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Saints begin conference play tonight

Published 10:45pm Friday, September 13, 2013

Last year, entering the third game of the season against Norfolk Christian High School, the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Saints were 0-2. This year is a different story.

As another week three showdown with the Ambassadors approaches, Saints head coach Lew Johnston said, “We’re confident without being cocky. I feel like we’ve been playing at a pretty high level for two weeks.”

NSA is coming off of two blowouts in which it won by no fewer than 24 points and it scored no less than 40 points.

However, tonight’s home game will represent the conference opener for the Saints, so Johnston said, “We’re definitely going to have to be at the top of our game for a third week.”

Norfolk Christian is currently 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, including a 42-41 triple overtime win last Friday against visiting Hampton Roads Academy.

Johnston said the Ambassadors will probably bring more speed than NSA has seen thus far in 2013. “They’ve got some game-breakers that we’re going to have to contain,” he said.

Those players include junior wide receiver George Wahee and junior running back CJ Epps.

When the Saints are on offense, Johnston hopes to force Norfolk Christian off its game plan, just like last year when NSA won 33-12.

He said he needs big games from junior fullback David Gough and junior running back Addison Peak. He said he is pleased with what he’s seen from senior quarterback Jackson DeMello, and plans to count on his speed and running ability a little more this time.

The Saturday evening game represents a break in the routine from the Saints’ usual Friday schedule, which Johnston admits he hates. However, he repeated one of his adages: “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” The team was given Monday off in order to simulate a normal week’s schedule.

NSA (2-0, 0-0) and Norfolk Christian begin with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Arthur E. Jones Field.

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