North Delta takes season opener
For Southern Sports & Travel, By Brad Greer
In what started out looking like a blowout turned into a nail-biting season opener for North Delta as the Green Wave held off a second-half rally by Clarksdale Lee to take a 24-13 victory over the Colts Friday night in Batesville.
North Delta quarterback Tyler Pirtle accounted for 359 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns as the Green Wave took a 18-0 lead at halftime. Pirtle rushed for 207 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns while throwing for 152 yards including a 95-yard scoring strike to Austin Hagstrom in the first quarter.
Michael Agostinelli got the Colts on the board with a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter while Cam Monix added a three-yard scoring run to close the Green Wave margin to 18-13 with 7:07 remaining in the contest.
North Delta had everything going its way in the first half as they scored on their first two possessions to grab a 12-0 lead after one quarter of play. The Green Wave took the opening kickoff and marched 66 yards on 11 plays as Pirtle scored on a four-yard run. William Dean's point after attempt sailed wide left to leave the score 6-0 at the 7:15 mark of the first period.
Following a fumble recovery by Parker Jones on Lee's first possession, North Delta capitalized on the turnover as Pirtle tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Hagstrom to complete a six-play; 35-yard drive that incrested the lead to 12-0 after a failed two-point conversion. Pirtle's 25-yard pass to Sam Copeland on 3rd-and-9 from the Colt 34 keyed the scoring drive.
After a Bobby Leone 51-yard punt pinned North Delta on its five-yard line, Pirtle zipped a pass over the middle to Hagstrom who outraced two Colt defenders down the field for a 95 yard touchdown reception on the first play of the second quarter to make the score 18-0 with 10:05 remaining before intermission.
North Delta looked to pad its lead late in the half by driving to the Colt four-yard line befoe a fumble halted the drive. Lee then ran out the remaining 44 seconds of the half.
The second half was a different story as the Colts began their comeback as Agostinelli called his own number on a 10-yard scoring-run to cap off a eight-play; 55-yard drive to make the score 18-7 following Taylor Schelder's PAT.
The score stayed that way until midway though the fourth quarter when Monix blasted over from three yards out for a 18-13 North Delta lead. But whatever momentum Lee had quickly vanished as on the Green Waves next series Pirtle, who had left the game briefly with a knee injury, raced 82 yards for a touchdown with 2:53 remaining in the contest.
North Delta racked up 490 yards total offense which included 338 yards via the ground game. Lee meanwhile finished with 200 yards offense. Freshman fullback Hunter Baker followed Pirtle in rushing with 77 yards one seven carries while Taylor Morris added 53 yards on 14 totes. Linebacker Will Magee led the North Delta defense with five tackles while Dean intercepted two passes from his cornerback position.
North Delta travels to West Memphis, Ark. next Friday.