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Saints romp over second straight TCIS foe

VIRGINIA BEACH – Will Crenshaw started the game with a big play for his Saints and kept right on going for about three more quarters on Saturday afternoon as Nansemond-Suffolk defeated Tidewater Conference rival Bishop Sullivan Catholic 28-7.

On the first play from scrimmage, Bishop Sullivan tried a double-pitch reverse. The play looked open for a second, until Crenshaw, a 5-foot-11, 162-pound junior cornerback, fired in from his right corner position to bring down the Crusader wideout for an 11-yard loss.

That tackle set an immediate tone for the Saints who went on to force five Crusader turnovers and record 15 sacks or tackles for loss on the day.

On NSA’s first possession of the game, it took three plays until Crenshaw, now at running back, raced 28 yards for a touchdown. After the first of four successful extra points by Mike Bradshaw, NSA led 7-0 3:36 into the game.

Those two plays alone would’ve been a good afternoon by themselves, but Crenshaw would add an interception, a fumble recovery and another rushing touchdown.

More Saints joined the act after the first few minutes. Early in the second quarter, Kenny Rice picked off a long ball from Bishop Sullivan quarterback B.K. McCaskill and returned it 84 yards to the Crusader 9.

The Saints couldn’t convert on the field position right away, but the Saint defense kept Bishop Sullivan pinned in its own half with two more turnovers in the second quarter.

The next Crusader possession lasted one play as Crenshaw intercepted a lobbed pass down the left sideline.

After an NSA punt, the first Bishop Sullivan play was an errant pass into the left flat that was a backwards lateral. Crenshaw pounced on the loose ball, giving NSA the ball at the BSC 18.

On the first play of the new possession, Crenshaw swept around the left side of the line and cut into the end zone. NSA carried its 14-0 lead to halftime.

NSA’s defense held the Crusaders to -3 rushing yards and 36 total yards in the first half.

The battle for field position remained in NSA’s favor early in the second half. NSA started with the ball, but had to punt around midfield. Punter/middle linebacker Josh Todd booted the ball 48 yards and the Saints downed the ball on the Crusader 1.

The Saints forced a three-and-out, and on the punt from the back of the BSC end zone, Isaac Ballou scooped up the bouncing punt, broke tackle attempts from four or five Crusaders, and ran 35 yards for a touchdown.

NSA capped its scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter with J.R. Crowder’s 5-yard scoring run finishing a 74-yard drive. A 58-yard run by Ballou on a reverse set up the Saints inside the Crusader 10.

The Crusaders broke up the shutout with less than three minutes remaining. McCaskill scored on an 8-yard run. McCaskill finished 9-for-18 passing for 130 yards, but with three of BSC’s four interceptions. NSA held BSC’s top rusher, Matt Smith, to 12 yards on 12 carries.

Offensively for NSA, Ballou finished with 81 yards on four carries. Crenshaw carried nine times for 62 yards and two touchdowns. NSA had to put the ball in the air only once as the Saints finished with 207 rushing yards.

On the defensive side, defensive tackle Harrison Levin led many contributors with two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Todd, Crowder, Baron Goodman, Christian Upchurch and Crenshaw each had multiple tackles for negative Crusader plays. Rice added a second interception in the second half.

NSA (2-2, 2-0) hosts Atlantic Shores this Friday night at 7 p.m.