North Delta vs Magnolia Heights

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ND slams Magnolia Heights in 55-32 comeback rival victory

By Brad Greer

Nobody can really blame Taylor Morris for politely declining a post-game interview after Friday night’s North Delta-Magnolia Heights game.

Morris did all of his talking on the field.

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The junior tailback rushed 25 times for 162 yards and four touchdowns as the Green Wave scored 34 unanswered points to erase a 32-21 third-quarter deficit  for a 55-32 shootout victory over the Chiefs in Senatobia.

Junior quarterback Tyler Pirtle added 154 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns as North Delta (3-1) shredded the Chiefs’ defense to the tune of 446 total yards of offense. Pirtle accounted for 257 all-purpose yards which included seven-of-12 passing for 103 yards.

After Kevin Barber scored on a seven-yard run with 10:29 left in the third quarter, the North Delta defense held the home team to 24 yards rushing the rest of the night as senior linebacker Sy Pritchard registered eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Linebacker Will Magee contributed with nine stops. Brett Herrington got into the act as he picked off his second pass of the season in the third quarter.

“Our defense played outstanding in the second half tonight. They knew if we came out and made a few stops the offense would take over the game,” said Green Wave head coach Dan Werner. “We made some adjustments at halftime by kicking our guys out wide because they were running to the side of the field so we started cheating over. But there were a few times there in the first half where we had them boxed up and they got away.”

North Delta cut the Chiefs lead 32-29 at the 8:03 mark of the third as Morris scored on a 25-yard run followed by a successful two-point conversion. Magnolia Heights, (2-2) missed a golden scoring opportunity on their next possession when Colin Liles shanked a 24-yard field goal.

The Green Wave took the lead for good at 35-32 on the following play from scrimmage on Morris’  80-yard touchdown jaunt. Herrington’s 23-yard interception return to the Magnolia Heights 26 yard-line set up Morris’ six-yard touchdown three plays later that pushed the lead to 41-32 after Kyle Devazier missed the extra point.

North Delta tacked on a pair of scores in the fourth quarter as Parker Jones bulldozed his way in from 14 yards out with 9:32 remaining in the game. Pirtle added the two-point conversion to make the score 49-32. Senior cornerback Colby Pirtle then put the icing on the cake with a 58-yard interception at the 8:08 mark to increase the margin to 55-32 as the extra point failed.

Magnolia Heights scored on its first two possessions to take a 13-0 lead, a 49-yard run by sophomore quarterback Jamell Newson and Barber’s 82-yard gallop.

Morris got North Delta on the board with a 34-yard sprint into the end zone to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive that took 3:01 off the clock as Devazier booted the PAT.

The Wave picked up two points early in the second quarter as a bad snap sailed over Chiefs’ punter Chris Moore’s head into the endzone for a safety.

Tyler Pirtle gave the visitors their first lead of the game at 15-13 with a 39-yard run with 9:06 left before intermission. Both teams exchanged leads twice in the final five minutes of the half as Newson added a 33-yard run to give the Chiefs a 19-15 lead.

North Delta retaliated with an eight-play, 71-yard drive capped off by Pirtle’s one-yard dive to make the score 21-19 as the PAT failed. Magee’s 25-yard reception on fourth and nine from the Magnolia Heights 31 kept the drive alive.

Wesley Bolton finished the wild half by hauling in a 15-yard pass from Luke Young to give the Chiefs a 25-21 halftime lead.

“We could have folded it up after we got down 13-0 in the first, but we did not and kept battling back. We did not talk about offense at halftime. We felt like we could move the ball, but we had to find a way to stop them. I was worried about getting into a shoot-out with those guys and that’s what it was in the first half,” said Werner.

Jones rounded out the rushing with seven carries for 37 yards. William Dean led the Green Wave in receiving with three catches for 46 yards while Magee also had three catches for 36 yards. Morris had one catch for 11 yards.

Newson led Magnolia Heights with 145 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Barber chipped in with 11 totes for 141 yards and two scores.

North Delta opens up district 1-AA play Friday at Kirk.