumbled the ball after being sacked by Will Coleman. Two plays later, Desoto iced the game when Cody Manning took a quarterback sneak 68 yards to make the score 21-0.

The North Delta defense dominated the game  by holding the Thunderbird offense to 24 yards rushing after three quarters of play. Sophomore Corbin Baker picked off two passes from his cornerback spot while Michael Magee also intercepted a pass to halt a Desoto drive at the Green Wave 16.

Desoto (2-0; 1-0) finally broke on the board with 8:40 left in the third quarter when Manning hit Morgan Ussery  on a crossing route for a 34 –yard touchdown pass. The T’birds expanded the lead to 14-0 in the fourth period as Cruz broke loose on a 92-yard jaunt with 8:53 remaining.

North Delta finished the night with 195 total yards including 135 yards on the ground. Brasell led the team with 60 yards on 13 carries after touching the ball only twice in the first half. Geri Lamm followed with 17 totes for 58 yards.

Greenlee meanwhile was 4-of-12 passing for 60 yards on the night but was picked off three times. Baker led the Wave with a pair of catches for 17 yards while Chris Reeves hauled in one pass for 35 yard. Jim Tom Copeland caught a pass for eight yards. Desoto meanwhile rushed for 176 yards with 152 coming in the fourth quarter alone,

The Green Wave will look to break into the win column tonight as they will travel back to Arkansas to tangle with Lee, (Ark.) at 7: 30.