ND vs W Memphis

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Wave set to take on Black Knights

By Myra Bean

North Delta held off a mid-game surge by Clarksdale Lee last Friday in the season-opener and will take that experience on the road tonight.

The Green Wave will face non-district 1-1A foe the West Memphis Christian Black Knights tonight in West Memphis, Ark.

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“They are going to spread it out,” said North Delta head coach Brandon Ciaramitaro. “It will be a different look than what we saw last week.”

West Memphis is coming off a 35-7 loss to Kirk Academy. The Black Knights are directed on the field by senior quarterback Russ Fitzgerald, 6’5”, 206 pounds. Fitzgerald completed four of 15 pass attempts for nine yards and one interception and carried the ball 31 yards on 10 rushes.

The lone touchdown was scored by senior running back David Lewis, 5’7”, 200 pounds. Lewis was the leading rusher with 66 yards on seven carries with his longest run of 59 yards.

West Memphis’ last win of record was a forfeit October 28, 2011 by Deer Creek of all but one of its wins last year. Their last win before that was September 23 as they are coming off a 3-7 season.

North Delta has been faced with the regular bumps and bruises following a very physical football game that Lee Academy brings, according to Ciaramitaro.

“We knew with Clarksdale we were going to be physical and take some big hits,” he said. “Tyler’s (Pirtle) issue is that he just twisted his knee some. “

Pirtle went out of the game but returned a few plays later and ran for an 82-yard touchdown.

The Green Wave had a big 18-0 lead over Lee going into halftime but lost the lead and the momentum for a while to the Colts. The Green Wave was threatening to score late in the second quarter but fumbled the ball on the five.

“If we had not fumbled, we would have scored and gone into halftime up 24-0. I figure if we get up 24-0 then we are not playing the team we started out playing,” Ciaramitaro said.

The Green Wave was moving the ball down the field in the third inning and on a quarterback sneak, fumbled again.

“I felt like it was those two fumbles which changed the momentum of the game,” Ciaramitaro said. “They start to get the momentum then. In football, momentum is key.”

North Delta regained the momentum about the middle of the fourth quarter and held on for the 24-13 win non-conference win.

“You have to respond,” the first year head coach said. “You can’t just lay down and let them have it.”

Ciaramitaro was very complimentary of how the coaching staff worked their first game together.

“I felt like it couldn’t have gone better,” he said. “With the offensive coordinator in the box, his first year in the press box, you want your offensive coordinator in the press box to see the whole field. It gives you an advantage.

“That’s where Harrison’s (Nickle) going to be and we have Jeff (Walls) signaling in the plays from Harrison on the sideline,” he added. “So they are running the offensive show as I am running the offensive line and checking on anybody who may be injured.”

Ciaramitaro serves as the defensive coordinator so when the defense is on the field, Nickle tells him what offense the opponent is in and he can call a defensive strategy.

“It was probably the best three coach rotation you could find,” he said.

Kickoff in West Memphis tonight is 7 p.m. The games are broadcast on 106.9 FM, KOOL 107.