Winning, funding benefits Warriors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 31, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Trayce McPherson carried 17 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns and Terrell Artis rumbled 97 yards on a interception returned for a touchdown as Nansemond River defeated visiting Bethel 20-0 in a benefit game for the Virginia High School football league Thursday night. The game raised over $600 for the league and the two schools.

&uot;That game just motivated me and helped me get ready for the opener,&uot; said McPherson, whose team will attempt to continue its success against Peninsula District teams when it heads to Kecoughtan for the actual season opener next Friday. &uot;I plan on having about 25 carries a game.&uot; He led the Southeastern District with 1,146 yards last season.

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With just over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Warriors got the ball at their own 27. McPherson bolted through the right side of the line for 15 yards, then traipsed through the middle for 19 more. Jason Brown carried to Bethel 36, and Fred Spratley hit Jhmar Lee at the 14. McPherson was pushed out of bounds at the one on the next play, but he lunged up the middle for the score.

Spratley intercepted a Bethel pass at the Bruin 30 and returned it to the nine midway through the second quarter, but the Warriors were unable to score, and the half ended with them up, 7-0.

After being held to one first down in the first half, the Bruins charged all the way to the Warrior 31. The Warrior defense stuffed Bethel on the first two plays, and Jeremy Peterson broke up a Bruin bomb in the endzone on third down. On the next play, Bethel threw deep – directly to Artis, who charged forward from the goal line and yanked it down at the three.

Tucking the ball in, he started up the right sideline. Nearing the 40, several Bruins came directly at him. Artis didn’t hesitate, bolting across the field, not stopping until he’d outran everyone to the left corner of the endzone.

&uot;All I saw was a wide-open sideline at first,&uot; he said. &uot;Then it seemed like the tacklers were coming at me, so I cut across the field.&uot;

Bethel had a 70-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty on the next drive, but Zeth Thompson stole a fumble on the next play, and McPerson carried the ball on the next five plays, culminating in a four-yard score. Artis nearly scored another touchdown on an interception return in the closing moments, but he was knocked out of bounds just inside the 10, and the game ended.