Warriors fall just short to Hawks

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 2, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

A last-ditch drive died 70 yards from the endzone as Hickory held off visiting Nansemond River 21-19 on Friday night. After a sloppy, penalty-filled first half, the Warriors recovered to score a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter before the Hawks shut them down in the fourth. River outgained Hickory 302-150, with Trayce McPherson carrying 21 times for 176 yards.

The Hawks chewed up the game’s first eight minutes with a 62-yard, 18-play drive, culminating in a five-yard rush by Cordero Alexander. The Warriors did things much faster, as Terrell Artis uncorked a 55-yard bomb to Jhmar Lee, and McPherson carried twice for 10 yards to tie the game.


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The Warrior defense held Hickory without a first down, but Ronnell Brown broke through to block a Warrior punt to start the second quarter, returning it 40 yards for a touchdown. River made it to midfield, but Alexander picked off an errant pass, and caught a 20-yard strike from Erik Wallumson

to extend the lead to 21-7 at halftime. The Warriors had been penalized six times for 45 yards in the half.

After gaining just 54 yards in the entire first half, McPherson ran wild in the second. He carried on River’s first four plays for 27 yards, but Jason Brown fumbled and Hickory recovered at the River 38. Artis snatched the ball from Kevin Rufus three plays later, however, and McPherson charged 58 yards to the Hickory eight. The Hawk defense held for three plays, but McPherson scored on fourth down on a two-yard dive. The extra point failed, leaving the score at 21-13.

Again the Warriors held, and got the ball back at their own 37 with 3:24 to play in the third quarter. McPherson ran 29 yards in three plays, and Artis took a faked handoff around the left end for 38 more, reaching the Hawk four. Two illegal procedure penalties knocked River back to the 11, but Artis snuck a pass just under a Hawk defender’s arm to Dennis Conley, who sauntered across the goal line. McPherson was stopped on the conversion, and the Warriors were still behind.

Fred Spratley intercepted a Wallumson pass with nine minutes left, but the Hawks broke through to sack Artis on third down, forcing a punt. River held once again, and got the ball at their own 20 with 3:32 on the clock.

McPherson was knocked back three yards on the first two downs, and an Artis pass fell incomplete on third. On fourth down, Artis faded back toward the left sideline. Finding no one open, he charged up the line, sloughed off three tacklers, and cut across the center for the first down. The Warriors managed four yards over the next two plays, but Artis was knocked back three on third down, and a pass slipped through Lee’s hands on fourth down, ending the game. River will host Indian River on Friday.

In other action, Lakeland fell 34-13 to host Deep Creek. The Cavaliers will host Oscar Smith on Friday. The score for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy/Blue Ridge game was not reported.