By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports
In the 60-year history of Airline football, there may never have been a quarter of football quite like the third quarter of Friday night’s 53-42 win over North DeSoto at M.D. Ray Field.
And if you really want to get caught up in the hyperbole, it might also be tempting to say there may never have been a better pass play than the one from a running back to a sophomore.
You ready for this?
In the third quarter, Airline did the following:
- Scored five touchdowns.
- Came up with two interceptions (both by Jayden Gladney).
- Recovered its own kickoff 31 yards downfield.
- Had 12 first downs. (Let that one sink in for a moment).
- Gained 238 yards in total offense.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Airline coach Justin Scogin said.
The Vikings looked like they might get run out of their own stadium in the first half as North DeSoto could do no wrong. Quarterback Luke Delafield was 13 of 18 for 187 yards, highlighted by an 80-yard drive that resulted in a wide-open touchdown pass to Tucker Brewster with four seconds remaining.
There was no reason to think it would be anything other than more than the same in the second half.
Until it wasn’t.
Delafield missed on his first seven passes of the second half (including two interceptions) and North DeSoto let a kickoff bounce freely at the 30-yard line before Airline’s D.J. Allen pounced on it. Suddenly, the Griffins couldn’t get out of their own way, nor could they get in the way of the Airline offense.
“We didn’t make any great adjustments,” Scogin said. “We just went in and challenged the kids to be mentally tough and come out in the second half and play hard. I would say they overexcelled in that.”
But as the onslaught by the Vikings continued, you just knew something special was about to happen. With 3:31 to go in the third quarter, it did.
On a third-and-10 from their own 29, Airline quarterback Ben Taylor threw a swing pass to running back Tre Jackson. It was clearly a backwards pass and the burly running back stopped in his tracks and threw a long pass downfield – a perfect spiral by a running back – to Kenny Darby.
The sophomore receiver reached out and stretched as far as he could to try to reach the pass and somehow made the catch – it looked like he caught the back end of the ball – then kept his feet, broke a tackle and made it into the end zone.
M.D. Ray Field was up for grabs after that play as the Vikings now had a 40-28 lead.
“The only thing better than the pass,” Scogin said, “was the catch.”
“I caught it with my fingertips,” Darby said. “I knew it would be open.”
“We practice it every day,” Jackson said. “And the first time we try it in the game and it was a bomb. I think it was a good catch.”
Yeah, you might say that.
Even after the gut punch by the Vikings, including the last two of three TD runs by Jarvis Davis, North DeSoto got back on its collective feet and got two touchdown passes from Delafield (he had five in the game) in the fourth quarter to close the gap to nine points with 5:12 to go.
But an end zone interception by Jeremiah Epps finally put the game away.
And quite a game it was, with 1,101 yards in total offense in the game, 14 touchdowns and all of one punt.
Contact JJ at firstname.lastname@example.org
ND 7 21 0 14 –42
Airline 0 14 33 6 –53
ND – Landry Wyatt 33 pass from Luke Delafield (Dakota Denny kick)
ND – Trysten Hopper 13 run (Denny kick)
Air – Jarvis Davis 3 run (Preston Doerner kick)
ND – Cole Curry 49 pass from Delafield (Denny kick)
Air – Kenny Darby 23 pass from Ben Taylor (Doerner kick)
ND – Tucker Brewster 25 pass fron Delafield (Denny kick)
Air – Jackson 22 pass from Taylor (Doerner kick)
Air – Davis 2 run (Doerner kick)
Air – Bryson Broom 9 pass from Taylor (kick failed)
Air – Darby 71 pass from Jackson (pass failed)
Air – Davis 14 run (Max Tinkis kick)
Air – Broom 7 pass from Taylor (kick blocked)
ND – Eli Procell 53 pass from Delafield (Denny kick)
ND – Procell 24 pass from Delafield (Denny kick)
RUSHING – ND (43-234): Trysten Hopper 27-151, Kenny Thomas 13-77, Luke Delafield 3-6. Air (35-133) – Tre Jackson 16-55, Jarvis Davis 9-32, Bryson Broom 8-44, Ben Taylor 5-9, Bob Patterson 1-4, Eli Dollar 1-minus-2.
PASSING – ND (24-38-3-361): Delafield 24-38-3-361. Air (31-44-0-373) – Taylor 30-43-0-302, Jackson 1-1-0-71.
RECEIVING – ND, Cole Cory 8-135, Tucker Brewster 6-46, Landry Wyatt 5-74, Eli Procell 4-96, Chaz Martinez 1-10 Air – Kenny Darby 10-182, Davis 10-53, Broom 6-81, Jackson 4-51, Patterson 1-6.