Warriors make history with win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 15, 2002

It wasn’t supposed to happen.

Sure, Nansemond River had massacred Churchland, Lake-land and Oscar Smith in recent weeks, but now it had a new enemy that hadn’t lost to a Southeastern district team (except Western Branch) since 1993. Monday night, they hosted Deep Creek, which had rushed to a 5-0 record. The Warriors were playing the team had never lost to a Suffolk school, including a 37-14 defeat of the Warriors last season.

So the local team was the underdog coming into Monday’s game. But that didn’t matter because there was a special group that knew they would win; the Warriors themselves.

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&uot;We knew it,&uot; said fullback Dennis Conley. &uot;We knew it all along.&uot; On the cold Monday night, the Warriors (4-2, 3-0) proved themselves to their cheerleaders, their parents, their fans, their city, and most importantly, the Hornets. They charged to a 28-14 defeat of Deep Creek that rocked Arrowhead Stadium.

&uot;We had the confidence, and we came in as a team,&uot; said linebacker Chris Hardy. &uot;It was nothing but unity.&uot;

With 8:16 left in the first quarter, Jamall Jackson fumbled a Travis Hoegh punt at the Hornet 45, and Milton Shambley recovered for Nansemond River. Dominic Strand snuck through for an eight-yard dash on second down, and Trayce McPherson and Dominic Scott barreled down to the 16 at the 5:40 mark. On first down, McPherson took the ball up the middle, bounced off four tacklers, and fell across the goal line for a 7-0 lead.

It lasted two minutes. Antwain Carey blasted around the left end for a 60-yard dash that got hit team to the Warrior 18, and Mike Wilson broke through to the six. Kishaan Jones scurried around the left end, and the score was tied.

Terrell Artis returned the ensuing kickoff 31 yards to the Warrior 41, and Scott completed a 10-yard strike to Dontra Artis to enter Hornet territory. Terrell Artis and Scott rumbled to the 31, and Strand took an option to the right side down to the four. McPherson scored on the next play, and the Warriors were out in front again.

John Hyman took the kickoff back to the Hornet 36, and Jackson ran to the 47. Two plays later, Carey bolted 35 yards down to the Warrior 11, and jumped over for a one-yard touchdown four plays later

Terrell Artis shredded the Hornet secondary, charging 71 yards to the Hornet 25. McPherson carried on six of the next seven plays, ending in a five-yard rush up the middle for a touchdown with 1:31 left. The Warrior defense held, and ended the half up 21-14.

Terrell Artis netted yet another explosive return to open the second half, reaching the Warrior 41. Scott racked up 15 yards on the next play, and McPherson 17 over the next two. Strand appeared to have scored another touchdown, but the Warriors were called for holding.

Undaunted, he threw a 13-yard pass to James Capehart to reach the one, and then fell forward for the game’s final score.

The Warrior defense held again, but was called for roughing the kicker on a punt, giving the Hornets a first down at their own 34. But Scott and Dexter Bailey sacked Micha Burns on first down, and Eric Berry took down Jones just before he reached a first down, forcing another punt. The Hornets wouldn’t get another first down.

Though Hoegh missed a 37-yard field goal with 6:50 left, the Warrior defense kept the Hornets at bay, as Scott sacked Burns for a 13-yard loss at the Deep Creek 10, and Kyle Austin tackled Jackson at the four on the next play. As their fans started to leave, the Hornets punted, and the Warriors ran out the clock.

Nansemond River will play its Homecoming Game against Great Bridge at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening.