Friday football outlook

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2010

 SP and ND look to seal district championships as NP ends season

 By Brad Greer

As the high school football season heads into its home stretch, a pair of local teams will look to wrap up their respective district championship while another looks to salvage a disappointing season with a victory in their last home game.

North Delta at Kirk

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The fourth-ranked North Delta School Green Wave will look to capture its first district title since 2007 tonight as they wrap up the regular season with a road trip to Grenada to take on the Kirk Raiders in a District 1-AA matchup.

North Delta (7-1 overall, 3-0 district) enters the 7:30 contest riding a seven-game winning streak after disposing of Greenville Christian 63-14 last Friday in a non-district matchup. A victory will guarantee the Green Wave a first round home game next Friday against the district two runner-up.

Tres Brasell scored four touchdowns while fellow senior Bryan Nickle ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns as the Wave raced out to a 45-0 halftime lead over the Saints.

Kirk (2-8, 1-2) will head into tonight’s contest on an eight-game losing streak after dropping a 42-17 verdict to Leake Academy last week. The Raiders started off the 2010 campaign with three straight losses to Class AAA opponents Pillow 37-10, Lee 39-14 and Magnolia Heights 34-3 before defeating West Memphis, Ark. 41-0 and Manchester 26-6.

The Raiders, who are guided by former North Delta coach Rick Johnston, are led by junior quarterback/cornerback Cade Moody.

Moody has thrown for 509 yards on the season with 10 interceptions. Senior Brandon Hubbard (5’6”,140 pounds) leads the Raiders in rushing with 889 yards and seven touchdowns while senior Taylor Sultan (5’11”, 136) is Moody’s main target with 10 catches for 197 yards and a pair of scores. Senior middle linebacker Wade Vance (5-6; 152) leads the Raider defense with 72 tackles on the season.

Byhalia at North Panola

Ten North Panola  seniors will play their last game in a Cougar uniform as North Panola looks to close out the 2010 season with a win as they host district foe Byhalia tonight at 7 p.m.

Both squads are coming off tough setbacks last week as North Panola fell to Center Hill 51-7 while Byhalia lost a 32-20 decision to 1A Montgomery County.

The Indians (3-7, 0-5) head into tonight’s Region 2-4A clash on a seven-game losing streak after starting  the year off 3-0 with wins over Memphis Washington 26-20, Okolona 28-22 and Holly Springs 32-0 before falling to Memphis Westwood, 28-22,  Senatobia 40-24, Lafayette Co. 52-0, Rosa Fort 39-22, Lewisburg, 35-16 and Center Hill 37-8.

North Panola’s lone bright spot in last week’s setback was senior Ricky Hunt’s 91-yard kickoff return, accounting for the Cougars’ only touchdown.

Byhalia is led by junior signal-caller Marquize Saulsberry (6’2”, 190 pounds) and sophomore running back Devontae Norman (5’10”, 180 pounds) who leads the Indians in rushing with 653 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Saulsberry’s favorite target is senior wide receiver/cornerback Pat Malone (42 catches, 649 yards and six touchdowns).

Junior linebacker Reggie Richmond leads the team with 14 quarterback sacks while senior linebacker/fullback Terico Culp has tallied 106 tackles on the season.

South Panola at Starkville

The No. 1 ranked Tigers will look the capture their ninth straight district title as they face off against the Yellowjackets.

South Panola (9-0 overall, 5-0 district) shook off a shaky first half last week to down No. 7 ranked Southaven 48-13 while Starkville (5-4, 3-2) dropped a heartbreaking 40-36 loss to Olive Branch on a 52-yard “ Hail Mary” pass on the last play of the game.

The tough-luck Yellowjackets head into tonight’s contest having lost the last four games by a combined 12 points including a 28-27 last minute setback to Southaven two weeks ago.

Starkville has played some of the top teams in the state down to the wire as the ‘Jackets fell to No. 2 ranked Meridian and 4A powerhouse Noxubee Co. by identical 14-7 margins.

Some of Starkville’s notable victories this season have been wins over defending 5A state champion West Point (21-20) and Tupelo (47-14).

Senior Quarterback Jaquez Johnson directs the ‘Jacket offense while senior running backs Garrett Smith and Jakorta Agnew along with sophomore Preston Baker are threats on offense.

Johnson’s main target is senior Shaquille Hill (6’2”, 175 pounds) who reeled in scoring passes of 31, 27 and six yards in last week’s loss.