NDS ends good season 8-3
Senior Drake Barton picks up yards after a catch against Brookhaven last Friday, Nov. 6, in Batesville. (Glennie Pou)
As the old cliche goes all good things must come to an end, and for the North Delta School football team, coaches, and supporters it was a bittersweet end to an outstanding football season as the Green Wave fell 24-14 to Brookhaven Academy Friday in the second round of the MAIS 4A playoffs.
North Delta finishes the season 8-3 and District 1-4A champions while Brookhaven (8-4) moves on to play Wayne Academy in the semi-finals Friday.
“They didn’t do anything we didn’t prepare for, we just didn’t execute that great on offense and they had a lot to do with that. Brookhaven has a good, physical football team and they made more plays than we did tonight,” said an emotional North Delta head coach Mac Aldison afterwards as his team gathered at midfield.
“We just never could get any rhythm going on offense and again it was to their credit. We couldn’t run the ball to the edge of the field like we do and also we came out in the second half and started out with good field position but could not move the ball,” said Aldison.
Brookaven took a 7-0 lead on its opening series as junior quarterback Tyler Fortenberry snuck in from one-yard out to cap off a 13-play; 58-yard drive. The score stayed that way until North Delta got on the board at the 9:11 mark of the second quarter when Hawk
Hawk Aldison scored on a seven-yard run to make the score 7-6 after Lewis Smith’s PAT clanged off the upright.
Brookhaven answered on their following series with a 23-yard field goal and then later capitalized on an interception that led to a touchdown with 19 seconds left to take a 17-6 halftime lead.
The third quarter turned into a defensive struggle as neither team could move the ball. North Delta’s first two possessions started on the Cougar 44 yard-line and its own 48, but could not move the ball. The Green Wave was held without a first down until 6:27 left in the fourth quarter.
Brookhaven salted the game away with a five-yard run at 8:02 left in the game to make the score 24-6 while the Green Wave added its final points on a Ryan Gibson-to- Drake Barton 15-yard pass with 35 seconds remaining with Gibson adding the two-point conversion.
“Win or lose, I love these kids to death and everything that has gone on this year from not knowing if we would even have a chance to play football to laying it all on the line every Friday night and winning a district championship, this is a great group of kids,” said Aldison.
North Delta finished the night with 219 yards of total offense with 89 yards rushing and 130 yards through the air.
Aldison had 12 carries for 61 yards and four tackles on defense while Barton followed with six carries for 23 yards and a team-leading seven tackles. Levi Gee added two carries for four yards.
Gibson was 7-of-16 passing for 130 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The senior finished the season 828 yards rushing and 563 yards passing. Drake Barton had four receptions for 69 yards while Preston Marberry had two catches for 47 yards with Aden Sykes had one catch for 14 yards and three stops on defense.
Max Michael recorded six tackles and one interception while Smith added five stops. Gibson. Dalton Barton and Martin Wolfe all chipped in with three tackles.