Cheerleaders get pumped as River wins

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2005

Whenever their team scores, Nansemond River’s cheerleaders get in on the action. Every time a Warrior crosses the goal line, the cheerers hit the ground and push up. If the Warriors go up 7-0, for example, the girls do seven pushups. If the team goes up 14-0, the girls do 14 pushups.

But if the River offense continues to have as much success as it did Friday night, the girls might look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by season’s end. They cranked out 121 pushups as their Warriors ruined King’s Fork’s Homecoming with a 41-6 victory to go perfect in intra-Suffolk competition for the fourth consecutive year.

River didn’t waste time, as Justin Topping threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Darryl Freeney on the first play from scrimmage for a 6-0 lead. The Bulldogs got as close as the Warrior 20, but a false start pushed them back five yards and Shaka Miller was sacked to lose six more. On fourth down, Shaka’s pass slipped through Kevin Pittman’s hands in the endzone, giving River back the ball.

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Topping was sacked for a six-yard loss, but Jamar Jerrell carried for 22 and Toppning hit Freeney at the Fork 46. He then flipped an option to Chris Boothe, who scrambled around the left end all the way to the endzone.

Shaka rumbled 41 yards to the River 36, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty upped Fork to the 18. Dan Miller ran to the third, but Fork lost a yard over the next three plays, and another incompletion ended the drive.

Booth ran 41 yards to the Fork 46, and Jarrell made it to the 38. Two plays later, Topping tossed another option to Jarrell, who charged toward the right sideline, stopped, and threw a pass down the right sideline to Freeney, who scored to end the half up 20-0.

Though their cheerers had already sweated through 39 pushups, the Warriors didn’t give them a rest, as Topping threw 11 yards to Jonathan Simpson to reach midfield 3:30 into the second half, and ran 27 yards to the Fork 3. Howard Porter churned through the middle for the touchdown.

Fork didn’t make a first down, and Boothe opened the Warriors’ next drive by racing 12 yards to the Bulldog 42. Topping hit Simpson at the seven, then hit him again for a four-yard score.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Fork finally got on the board. Shaka tossed a 46-yarder to Kevin Pittman to reach the Warrior three, and Dan made it in for the score. But the Warriors had one last shot to wear out their cheerers’ arms, and they took it, as Jarrell ran 42 yards to the Bulldog 10, and Deon Artis scored from five yards out for the last score. Topping finished the night with 161 yards in the air, and Boothe led on the ground with 99.

River will attempt to continue its success – and keep buffing up its cheerleaders! – at Indian River next Friday, while Fork goes to Great Bridge. Lakeland, which lost to Bridge Friday, hosts Western Branch.