ND vs Kirk

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 16, 2011

ND goes on road to face Kirk

By Brad Greer

With less than half of the 2011 football season already in the books, Kirk Academy has found itself in a must-win situation tonight as they host North Delta in a District 1-AA contest beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Raiders opened district play last week with a 17-6 loss to Carroll Academy. A victory over the Green Wave would leave Kirk in the thick of the playoff race with two district games remaining after tonight.

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Kirk (1-3) opened the season with a 28-14 victory over West Memphis before falling to Magnolia Heights 31-20 and Leake 42-28 in week three.

A rash of injuries has depleted the already thin Raider roster as three starters will be out for tonight’s contest.

“North Delta has a really good football team that is well-coached and will not beat themselves. We have got to be in the right spots on defense because their quarterback (Tyler Pirtle) is a play-maker for sure. He is a athlete who scares you to death both running and throwing. Then you have the (Taylor) Morris kid at running back who is a threat anytime he gets the ball. Once those two get going they are hard to stop,“ said Raider head coach Rick Johnston.

Leading the Raider on offense will be senior signal-caller Cade Moody (6’1”-170) along with senior Colin Boone (5’10”- 155) and junior Tyler Kirk (6’2”- 205). Seniors John Mark Moore (6’2”-240) and Hunter Craig (5’11”-205)  spearhead the defensive line.

North Delta will enter tonight’s game sporting a 3-1 record after claiming a 55-32 shootout victory over Magnolia Heights in which the Green Wave generated 446 yards of total offense.

Tailback Taylor Morris rushed for a season-high 168 yards on 25 carries and four touchdowns. The junior also had an 80-yard kickoff return negated due to a holding call.

Pirtle meanwhile accounted for 257 All-Purpose yards including 154 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Look for Pirtle’s main targets to be junior William Dean and older brother Colby Pirtle. Will Magee led the Green Wave defense with nine tackles while senior linebacker Sy Pritchard registered eight tackles that included a sack and fumble recovery.

“We are excited to be getting into district play. This will be a first AA team we have played this season,” said North Delta head coach Dan Werner.

Werner said one of the main areas the Green Wave must improve on is defense which surrendered 300 yards rushing to Magnolia Heights.

“We have got to get better on the defensive side of the ball. We have got to contain their quarterback (Moody) who has pretty good speed and can throw the ball well. Kirk likes to spread the ball around and will mix the run up with the pass,” said Werner.

On defense, the Raiders will use an eight-man front.