By Brad Greer
If Derek Shawn’s performance Thursday night in North Delta’s jamboree at Marshall Academy is any indication how the 2009 football season might go, things could get interesting out on Highway 6.
The junior quarterback threw for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Green Wave to a 14-0 victory over Kirk Academy then followed that with another touchdown toss to lead North Delta to a 7-0 win over Rossville, (Tenn.) Both games were 20 minutes long and used a running clock.
“I was very pleased. Our guys played hard. We only ran 10 plays in the first game but I liked what I saw out there,” said North Delta first year head coach Dan Werner. “I thought Derek threw the ball extremely well with this being the first live game we have played. We kept the ball for over nine minutes in the second game and scored a touchdown so I was happy about that. There is only so much you can do in games like these but overall I think we did pretty good, “ said Werner.
The Green Wave defense set the tone early in the first contest against Kirk as Will Reynolds’ fumble recovery on the Raider six-yard line set up North Delta’s first score as Shawn tossed an eight-yard pass to Chris Reeves at the 9:14 mark. Bill Gurley tacked on the first of two successful point after attempts in the game.
Following a quick three-and- out by the Raiders on their next drive, North Delta struck quickly for another score as Shawn connected with Bryan Nickle for a 61-yard touchdown pass with 4:03 remaining. Kirk then drove to the North Delta 20 on their last possession only to have it stall as defensive back Gerri Lamm broke up a pass on 4th-and-10.
Nickle led North Delta in receiving with two catches for 63 yards while Reeves hauled in a pair of receptions for 18 yards. Lamm added one catch for 14 yards. Kirk, who is coached by former North Delta coach Rick Johnston, registered 64 yards of total yards while the Green Wave rolled up 97 yards of total offense. Both teams had four first downs.
Conor Ferguson and Corbin Baker led the Wave defense with four tackles each while Carson Bailey added three.
In the second game, North Delta marched 70 yards on 14 plays to score their only touchdown against Rossville. The Wave converted a crucial 4th-and-3 play from their own 37 when Shawn hit Nickle on an eight-yard reception. Shawn and Nickle hooked up again for 17 and 12 yards, respectively, later on the drive. Then facing a 2nd-and-goal from the 6, Reeves hauled in a scoring pass from Shawn at the 9:21 mark to make the score 7-0 after Gurley’s PAT.
Brasell rushed five times for 20 yards and caught one pass for five yards as North Delta rolled up 113 yards total offense. Sophomore tailback Chris Rodgers added 37 yards on four carries including a 24-yard scamper on the game’s final play. Nickle caught three passes for 37 yards and returned an interception for 25 yards.
North Delta opens the season Friday night on the road. The Green Wave will travel to Senatobia to take on the Magnolia Heights Chiefs at 7:30 p.m. Radio broadcast begins at 7 p.m. on 106.9 FM.