Warriors fall too far back

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2005

On Friday night, Nansemond River probably played its three best quarters of the season at Great Bridge. Unfortunately, a football game lasts four.

After the Wildcats jumped out to a 19-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Warrior offense cut loose, with Justin Topping throwing for 255 yards and he, Darryl Freeney, Steven Gray and Devon Artis all scoring. But those 19 points ended up making the difference, as Bridge escaped with a 53-34 win.

Bridge scored its third touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, and the Warriors went to work at their own 35. After losing a yard, Topping hit Freeney down the right sideline for a 66-yard score.

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Bridge got two quick touchdowns, but Topping hit Freeney again for 62 yards, and Andrew Topping recovered a fumble at the Bridge 18. Chris Boothe ran nine yards, and Gray three. Boothe got two more yards, and Topping charged through the right side of the line for a touchdown and 32-19 halftime deficit.

The Wildcats scored three minutes into the third quarter, but Freeney ended their next threat with an interception in the endzone, and Jamar Jarrell carried for 18 yards on the next two plays. Topping threw to Freeney and Jonathan Simpson for 22 yards and ran for 11, and eventually tossed a 20-yarder to Simpson at the Bridge three. Gray charged through the line for the touchdown, cutting the lead to 40-27.

River had a chance to get even closer, stopping the Wildcats on their next drive, but were unable to convert a fourth-and-seven at the Bridge 44. The Wildcats took the ball back and scored with 6:31 to go.

Topping threw a 43-yard pass to Jarrell on the left sideline to reach the Bridge 21, then hit Freeney at the 10 and Artis in the endzone for the Warriors’ final score. They’ll host Hickory next Friday.