Senior fullback Tyler Griffin muscled his way through the inexperienced Bayou Academy defense for three touchdowns in leading the Desoto Thunderbirds to a 42-7 season-opening victory against the homestanding Colts here Friday night.

 

 Senior fullback Tyler Griffin muscled his way through the inexperienced Bayou Academy defense for three touchdowns in leading the Desoto Thunderbirds to a 42-7 season-opening victory against the homestanding Colts here Friday night.
Now comes North Delta, which is probably mad as a nest of hornets after fumbling away their opener, 14-12, against Strider.
Desoto head coach Bill Beck said just taking on North Delta in the T-Birds’ home opener this Friday would be enough.
“North Delta had several fumbles,” Beck said. “That’s going to give them more incentive to play hard against us.”
As for the victory against Bayou, Beck said he had to be generally pleased.
“We played well for our first game,” Beck, leaving open some adjustments for North Delta.   
Desoto relied on big plays ignited by Griffin’s 53-yard burst on the second play from scrimmage against the Colts. Quarterback Will Coleman set up the play  with an 18-yard pass to junior wide receiver Morgan Ussery.   
The Thunderbird defense took advantage of an errant throw by Bayou quarterback Trippe Pilgrim on the ensuing kickoff to the Colts for a second score.  
Senior Blake Lumpkin stepped in front of any potential Colt receiver to pick off Pilgrim’s toss and returned it virtually untouched 62 yards for the score.
Dylan Mauch was perfect on six point-after-touchdown attempts.  
Sophomores Dylan Cruz and Matt Barnes complemented the Coleman-Griffin tandem for good yardage that kept the Colt defense off-balanced.  
A third potential early T-Bird touchdown was blunted when Colt Spencer Abraham intercepted a Coleman pass around the Bayou 35 and returned it to the Desoto 28.  
Two successive facemask penalties contributed to Bayou’s lone touchdown march.
Pilgrim broke the plane for the touchdown from the one with 4:23 in the half. The PAT cut Desoto’s edge to 14-7.  
Desoto wasn’t finished in the half.  
Lumpkin reinforced the Desoto offense with a 42-yard breakaway run to the Bayou 17.  
The line, led by senior D.J. Mallard, opened a hole that allowed Barnes to take the ball in from the 17 with 1:23 in the half.
   On the ensuing kickoff to Bayou, a fumble covered by Dean Wilson gave Desoto one additional scoring opportunity.       
Time became the real nemesis for Desoto. Beck called timeout with 18 seconds in the halftime.   
Colt Stewart Salley broke up a Coleman pass to Ussery at the Bayou 11. Ussery came down hard on one leg.   
Curtis Gregory, assistant coach and physical therapist by trade, worked to ease Ussery’s pain from the cramp.   
The clock expired signaling the end of the half while the T-Birds scrambled to set up a Mauch field goal try. Desoto took a 21-7 lead into the half.  
Gregory said at the half several players developed cramps because of the humidity and the fact that most had not drunk enough water to stay hydrated.
Lineman Ryan Holt was still nursing an high hamstring injury from the game Monday.  
Desoto’s defense shut down any chance Bayou had for a touchdown in the second half while the offense continue to grind out  chunks of yardage.   
Griffin got his second touchdown with 4:17 in the third period, breaking loose for 33 yards down the sideline nearest the Bayou players and homestanding patrons.
 Barnes and Cruz help fuel Griffin’s scoring runs with good pickups.
Griffin got his third touchdown, racing 57 yards along the sideline next to the Desoto team and coaches.
Ussery closed out the scoring with a 22-yard touchdown reception.
He fell to the turf after crossing the goal line with a reoccurrence of the cramped leg. 
Gregory, who maintained statistics for the game, said Griffin amassed 175 yards on nine carries.
Coleman picked up 47 yards on six carries and Lumpkin had 42 yards on five carries in addition to his interception run for a score.