The North DeSoto Griffins defeated the Minden Crimson Tide, 42-12, Friday night in a game that seemed more like keep-a-way than football.
The Griffins never punted, ran for 352 yards and held an almost 2:1 advantage in time of possession (31:36 to 16:24) over the Tide.
"It just didn't seem that at any time during the game we had a chance to win," Minden head coach Spencer Heard said. "It was one of those games where they controlled the clock and didn't give us very many possessions. They pretty much grinded it out on us. They put together long drives that ate up the clock. I felt like we were going to have to score every time we had the ball, because they were limiting our possessions."
The Crimson Tide offense took the opening possession of the game and moved it out to the North DeSoto 46-yard line before stalling. The Tide then put the Griffins in a hole when Mikey James downed Hutton Leppert's punt on the North DeSoto two-yard line.
The Tide defense expected a running play on first down, but Griffins' quarterback Kyle Radford dropped back and hit Damien Boone in stride on a past pattern, and Boone raced 98-yards for the game's first score.
Late in the second quarter, with Minden down 14-0, the Tide defense held on a fourth and nine, forcing North DeSoto to turn the ball over on downs. The Minden defense took over on their 34-yard line with 2:20 left in the half. After a short completion and two incompletions, the Tide lined up to pass. Leppert's pass was close but Ryan Garcia couldn't make the catch and Minden turned the ball over on downs.
Seven plays later, North DeSoto scored to make the halftime score, 21-0.
"I was trying to do something to build momentum before the half," Heard said. "It didn't work out like we wanted. Hutton made a pretty good throw, we just couldn't make the catch. They went on to score after that, so that made it worse, but we had to do something to generate some momentum."
After North DeSoto took the first possession of the second half and drove down to make it 28-0, the Tide put together their first scoring drive of the night.
The Tide drove 70 yards in 12 plays for the touchdown. Minden quarterback Turner Francis made a nice play to keep the drive alive on fourth and nine, when he rolled right and hit James for a 14-yard gain. Later from the North DeSoto eight-yard line, Francis rolled to his left, reversed his field back to the right and threw a strike to Cameron Elkins who was running across the back of the end zone. The PAT hold was mishandled, but the Tide had cut the lead to 28-6.
Minden would score their other touchdown with 56 seconds left in the game, when Francis found Louis Moore behind the defense for a 45-yard touchdown to make the final score, 42-12.
Francis finished the game completing 14 of 26 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. LaDarrius Joseph ran for 44 yards and James led the receivers with six catches for 69 yards. Elkins added four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown and Moore caught three for 53 and a score. Jacob Johnson added one catch.
Heard is expecting more from his team this week, and also would like to see some of the careless mistakes and decisions corrected.
"One thing that disappointed me was the boys losing their cool out there," Heard said of the unsportsmanlike penalties that the Tide piled up. "It showed a lack of discipline and I guess I'm gonna have do a better job of that. Our emotions just take over too much. We've talked about this before, but I guess I didn't get my point across."
Minden will host the Benton Tigers this Friday night for Homecoming.