ND vs Magnolia Heights

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ND falls to Chiefs

By Brad Greer

For almost one year, Magnolia Heights had been chomping at the bit to extract revenge for last season’s 55-32 loss to North Delta.

The Chiefs got their payback with a 44-14 romp over the Green Wave Friday night in Batesville.

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Senior tailback Fernando Van Hook rushed for 273 yards and four touchdowns as Magnolia Heights broke open a 10-7 halftime lead with five consecutive scoring drives in the second half.

“Our coaches had a great game plan and we just came out and executed,” said Van Hook, who had scoring runs of 75, 71, 51 and 18 yards.

“I really cannot say enough about my offensive line. They did an outstanding job tonight. They stepped up their game and gave me holes to run through. I told them just hold their blocks for three seconds and let me do the rest,” said Van Hook.

Colin Liles’ 23-yard field goal with 43 seconds left remaining in the first half gave the Chiefs a 10-7 lead at intermission.

The second half was all Magnolia Heights as Van Hook took a speed sweep and raced 71 yards on the second play from scrimmage to give the visitors a 16-7 lead after the two-point conversion failed.

After North Delta turned the ball over on downs at the Chief 25, Van Hook struck again with a 75-yard sprint to increase the lead to 22-7 with 6:55 remaining in the third quarter.

Following a three-and-out by the Green Wave offense, Kevin Barber scored the first of his two touchdowns on the night with a 20-yard run to cap a seven-play, 57-yard drive that took 2:11 to complete. Barber ran in the two-point conversion for a 30-7 Magnolia Heights lead.

North Delta would not go down without a fight however as the Wave closed the margin to 30-14 when quarterback Tyler Pirtle connected with Austin Hagstrom on a 65-yard scoring strike with William Dean adding the point after.

Pirtle, who battled leg cramps for two-and-a-half-quarters, led North Delta in rushing with 79 yards on 21 carries  and one touchdown while throwing for 174 yards before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter.

A blocked punt by Sharky Luna set up Magnolia Heights’ next score  at the North Delta 15 prior to Barber’s one-yard plunge on the final play of the third quarter. Travis Beam added the two-point conversion to pad their lead to 38-14.

Van Hook closed out the scoring  with a 18-yard scamper with 7:21 remaining in the contest.

Van Hook got Magnolia Heights on the board with a 51-yard run with 5:36  to go in the first quarter before the Green Wave answered with a five-play; 77-yard drive that ended with a four yard scoring run by Pirtle on the second play of the second quarter.

“The main two keys coming into the game was execute our offense and tackle No. 20 (Van Hook) and we did not do a very good job of that,” said North Delta head coach Brandon Ciaramitaro.

“We had a few dropped passes there in the first half that if we could have made them, things might have been different. We have got to put this behind us and get ready for a big district game next week against Kirk,” said Ciaramitaro.

Magnolia Heights finished with 346 yards rushing to go along with 50 yards passing by quarterback Luke Young for 396 total yards of offense. North Delta meanwhile registered 162 yards rushing on the night and 180 yards through the air for 342 total offense.

Taylor Morris followed Pirtle with 13 carries for 47 yards and one reception for eight yards while Hagstrom added seven carries for 26 yards to go along with five catches for 127 yards and one touchdown.

Hunter Baker contributed with 16 yards on three carries for the Green Wave. Dean also caught four passes for 44 yards and a fumble recovery on defense. Chase Coker had one catch for one yard.

Hunter Pitcher led the Green Wave defense with seven tackles. Morris and Tyler Beard followed with five stops each while Baker and Brett Harrington add three tackles.

Magnolia Heights improved to 3-1 on the season and will take on Pillow Friday while North Delta (2-2) open District 1-AA play at home against Kirk.