Saints avoid Dukes’ hazards, 46-20

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 31, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Ryan Johnson rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns (and threw for another) and Hunter Richardson and Kyle Jett scored two touchdowns apiece as Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (NSA) opened its season with a 46-20 victory over host Windsor on Friday night, denying the Dukes their first-ever win over the Saints.

NSA rolled down the field on their opening drive, as Johnson returned the kickoff 23 yards to the 37, then carried on five of the next six plays for 49 yards, culminating in a five-yard sneak for a touchdown.


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Windsor drove 71 yards to the Saint 11, but Jason Rock scooped up a fumble for NSA with 4:18 left in the quarter. Each team went three-and-out, and the Saints got the ball on the Windsor 37 with a minute left. Adam Keeling didn’t waste time, tossing to a wide-open Richardson, who scored for a 13-0 lead.

Brandon Newsome scored for the Dukes with 7:39 left in the half, and Kyle Jett went back to receive the ensuing kickoff. The ball hit his chest, landed on the ground, and bounced away. Charging forward, the Saint sophomore scooped up the pigskin, took off up the middle, and didn’t stop until he’d scored his first varsity touchdown, a 75-yard return that gave NSA a 19-7 advantage.

Newsome returned the kickoff 73 yards to the Saint 25, but the NSA defense held, and got the ball back with five minutes to go. Runs by Johnson and Cooper moved them to the Duke 35 with 39 seconds on the clock, and Johnson took a pitchout from Keeling and launched a touchdown pass to Richardson to end the half ahead 27-7.

The Dukes came out roaring in the second half, as Newsome charged 55 yards for a touchdown and Destry Newsome scooped up the ensuing onside kick. The Saints held, but we unable to obtain a first down, and punted to the Windsor 38 with 5:27 left. Two plays later, Josh Gruber picked off an interception, and Ronald Ricks hurtled 11 yards to the 18. Keeling fired a bullet across the middle to Cooper, who carried a pair of defenders across the goal line.

Windsor scored with a minute left to get within 33-20, but the Saints dominated for the remainder. Johnson and Jett ran their team to the Windsor 40, and a personal foul penalty moved them to the 25. On first down, Johnson took a pitchout and drove down the right sideline.

Crossing the 10, he encountered a wall of four Duke defenders. Rather than step out of bounds, however, Johnson chose to bull right through the blue barricade, toppling three of the Windsor players over as he scored.

Rock and Richardson sacked Windsor quarterback Bianco Butler on the next drive, and Jett picked off an interception, charging back to the Duke 22. Two plays later, he rumbled nine yards for his team’s final score. The Saints will visit Atlantic Shores next Saturday.