ND v Kirk

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green Wave secures playoff berth

By Brad Greer

Even though Ole Miss and Mississippi St. were playing on the road this past weekend there was still some Saturday afternoon  football  to be played.

After  Friday’s all day downpour forced the postponement of North Delta’s district showdown with Kirk, the game was moved to Saturday. But that did not seem to phase the Green Wave as they wrapped up a playoff spot with a 12-0 victory over the Raiders.

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North Delta will now travel to Mendenhall this Friday to take on the No. 2 ranked Simpson Academy Cougars at 7 p.m.

Tres Brasell rushed for 163 yards on a season-high 31 carries and scored a pair of second-half touchdowns to break open a scoreless game at halftime.

The Green Wave (8-2; 3-1) took their first possession of the second half and ground out a 15-play 77-yard drive that  chewed  up 7:11 off the clock and was capped off by Brasell’s three-yard scoring run  on fourth-and-two with 2:22 left in the quarter. Bryan Nickle’s  point after attempt was no good that left the score 6-0. The drive was aided by a 15-yard run by Michael Magee and Brasell’s four-yard run on fourth-and-two from the Raider 28.

Kirk (4-7; 2-2) missed out on a golden opportunity to score early in the fourth quarter after North Delta punter Carson Bailey was tackled for an 11-yard loss on the Green Wave 37. But just as they done all afternoon, the North Delta defense stiffened and forced the Raiders to turn the ball over on downs at the Green Wave 30.

North Delta salted the game on their next drive by marching 70 yards on 11 plays ending with Brasell’s seven-yard run with 1:48 remaining in the contest. The drive was set up by Nickle’s 16-yard run on fourth-and-seven from the Kirk 23. Corbin Baker’s outstanding 15-yard reception between two defenders on a third-and-12 from the Raider 38 kept the drive alive.

The Green Wave had a pair of scoring chances slip through its fingers in the second quarter after turning the ball over inside the Raider 10-yard line.

First, Nickle fumbled on the Kirk nine at the 9:15 mark of the first half. Then with less with a minute to play, defensive end Trebor Gainwell stripped Will Timmes of the ball and then recovered it on the Kirk 16. Three  plays later from the Raider 4, Brasell was heading into the endzone for an apparent touchdown but coughed up the pigskin before reaching the goal line.

Kirk recovered the ball for a touchback then ran out the first half clock.

“The one thing I was proud of is the kids did not panic at halftime. One of our goals before the game was to go out there and out-physical them and I think we did that,” said Green Wave head coach Dan Werner. “The problem was the first half turnovers, the bad snap on the punt and a pass interference call on third and long that kept one of their drives alive. But they guys kept their poise in the second half and went out and dominated the second half,” said Werner.

North Delta registered 262 yards of total offense on the day including 243 via the ground game. Nickle followed  Brasell with 72 yards on eight carries while Magee added six carries for 18 yards. Shawn contributed with five rushes for 13 yards. Shawn was 2-of-5 passing for 22 yards while Nickle completed one pass for minus three yards. Chris Reeves and John Cody Dalrymple each had a pass reception.

Kirk meanwhile was held to 157 yards of total offense by a tough Green Wave defense that give up 100 yards rushing on the day. Linebacker Ray Tucker led the way with eight tackles, three of those for a loss, while Reeves and Jeremiah Watson followed with five stops each. North Delta’s first team defensive unit has not given up a touchdown in the last 23 quarters dating back to a 12-7 win over Indianola.

North Delta moved the chains for 17 first downs in the game while holding the Raiders to nine.

“I was happy for the seniors that probably played their last home game of the year and to come out victorious against a rival like Kirk is something special,” said Werner.