ND starts playoffs at Simpson 10/30/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 30, 2015

The North Delta defense took down the Fayette offense last Friday with Kaleb Joyner, No. 3 and Hunter Baker, No. 34 in on this tackle. The Green Wave travel to Mendenhall tonight to take on Simpson Academy in the first round of playoffs. The Panolian photo by Andy Young

ND starts playoffs at Simpson

By Brad Greer
If you are a high school football fan, tonight starts the most exciting time of the year as 16 teams embark on  their quest for a state championship as the MAIS AAA playoffs get underway statewide.

After a solid 7-3 record in  regular season play, North Delta School will make its second straight trip to the post season as they square off against a familiar opponent as the No. 11 seed  Green Wave travels to Mendenhall to square off against sixth seed Simpson Academy in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Tonight marks the third time North Delta and the Cougars have met in the playoffs with Simpson holding a 2-1 advantage. The first meeting came in 2004 as Simpson made its only trip to Batesville and came away with a 28-7 victory in the North AA State championship game.

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The Cougars also won the second game of the series 27-8 in 2009 before North Delta gained revenge the following year with a 28-17 triumph in Mendenhall. Whoever comes out victorious tonight advances to the second round against the Clarksdale Lee-Starkville winner next Friday.
Other playoff games involving District 1-AAA teams include No. 8 seed Greenville St. Joe hosting No. 9 Leake; 12th seed Bayou at No. 5 St. Aloysius of Vicksburg and district champion and No. 2 Indianola entertains Riverfield, La.

North Delta enters the game on a two-game winning streak after disposing of Fayette, Tenn. 42-14 last week.

Kaleb Joyner registered 138 all-purpose yards and two scores while quarterback Will Kidder threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns.

Joyner has garnered 1,000 all-purpose yards with 642 yards rushing and 358 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

Kidder meanwhile eclipsed the 1,000 mark in both passing and rushing. The junior quarterback has amassed 1,014 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns to go with 1,461 passing and 16 scores.

Senior fullback/linebacker Hunter Baker ranks third on the squad with 272 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Senior Bailey Ross leads the receiving corps with 364 yards on 26 catches and five touchdowns. Tight end Michael Prine has 12 catches for 202 yards and four touchdowns.

The Green Wave is averaging 222 yards rushing and 160 through the air.

The No. 5 ranked Cougars enter tonight with an 8-2 record after a third place finish in district four behind Natchez Cathedral and top-ranked Adams Christian who defeated Simpson 32-27 last Friday.

 Matthew Burney(5’6”-150) directs the Simpson multiple offense that is scoring on a 33 points per game clip. Kyle Burney (5’7”-150), Triston Cowan (5’9”-180) and Landon Herrington (6’1”-175) complete the backfield.

The Cougar offensive line consists of senior center Peyton Neely (6’2”-275), Nicholas Dukes (6’3”-240), Jace Knight (6’2”-285) and Alexander Hamilton ( 6’2”-225).

Cowen anchors the Cougar defensive unit at linebacker. Senior Riley Runnels (6’0”, 195) mans the other linebacker spot. Cook Weathersby (5’7”-175), Aaron Burney (5’8”-140) and Nicholas Broadhead (6’1”- 160) is the defensive backfield. Will White (6’1”-235) and Patrick Zila (6’1”-295) make up the defensive front line.