Saints hang on to win

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 14, 2002

Jordan Webb is more used to blocking for quarterbacks than trying to sack them. &uot;(Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) Coach (Terry) Crigger doesn’t like to play guys (on offense and defense),&uot; said the NSA senior after his team held off host Norfolk Academy (NA) 7-0 on Saturday afternoon. &uot;But when Nate Grover and I were out there in the fourth quarter, some people started to come on the field, and we told them to get off. This was our last chance to beat these guys, and we weren’t going to lose it.&uot;

Not only seniors such as Webb and Grover never enjoyed a victory over NA, the Saints (5-1) hadn’t beaten the Bulldogs since 1991.

As the Saints clung to a 7-0 lead Saturday (achieved on a 71-yard dash by Ryan Johnson with 8:45 left in the second quarter), a pass interference penalty gave the Bulldogs a first down at midfield with eight minutes to play.

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Dan DeLalla chewed up five yards on first down, but Mike Via could only manage two over the next two plays. But on third down, Via took a handoff around the right end and made it to the Saint 37.

Randall Crutchfield hit a wide-open DeLalla at the NSA 29 on the next play, and an unsportsmanlike penalty aga-inst Chris Voltin got the Bulldogs all the way to the 17.

On first down, Crutchfield faded toward the left sideline. As he neared the line of scrimmage, Webb squared off with a pair of Bulldog blockers a few yards away.

&uot;I just thought, ‘I’m not giving this up now,’&uot; Webb said. &uot;I’d been shooting to the outside all day, but he was on the inside.&uot;

Webb tore his way between the defenders and sacked Crutchfield on the 22. But the Saints narrowly escaped on the next play when a wide-open Wendell Winn dropped a Crutchfield pass in the end zone.

Via hurried around the left end on the next play, but Jason Rock knocked him out of bounds for a two-yard loss. Crutchfield completed a short pass to Via on fourth down, but Rock, Hod Verble, and Charles Persons overtook him, giving the Saints the ball at their own 23 with the clock stopped at 3:18.

As had been their problem all night, the Saints failed to move the ball (they managed only 150 yards all night, nearly half of which came on Johnson’s run). Johnson, Ronald Ricks, and John Tuttle could manage only nine yards on the first three plays, and the Bulldog defense didn’t fall for the Saints’ &uot;attempted offsides&uot; on fourth, forcing a punt with 1:14 to go. Tuttle managed to pin the Bulldogs back at their 38.

Crutchfield’s first pass fell incomplete, and his second was batted down by Grover. But Pierce Derkac made a seven-yard snatch on third down, and Via got the Bulldogs a first down at midfield with 19 seconds to go.

Crutchfield misfired on first and second down, but he had DeAlla open at the 25 on the next play. At the last minute, Verble and Ashton Stephenson broke up the pass, and the Bulldogs were down to their last play.

The snap flew over Crutchfield’s head, and he chased it back to the 43. But Tuttle fell on him, and the Saints had finally beaten the Bulldogs. They’ll play their Homecoming Game against Greenbrier Christian at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.