ND comes from behind to hold off Kirk 28-26

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ND comes from behind to hold off Kirk 28-26

North Delta quarterback Cole Devazier (back, center) lines up against Kirk Academy Friday with Luke Noah in the back field to the left and on the line with Dalton Cook and Gavin Theford (far right).
The Panolian photo by Glennie Pou

Will Dickins
North Delta survived a scare Friday night in Grenada beating the Kirk Academy Raiders 28-26 as the Green Wave’s Jordan Cox took down the quarterback to prevent the Raiders from tying the game.
Coming in as the favorites to beat Kirk Academy, North Delta found themselves in a predicament early on. In any football game, whomever wins the turnover battle usually will win the game. In this game, turnovers proved to almost be the Green Wave’s downfall.
North Delta coughed up four turnovers in the game. Kirk Academy capitalized on all four with the fourth being at the end and most crucial point of the game.
The Green Wave dug a deep hole early giving the Raiders plenty of help. After a muffed punt after the first defensive stop of the game, Kirk Academy put six points on the board. Two offensive drives later, the Green Wave found themselves needing a score with a drive starting at their own 13-yard line. That did not happen as the second turnover of the game occurred giving Kirk Academy a short field to work with resulting in eight Raider points.
It was now 14-0 with the first quarter coming to a close. North Delta had been punched in the mouth. A good team finds a way to win on nights when they are not playing their best. This was one of those nights. Disgusted on the sidelines, the team needed the offense to get points and to get those points in a hurry.
The defense provided the team with a spark to start the second quarter. With a sack from Luke Noah and Reid Rushing to put the Raiders behind the chains, Dalton Cook put on the exclamation point as he planted the quarterback in the backfield firing up his teammates on the sideline.
It was time to get things rolling offensively. The Green Wave had the ball at the enemy’s 46-yard line, Cole Devazier found Tyler Holland on an underneath screen route that can be called a jailbreak screen. The offensive line gave Devazier enough time to get the ball out to Holland before pushing up field as Holland came underneath and sprinted up field for a 29-yard reception.
This set up a touchdown throw to Kaleb Joyner after a broken play turned into an opportunity for Joyner in space to do what he does best. The defense stood strong yet again in the subsequent Raider drive forcing a three and out with Sam Sullivan and Brayden Locke flying around and making plays in the Kirk Academy backfield.
Just as was done on the last drive, North Delta needed a score and succeeded. They would not be denied as Devazier worked through his progressions and found Joyner sprinting down the seam as he split the Cover three zone between the cornerback and safety for a sixty-yard bomb. Three plays later Devazier took a read option keeper into the endzone tying the game at 14-14 at halftime.
North Delta came out of the half looking to build on the momentum they seized in the first half. They came to fruition as they used ten plays and a majority of the plays on the ground to punch it in to the endzone for six more points.
All was well in the world. That was until the Green Wave started turning the ball over again. Like at the beginning, turnovers can determine the outcome of a game no matter who you play. Kirk Academy intercepted the ball in their own endzone as North Delta was driving down the field looking to pull ahead. As expected, Kirk capitalized with an 80 yard touchdown drive.
It was now 20-20. This set up a much needed scoring drive by the Green Wave offense. Again most of the plays were on the ground. Devazier ripped off a 40 yard run to set up the Green Wave in a position to score. Out of five wide receiver set, North Delta used the same type screen play to Joyner this time to score from 25 yards out.
North Delta opted to go for the crucial two point conversion and converted on the opportunity with Harris Cole taking a pitch from Devazier on a jet sweep and sprinting to the pylon. It was now 28-20.
Setting themselves up for the win, all they needed was a stop. Play after play went on until the unthinkable happened, Kirk Academy scored to make it 28-26. All they needed to do was get three more yards to tie the game.
This is one of the moments the players will tell their kids about in a way that makes one seem like a small town hero when really it was just a small football game in Grenada, MS.
The outcome of game depended on one play. The quarterback took the snap and rolled out to the right finding nowhere to go before cutting back to the middle of the field.
That is where he found Jordan Cox who tackled him and ultimately ended the game.
North Delta got the onside kick and walked away with an ugly victory.
Now 6-1 on the season, the Green Wave travel to Magnolia Heights to take on their long time rivals in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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