Saints fall to Saints

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 3, 2002

On Wednesday afternoon at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (NSA), the Saints came out on top in junior varsity football, 28-13. Unfortunately for Suffolkians, the victors were from Richmond’s St. Christopher’s Academy (SCA), which also carries the Saintly mascot. Parker Rankin scored on 33- and 35-yard runs to lead SCA to victory, handing the young Suffolk Saints (3-1) their first loss.

From the outset, it appeared that NSA would snare a quick victory. Kyle Jett took the opening kickoff at his own 20, and hurtled all the way down the field for a touchdown. One extra point later, NSA had a 7-0 lead.

Neither team was able to push across another score for the remainder of the quarter, but SCA grabbed the momentum with 1:40 left in the first half when Rankin clipped off his first touchdown of the afternoon.

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The Richmond Saints maintained control of the game throughout the third quarter, taking a 15-8 lead when Hunter McDonald plunged into the endzone from two yards away. Taylor Farley broke away for a 71-yard score with 8:20 to play, but the local Saints made one last run.

Jack Wright charged seven yards to his own 37, and Jett rumbled 16 more on the next play. A series of short gains gave NSA a third-and-five on the SCA 30, and an option run around the left end by Wright carried the team down to the eight.

Jett rammed the line for six yards over the next two plays, and Wright dove through the pile for a touchdown on third down with 4:24 to go.

Now behind 22-13, the Saints needed an extra point to get within a score of SCA. Ryland Gwaltney’s extra point try sailed between the uprights, but NSA was called for illegal procedure, pushing them back five yards. His next try was high enough, but it sailed just to the right, and the Saints were out of reach.

McDonald and Rankin put an exclamation point on their team’s victory in the remaining minutes. Runs by both players carried SCA to the NSA 33, where Rankin took a reverse around the left side and bolted down the sideline for the game’s final touchdown.

NSA will head to Collegiate on Tuesday.