ND could not contain Simpson Aca. in season-ending contest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ND could not contain Simpson Aca. in season-ending contest

By Brad Greer
North Delta threw everything it had in its offensive arsenal at Simpson Academy Friday night. From halfback passes to flea flickers, the Green Wave moved the ball well at times but in the end overall team speed proved to be the difference maker as Simpson came away with a 41-26 victory in the opening round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs in Mendenhall.

Junior running back Kyle Burney ran for 291 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns to power the sixth seeded Cougars (9-2) in the second round where they will travel to No. 3 seed Starkville who shut out Clarksdale Lee 29-0.

Will Kidder threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns for North Delta who saw its season end at 7-4.

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After forcing the Green Wave to punt on the opening series, Simpson grabbed a 3-0 lead on Scott Johnson’s 30-yard field goal with 4:25 left in the first quarter. North Delta responded with a six-play; 75-yard drive capped off by Hunter Baker’s 25-yard scoring run to give the Wave a 7-3 advantage following Hudson Parnell’s point after with 1:36 remaining. A 23-yard run from Kaleb Joyner and 10-yard keeper by Kidder keyed the drive.

The lead did not last long however, as on the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, Burney took the handoff from twin brother Matthew and raced around left end 73 yards into the end zone to give Simpson a 10-7 lead.

 The second quarter saw plenty of fireworks as Simpson increased its margin to 17-7 as the second quarter got underway as Matthew Burney scored on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal from inside the one yard line.

The Green Wave answered  yet again on the following series with a 19-yard scoring run by Kidder, to make the score 17-13 after Parnell’s PAT sailed wide right.

After recovering an onside kick at the Green Wave 43, Burney struck again with a 43-yard run to give Simpson a 24-13 halftime lead.

North Delta made the score 24-19 on its first possession of the second half as Kidder connected with John Haga Lewis for a 15-yard scoring pass on fourth-and 11. The Green Wave seemed to have the momentum going their way as Kidder recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Cougar 34 but could not convert as four plays yielded two yards thus turning the ball over on downs.

That would be as close as North Delta would get as Simpson added two touchdown runs of 30 and 27 yards by Burney and Johnson’s 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that blew the game open at 41-19.

The Green Wave added a late touchdown as Kidder tossed a six-yard strike to senior Bailey Ross with 30 seconds left to play as Parnell added the PAT.

Simpson outgained North Delta 331-311 on the night as the Cougars ran the ball 39 times for 297 yards while throwing only three times. North Delta collected 153 yards rushing on 33 attempts and 158 yards through the air. Neither team turned the ball over.

Kidder paced the Green Wave ground game with 79 yards rushing on 20 carries with Joyner following with 42 yards on 11 totes to go along with four receptions for 22 yards. Baker tallied two carries for 32 yards while adding four tackles on defense.

Dennis King led North Delta in receiving with five catches for 70 yards followed by Lewis and Michael Prine with three receptions each. Ross registered one catch for six yards.

Tripp Savage and Jones Montgomery led North Delta’s defense with six tackles while Prine contributed with four stops. Drew McCool added three stops while Ethan Calvert  garnered two. Christopher Williamson, Tyler Holland and Baker West had one tackle.