ND Preseason Football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Derrick Shawn, No. 8, debuted as quarterback for North Delta in the spring game Thursday afternoon. He hails from Oxford and will be sharing duties with Ray Tucker. The Panolian photo by Glennie Pou

Green Waves look good under new coach

By Brad Greer

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Under the direction of new head coach Dan Werner, the North Delta Green Wave football team wrapped up spring drills Thursday afternoon in a scrimmage against the New Site Royals, a 2A public high school from Prentiss County.

Each team ran  four 16-play series with the first and second team units alternating possessions. Although no official statistics were kept,  the North Delta offense looked to be in mid-season form as the Green Wave scored a total of ten touchdowns, two of which were erased by penalties. The North Delta defense also got into the act by picking off six passes.

Corbin Baker led the way with a pair of interceptions while Michael Magee and Bryan Nickle each had a interception return for a touchdown. Nickle also had four receptions for 80 yards including a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derrick Shawn. Tres Brasell and Austin Gant each had interception returns.

Shawn, an Oxford High School transfer, led the first team unit on four scoring drives in the first series of plays by hitting Baker on a 45-yard strike then connecting with Nickle for a 30-yard touchdown. Sophomore Chris Rodgers scored on a 10-yard touchdown run while Brasell crashed over the goal line on an eight-yard run. Rodgers finished the day with 45 yards on six carries while Brasell, who ran for over 1,000 yards last season as a sophomore, carried the ball six times for 47 yards.

“I think we improved as a team every time we got on the field this spring. We were a little short-handed because of the ones that played baseball were not here. But I was pleased when they did get out here how quickly they learned and picked up on what we were doing on both sides of the ball, “ said Werner.

The Green Wave second team offense was lead by senior signal-caller Ray Tucker. The South Panola transfer accounted for two touchdowns that included a seven-yard run and a three-yard touchdown pass. But perhaps the biggest play Tucker was involved in on the day was his bone-jarring hit he put on Royal receiver Phillip Exstrand from his linebacker position on the third series of drills. Exstrand laid on the turf for ten minutes before walking off slowly under his own power.

Will Dunlap was also a factor on the defensive side of the ball by recording a pair of quarterback sacks while Anthony Pike registered a fumble recovery. John Paul Keel and Conner Ferguson each had three tackles on the defensive first unit.

   “ We’ve got a few guys in our skilled positions such as Brasell, Rodgers, Nickle and Corbin Baker just to name a few that had a real good spring and we have got to get the ball in their hands. Derrick had a solid spring at quarterback, he has only been here a few weeks but has really picked things up quickly. He has got a long way to go just like everybody else but we feel comfortable about him,” said Werner.

Werner went on to say the one thing that concerns him is the depth of the offensive line. “ We’ve got six or seven guys there that are pretty good players, but if we get an injury or two then we might have to do some shuffling around on offense. But right now they are playing hard and doing a good job.”

Werner said the Green Wave will take a few days off then continue summer workouts and will take part in some seven-on-seven passing camps later this summer. North Delta opens the season Aug. 21 at Magnolia Heights.