Warrior woes begin with opening loss

Published 11:47 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last year for Nansemond River High School wins were rare, in fact, the Warriors won only one game. On Thursday, NR was looking to start afresh.

The Warriors came up short in their first attempt of the new season, losing their opener to Grassfield 33-6, under chilling rains and on a slippery field.

The first to plays looked bright for the Warriors as Lamont Brown broke out for gains of five and 15 yards to start. The momentum quickly changed though as Brown fumbled after a 10-yard gain at the 10:31 mark in the first quarter.

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Grassfield nearly gave the ball back to the Warriors as they fumbled on the next play, but recovered before Nansemond River could pounce on it.

After converting on a fourth down, the Grassfield’s Tyler Clark connected with Harrell Johnson for an 11-yard touchdown pass at the 7:33 point in the first quarter.

The Grizzlies would score again before the end of the first quarter with at two yard run. Grassfield had great field position, at the NR 15, to start the drive after a botched punt by Kyle Moore.

The Warriors trailed 21-0 after the first period and 24-0 after a Grizzly field goal at the 9:33 mark of the second quarter.

Grassfield would drive down the field before the end of the half and score on a 7-yard touchdown run by Bruce Smith. Grassfield missed the extra point, making the score 30-0 before the half.

The Warriors struggled to move the ball in the first half, and moved past the 50-yard line only once. They had 70 total yards in the half compared to Grassfield’s 224.

The Warriors lone touchdown on the night came courtesy of backup running back Jaylen Thrower, at the 9:24 mark in the fourth quarter as he plowed into the end zone on a two-yard run, making the score 33-6.

“We started slow but we finished strong, the turnovers hurt us early,” said Warriors’ head coach Tracey Parker, “the only difference was they were able to capitalize and we weren’t.”

Nansemond River next plays city rival Lakeland in their home opener at Arrowhead Stadium next Friday evening.