NDJH vs Kirk

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NDJH comes from behind to win 32-22

By Brad Greer

The North Delta Junior High football team could not have picked a more exciting yet nerve racking way to kick off the 2011 football season than it did with a 32-22 win against Kirk Thursday night at Green Wave Field.

Trailing  22-19 with 3:38 left in the game, the dog-tired North Delta defense, who had been on the field most of the second half, was looking for someone to step up and make a key play to break the momentum of the Raiders who had driven to the Green Wave 16-yard line.

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Enter Colby Province.

Province scooped up a fumble and rambled 84 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give North Delta a 26-22 lead with Ridge Simmerman adding the point after attempt.

Kirk had one last gasp however as they drove to the Wave 26, but Simmerman put the nail in the coffin by picking off a Raider quarterback Gunner Hudspeth pass and raced 82 yards as time expired.

The game was truly a tale of two halves as  North Delta held a commanding 234 to 33 in total yardage in the first half only to have the Raiders dominate the second half by stuffing the Green Wave offense to the tune of negative 11 yards offense while gaining 129 yards of their own.

North Delta wasted little time getting on the board in the first quarter as Chase Coker scored on the first play of the game with a 70-yard scamper to give the Wave a 6-0 lead after the two-point conversion failed.

After the Raiders turned the ball over on downs at the Green Wave 40 on their first possession, the North Delta offense went to work again by marching 57 yards on five plays that was capped by Bailey Sullivant’s 44-yard sprint into the end zone to make the score 12-0. Sullivant led all rushers with 143 yards on nine carries.

Kirk’s special teams accounted for the first Raider score late in the first quarter on Hudspeth’s 71-yard punt return. Hudspeth completed the two-point conversion with a pass to Cole Crenshaw to close the margin to 12-8.

North Delta extended the lead to 19-8 early in the second quarter on Simmerman’s one-yard quarterback sneak and point after with 7:25 remaining before halftime.

The scoring drive was set up by a Wilson Morrow fumble recovery on the Wave 46 yard-line. Morrow led the North Delta defense with six tackles and a pair of quarterback sacks. Will Hartzell and Hunter Baker also registered six stops on the night. Colby Province and Sullivant added three tackles.

The Raiders came storming back in the third quarter  to take a 22-19 lead as Hudspeth scored on a two-yard run with 2:34 remaining to close the gap to 19-14 then scored on a 16-yard keeper on the last play of the quarter. Jaggers Denley hauled in the two-point conversion from Hudspeth to give Kirk the lead.

North Delta hosts Clarksdale Lee Thursday starting a 6 p.m. with the seventh-grade game followed by the eighth and ninth grade contest.