Late Norfolk rush stops Saints’ title hopes

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

Eighteen unanswered fourth quarter points by visiting Norfolk Academy ruined Nanse-mond-Suffolk’s homecoming festivities, and TCIS championship possibilities, Friday night as the Bulldogs won 32-13.

NA broke on top after holding NSA’s first drive. NA’s first 69 yards and nine plays were all on the ground before a 20-yard pass completion got the score with 1:56 remaining in the first quarter.

After the first of what would become four lost NSA fumbles on the night, NA doubled their advantage, going 65 yards in 10 plays for the score with 8:59 left before the half.

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The Saint defense held NA on their next two possessions, with Dane Fisher’s 12-yard sack forcing an NA punt from their own 28 with just over two minutes on the clock. A 19-yard return on the punt by Kyle Jett put NSA in business on the NA 35 with 1:55 to go.

Facing third and nine from the 23 with 0:35 remaining, a Jack Wright pass attempt down the right hash to Kelvin Demps was barely overthrown near the goalline.

Choosing to go for it on fourth down, Wright’s connection to Demps was good, as his pass over the middle was caught two yards deep in the end zone for the touchdown, drawing NSA within 14-7 at the half.

NA’s opening possession of the second half ended with Jett picking off a pass attempt down the right sideline, giving NSA the ball at their own 27. The offense went three and out however and NA went back on the attack near midfield with just over seven minutes in the quarter.

After moving on the ground to the NSA 31, NA went back to the air, and Jett this time read a curl route and stepped in front for another pick; taking the return up the middle, and then out to the right sideline to elude one last Bulldog tackler, finishing off a 75-yard touchdown return.

After an NA offsides penalty, the Saints were lured into going for two and the lead, but Wright was stopped in the backfield on the conversion try, leaving NA up 14-13 with 5:20 in the third.

With Jett’s pair of picks, the NA passing game was canned; but their ground game was more than enough as fourth quarter touchdowns were scored on runs of three, five, and four yards to put the game out of NSA’s reach.

For the game, the Bulldogs totaled 358 yards rushing.

Jett, with his INT return, three carries, a fake punt run, one pass reception, and two kick returns, totaled 154 total yards for the Saints. Wright was 7-for-16 passing for 83 yards and Tyler VanSelow was NSA’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 17 carries.

Next Friday, the Saints (2-5, 1-1 TCIS) travel to Greenbrier Christian for a 7 p.m. kickoff.