ND vs. Indianola

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

John Paul Keel takes down Indianola’s Blake Rowland Friday night. North Delta emerged winners by a thread, 12-7. The Panolian photo by Andy Young

ND defense handles Indianola

By Brad Greer

For the second straight week, the North Delta defense bailed out a struggling Green Wave offense in a 12-7 district win over Indianola Friday night at a bug infested Green Wave Field.

Junior Tailback Tres Brasell scored the game-winning touchdown on a two-yard run with  9:05 remaining in the third quarter.

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Brasell finished the game with 155 yards rushing  on 22 carries.

Indianola (2-2; 0-1) took a 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game when quarterback Caleb Dobson scored on a 17-yard run to cap off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with Zach Whitfield adding the PAT.

The Green Wave answered however 15 seconds later as Brasell raced 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff. Brasell was then stopped short on the conversion attempt, leaving the score 7-6 at the 4:29 mark. The drive was set up by Carson Bailey’s fumble recovery on the Indianola 36-yard line.

The rest of the first half turned out to be a defensive standstill as both teams traded punts. The Colonels  missed  a chance to put more points on the board with 47 seconds left before intermission when Joel Moor’s 31-yard field goal was blocked by the middle of the Green Wave defensive line.

Despite surrendering 201 yards of total offense, 171 of which came on the ground, North Delta never lost its cool.

“The coaches were not mad at us during halftime. We were just missing a lot of tackles by not wrapping up the ball carrier. They just told us to come out in the second half and keep playing hard and lock the gates and throw away the key,” said senior linebacker Ray Tucker, who recorded seven tackles and a pair of quarterback sacks. Tucker also recovered one of three fumbles caused by the North Delta defense on the night.

Whatever was said in the locker room at intermission ignited the Green Wave defense in the second half as it held the Colonels to 60 yards on the ground, including one yard of total offense in the third quarter. North Delta missed out on a pair of scoring chances in the third quarter as they started drives on the Indianola 40 and 36 yard-line only to be snuffed out by an interception and stopped on downs.

The Colonels threatened to go ahead midway through the fourth quarter as Cody Maxey took a fullback dive and rambled 52 yards before being chased down on a touchdown-saving  tackle  by Bryan Nickle at the Green Wave seven yard-line.

“That play by B. saved a touchdown and might have saved the game for us,“ said North Delta head coach Dan Werner. “It turned out to be huge because on the very next play we recovered a fumble.”

The play Werner referred to was a quarterback sack by Trebor Gainwell on backup quarterback Robert Wright that caused a fumble which was scooped up by Michael Magee.

Indianola’s last gasp came with 1:50 left in the game as they drove to the Wave 20 but were backed up on a quarterback sack by Bailey on 3rd-and 17. Tucker and Geri Lamm then combined to break up a pass on fourth down to seal  the win.

The Colonels outgained North Delta 284- 254 in total yardage but were flagged 11 times for 85 yards. The Green Wave was  penalized eight times for 62 yards while turning the ball over one time.

Nickle followed Brasell in rushing with five carries for 49 yards while also hauling in four receptions for 32 yards. The junior  led the Green Wave on defense with 11 tackles. John Paul Keel registered seven tackles from his linebacker spot while Coner Ferguson added five stops.  Shawn meanwhile was five-of-13 passing for 37 yards and one interception.

North Delta, (3-1;1-0) will take a well deserved week off this week before traveling to Marshall Academy next Friday  for another district contest.