Delhi Charter School tricks Tensas Parish High

DELHI - The famous Halloween phrase is “trick or treat” and Delhi Charter offered a trick of their own to the Tensas Panthers as the Gators treated the hometown crowd to a 44-0 District 4-1A victory.

After watching the film from last week’s game, Tensas might have been expecting a heavy dose of the DCS rushing attack, but the Gators offered their Halloween trick by throwing in a heavy dose of passing offense most of the first half.

DCS improves to 8-1 with the win and 2-1 in district play, while Tensas falls to 1-7 and 0-3 in district.

Senior quarterback Stuart Scurria, who has been using mainly his legs the past three weeks, paced the offense completing 9 of 11 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Riccie Gray on a 4-yard pass in the first quarter and LaDarian Clay and Heath Pruitt in the second quarter on passes of 14 and 27 yards respectively. Hunter Simms opened the scoring with a 5-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. That TD was setup by Randy Julian’s 79-yard kickoff return on the opening kick.

“We thought we needed to change things up a little bit and work on some passing formations as we look toward the playoffs,” Delhi Charter Head Coach Brett Raley said after the game. “We used some different personnel groups and running plays out of a shotgun formation. You never know what you’ll need going forward.”

The Gator defense also got into the scoring twice in the first half.

As Simms was dragging down Tensas quarterback Joshua Morris in the first quarter, he tossed the ball in the air and defensive back Ben Gates intercepted and returned it two yards for the score, his third such TD of the year.

Later in the second quarter, DB Ryan Hebert picked up a fumble and rambled 19 yards to give Delhi Charter a 41-0 halftime lead after Jeremy Foote’s fifth point after kick of the half. Foote completed the scoring for the night on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 35-yard field goal, the first in school history.

“Stuart looks a lot more comfortable throwing out of the shotgun because that’s what we used in 7 on 7 this summer,” Offensive coordinator Chad Johnson added. “But we can’t just throw out of that formation, so we tried a few new things tonight.”

Both teams had touchdowns called back in the first half and Tensas threatened once in the second half. DCS’ JV offense played the second half and following a fumble on the 40 and a 19 yard run by Kendrick Brass, the Panthers had first down at the Gator 21. Morris attempted passes on third and fourth down with the fourth down pass going through the arms of Curtis Darden to preserve the Gator shutout.

Delhi Charter took over on offense, but was unable to move the ball and the Panthers looked to have another shot. That shot quickly faded as Scurria boomed a 52-yard punt to reverse field position and Tensas fumbled three plays later.

“We got to play a lot of kids tonight on both sides of the ball and that’s always good,” Raley said. “Luckily, we didn’t get anyone hurt and we’re pretty healthy going into week 10.”

Randy Julian led the Gators rushing with 52 yards on four carries and had the 79-yard kickoff return. Backup QB Gabe Robinson, coming of an ankle injury, completed one of three passes for 24 yards and caught two passes for 34 yards on the night. Clay had three catches for 35 yards as well.

Defensively, Simms had six tackles, two for loss, a sack, and two caused fumbles. Pruitt had six tackles and his fourth interception of the year, while Curt Winstead had five tackles, two caused fumbles, a sack and tackle for loss.

Next week, the Gators will need all their Halloween bag of tricks as they host the Mangham Dragons (8-1) for a chance at a share of the district title. Mangham came from behind to defeat Jonesboro-Hodge 17-10 and remain perfect since an opening week loss to OCS.

A Mangham win gives them the outright District 4-1A title, there first since 2005, and a Delhi Charter win puts the district title in a three-way tie with Oak Grove.

It should be a packed house and kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. Friday night at the Swamp.

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