ND vs. Lee, MS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Green Wave escapes with 19-18 win over Lee

By Brad Greer

After nearly 48 minutes of smash-mouth football, one play basically decided the outcome of Friday night’s season-opening barnburner between Clarksdale Lee and North Delta.

Following Josh Duhon’s five- yard touchdown run to put the Colts within one point at 19-18 with 1:22 remaining, Lee head coach Ricky Weiss rolled the dice and went for the two-point conversion attempt instead of a potential game-tying extra point. The move backfired as Green Wave junior free safety Brett Harrington stuffed Robert Bobo on the two-yard line to preserve  North Delta’s third straight victory over the Colts.

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“I saw the guy go in motion and read the end so I knew it was going to be a pitch out so I just ran up and made the play,” said Harrington. “We played pretty good tonight on defense considering it being the first game. We gave up a few big plays here and there but overall we bent but did not break and made the plays when we had to.”

North Delta (1-0) took the lead for good  on junior quarterback Tyler Pirtle’s eight-yard touchdown run with 5:33 remaining in the contest with Sy Pritchard adding the all-important extra point attempt to cap off the four-play, 62-yard drive that took 1:11 off the clock. The game-winning drive was keyed by Pirtle’s 33-yard pass completion to older brother Colby to the Lee 14 yard-line.

“We really could not ask for a better way to start the season. I just told the guys in the huddle before we started the drive that we (North Delta) have never beaten Lee three times in a row before so lets get it done. I had all the confidence in the world in my teammates and they feel the same way about me,” said Pirtle, who led the Wave with 94 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns to go along with seven-of-nine passing for 125 yards and one touchdown.

Things got off to a shaky start for the Green Wave as they turned the ball over twice in the first quarter while being held to -minus nine yards on their first two series of the game.

Lee took a 6-0 lead  when Bobo stripped Taylor Morris of the ball and raced 41-yards for a touchdown at the 6:22 mark of the first quarter.

North Delta kicked their offense into high gear on the following possession by marching 80-yards on nine plays to tie the game at six as Tyler Pirtle connected with Colby Pirtle on a 38-yard scoring strike with 1:28 remaining in the period as Pritchard’s PAT was blocked.

Lee then went on a time-consuming 18-play, 64-yard drive that chewed up 7:39 seconds off the clock only to be turned away at the North Delta one-yard line as a whole host of Green Wave defenders stonewalled Bobo on fourth down.

The Colts got the ball less than two minutes  later when Landon Hite picked off a Pirtle pass on the Wave 15. Lee took advantage of the miscue as Bobo took a pitch out and raced seven yards into the end zone to give the home team a 12-6 lead with 3:07 left in the first half.

North Delta executed its two-minute offense to perfection on the following drive to tie the game at 12 with 14 seconds left before intermission as Pirtle walked into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown run.

“I told our guys Lee plays us close every time and we have been lucky enough to come out on top the last two years. I knew this would be a huge game for them and it would more than likely come down to the wire and it did,” said North Delta head coach Dan Werner.

“Our guys got behind but just like last year found a way to battle their way back. We did not do a very good job of holding on to the ball tonight and that’s something we preach to the kids all the time about ball security so we have got to work on that some more. But like I said, we found a way to win and that just shows the character of this team,“ said Werner.

The Green Wave rushed for 134 yards while gaining 125 yards in the air and out-gained Lee 259-252 in total yardage on the night. North Delta was penalized four times for 25 yards while Lee was flagged three times for 25 yards.

Morris followed Pirtle in the ground game with 38 yards on 13 carries while sophomore fullback Parker Jones added one carry for two yards. Morris also contributed with three catches for 37 yards. Colby Pirtle hauled in two catches for 71 yards while Harrington and William Dean tallied one reception each.

Pritchard led the defensive surge with seven tackles while Jones and Blake Snyder added four stops each. Bradley Booth, Harrington and Will Magee had three stops while Hunter Pitcher, Sam Copeland and Kyle Devazier registered two tackles. Luke Latham added a fumble recovery for the Green Wave defense.
North Delta will open up its 2011 home slate Friday night hosting West Memphis, Ark.