Northpoint stages come back over Green Wave

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Northpoint stages come back over Green Wave

By Brad Greer
North Delta  played perhaps its best first half of football as the Green Wave took a 14-7 halftime lead over Northpoint Christian Friday night.

The second half was a totally different story as the Trojans’ speed and team depth took over as the visitors from Southaven held the Waves to 49 yards of total offense in the second half in route to a 30-14 victory in a game that was closer than the score indicated.

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Northpoint clung to a 17-14 lead with 7:52 remaining in the contest as the Waves’ fourth down conversion attempt fell inches short of a first down at the Trojan 36-yard line. Northpoint iced the game on a Nelson Fabrizius six-yard scoring run with 3:25 left before Christian Saulsberry added a 12-yard run with 2:03 remaining.

Saulsberry led a Trojan ground attack with 222 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns as Northpoint improved to 4-1 on the season while North Delta slipped to 2-4.

“I felt like we played an outstanding first half,” said Green Wave head coach Brandon Ciaramitaro. “We moved the ball and did not make many mental mistakes. But in the second half some things broke down in protection in the passing game.

“Also another key factor is they wore us down with their depth. And, the fact that they could bring in a whole new defensive unit into the game late in the fourth quarter was critical,” he added. “They had 65-70 kids dressed out and we are thin in numbers to begin with. Plus we were playing with three starters out and that made a difference.”

North Delta grounded out a 14-play drive on the opening possession to grab a 7-0 lead as senior wideout Macen Mcgee used his six-foot-two inch frame to snag a 19-yard scoring  pass from Hays Hudson on fourth down. Hudson Parnell added the PAT to cap the 74-yard drive that took 5:01 off the clock.

The score remained that way until 4:02 left in the second quarter when Northpoint’s Saulsberry got loose on a 42-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven after Matthew Smith booted the PAT.

North Delta retook the lead, 14-7, on the following possession as on fourth-and-goal from the Trojan 17, Will Kidder scrambled away from two would-be tacklers and hit a wide open Bailey Ross in the end zone for a touchdown with Parnell adding the point after. The drive was keyed by a 36-yard reception from Kidder to McGee on the first play from scrimmage.

The second half was all Northpoint as the Trojans took the second half kickoff and went 65 yards on eight plays with Devin Davis scoring from six yards out to tie the contest at 14 at the 9:06 mark.

After forcing a North Delta punt on the following series, Northpoint grabbed the lead for good as Smith connected on a 25-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the third quarter.

The Trojans ran 49 times for 364 yards while churning out 443 yards of offense on 70 plays. North Delta totaled 218 yards of offense with 123 coming in the air and 95 on the ground.
Hudson led the Green Wave in rushing with 13 carries for 44 yards to go along with five-of-eight passing for 28 yards and six tackles on defense.

Joseph Wright followed with five carries for 24 yards. Kidder contributed with nine carries for 21 yards and 95 yards on eight of 15 passing and one touchdown. The sophomore also had nine tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

Hunter Baker chipped in with two rushes for six yards and one reception before exiting the game in the first half due to a injury.

Prine, McGee and Hudson all had three catches while John Haga Lewis garnered two catches for five yards.

Ethan Calvert led the Wave defense with 11 tackles followed by Jones Montgomery with three solo tackles and four assists. Jonathan Wilks, Lake Dubois and Prine chipped in with five stops each.

“As always our guys played hard all four quarters. We just have to regroup and get ready to take on a very good Marshall team next week. I know we will be pumped up to play because all you have to say is Marshall and the kids know it will be a big game every time we step onto the field with them,” said Ciaramitaro.