Minden leads early, loses late, 40-12

What started as a potential Homecoming bang ended with a disappointing bust as North DeSoto came storming from behind to overcome an early Minden Crimson Tide lead and take a 40-12 win in the District 1-4A opener for both teams.

After holding the Griffins on the game’s first possession, Minden drew first blood when senior wide receiver Jaylin Williams made a spectacular one-handed reception of a Jakobe Jackson pass for an 18-yard touchdown with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter. A blocked extra point left the Tide up 6-0.

Minden scored again when the Tide recovered a North DeSoto fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the visitors’ 31-yard line. A 25-yard completion to running back Daylen Robinson on a perfectly executed screen pass set the stage for Jackson’s two-yard TD scamper less than three minutes later. 

Another blocked extra point attempt left Minden up 12-0, a score that would hold up at the end of the first quarter.  On both scoring drives, the Tide converted on fourth down plays to keep momentum.

That would be Minden’s last celebration as the undefeated Griffins reeled off 40 consecutive points to run their season record to 4-0 (1-0 in 1-4A), while the Tide dropped to 1-3 (0-1). 

While North DeSoto’s defense finally began to clamp down on the Tide offense, the Griffins erupted for 21 points with just over three minutes remaining in the half, beginning when Brian Banks scampered seven yards to score with 3:37 remaining in the half to bring the score to 12-7.

Big play in that drive came when freshman quarterback Luke Delafield completed his first pass of the game, a 39-yarder to the Minden 19 yard line.

With a little over a minute left in the half, Delafield hooked up with Cole Cory on a 52-yard touchdown play and the Griffins took the lead for good at 14-12. Another score came just 30 seconds later when defensive tackle Jordan Milton scooped up a Jackson fumble and rumbled 15 yards to the endzone and a 21-12 North DeSoto lead.

North DeSoto ran the score to 34-12 in the third quarter, scoring twice on  a 47-yard Delafield-to-Cory hookup and a 31-yard touchdown run from John Lewis. Lewis would cap the evening’s scoring at 40-12 in the fourth quarter with a seven-yard run at the 3:16 mark.

Daylen Robinson ended the night as the Tide’s leading rusher, carrying 15 times for 57 yards while Dunovan Robinson would gain 24 yards on three tries. Cameron Mitchell had 22 yards on 12 carries and Jackson scrambled 13 times for 18 net yards and one score. Jackson also completed 12 of 22 passes for 123 yards, with three interceptions.

On the receiving end, Williams had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Daylen Robinson caught two passes for 30 yards and Mitchell had two for 14 yards.

North DeSoto’s Delafield, who opened the game with seven straight incomplete pass attempts, finished the night 4-for-15 for 150 yards and two TDs. Cory was a thorn in the Tide’s defensive side, catching three passes for 111 yards and two scores. Lewis ran for 75 yards on 10 carries and a pair of scores while Banks had 20 yards on 10 carries and one TD.

Minden will travel to Shreveport’s Independence Stadium Friday night to take on Huntington in another district contest.