Green Wave advances to 2nd round – Red zone defense, rushing game shine in road win

Published 2:46 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The North Delta Green Wave football team will compete in the second round of MAIS 3A District 1 playoffs this week coming off their best game of the season last week, a 28-20 win over Central  Holmes Christian in Lexington.

The Green Wave will play on the road for a second straight playoff week when they travel to Greenville to play the St. Joseph Fighting Irish in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

St. Joe had a first round bye and did not play last week. The Irish finished the regular season 5-5 with a 2-1 record in 3A District 3 play, good enough for a second place finish. 

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North Delta entered the Central Holmes game with a 5-5 record and a fifth place finish in District 1 matched against the Trojans’ 7-2 record and second place spot in District 2 standings. 

The Green Wave outscored the home team 21-14 to secure the win. There was no scoring in the first or third quarters, with ND winning the second period 7-6.

The Trojans threatened on their first possession, driving to the red zone before the Green Wave defense held and Rowan Gordan blocked a field goal attempt. Baylor Scammon, Levi Matin, and Matt Johnson each had tackles for loss in the stand.

After punts and turnovers on down most the first and second quarters, Central Holmes got on the board first with an interception returned for a touchdown, but missed the PAT.

Julius Anderson, Mike Pinkston, and Gage Bryant each had long runs on the next drive, capped with a six-yard scamper by Bryant for the touchdown. Caleb Walls added the PAT to make the score 7-6.

Late in the third quarter, the Trojans drove inside the North Delta red zone again, only to be turned away by the Green Wave defense, including tackles for loss from Holt Herron and Deacon Downs, and a fumble recovery for the turnover.

The Green Wave opened the fourth quarter with a sustained drive, culminating with a two-yard TD plunge for Anderson. A bad snap on the PAT made the conversion fail, and ND led 13-6.

Downs recovered a Trojan fumble on the next possession, and the Green Wave capitalized with another rushing touchdown from Anderson from a yard out. He added the 2-point conversion and ND led 21-6 with eight minutes left in the game.

Central Holmes responded with long gains through the air and on the ground before scoring a touchdown. North Delta blocked another PAT and led 21-12.

With five minutes to play, Bryant scored on a 41 yard run and Walls added the PAT to give the Green Wave a two-score advantage at 28-12.

The Trojans scored on pass play and converted a 2-point try to bring the score to 28-20 with four minutes to play,  Rowan Baker secured the onside kick that followed, and the Green Wave was able to run out the clock for the road victory.