Crusaders rush past Saints

Published 11:29 pm Friday, September 25, 2009

Five turnovers and Bishop Sullivan’s steady running attack were too much for Nansemond-Suffolk to overcome Friday night as the Crusaders beat the Saints in a Tidewater Conference game 21-6.

The Crusaders gained a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and totaled 157 rushing yards. Probably more costly to the Saints though were three interceptions and two lost fumbles.

“They (Bishop Sullivan) executed well. They came out and did things right and they were ready to play,” said Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Kevin Allen.

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“They did the things team that’s supposed to win does, and we didn’t,” said Allen.

After forcing an NSA punt to start the game, the Crusaders marched 65 yards for their opening touchdown. Quarterback Brandte McIntyre scored on a sneak from one yard out. Bishop Sullivan missed the two-point try and led 6-0.

Along the way on the first Bishop Sullivan drive, NSA penalties gave the Crusaders two first downs. In the first half, NSA was whistled for seven penalties for 55 yards while the Crusaders were flagged once for 15 yards.

A few of the flags were hotly-contested on the NSA sideline along with when Josh Todd fumbled after catching a pass on NSA’s second possession of the game. The Saints though Todd was down before the fumble, but that wasn’t the call and the Crusaders took over on the NSA 10.

NSA forced the Crusaders into 4th and goal from the 9-yard line, but McIntyre hit Steven Swoope cutting across the middle of the end zone for a touchdown. With a two-point conversion on a run by McIntyre, Bishop Sullivan led 14-0 with 1:50 left in the first period.

NSA moved the ball well three times in the second quarter but interceptions ended two of the drives into Crusader territory.

A 21-yard pass from Domonique Lennon to Will Russell moved the Saints to the Crusader 30. Two plays later, a halfback option pass by Crenshaw was intercepted by Bishop Sullivan’s Patrick Butler at the Crusader 2.

NSA’s lone score came on its next possession. The Saints alternated carries between Crenshaw and Ryan May and Crenshaw finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

An interception by Bobby Lamm gave the ball back to the Saints deep in their own territory with five minutes left in the half and NSA moved the ball largely on three carries by Crenshaw. With under a minute left, Lennon was picked off by Butler.

The Crusaders’ most critical drive of the night opened the second half, stretched the lead to two touchdowns and kept NSA’s offense on the bench for most of the third quarter.

With a mix of run and pass, and a couple more NSA penalties added in, the Crusaders went 68 yards in 6:35. Ryan Miller scored on a 6-yard run and with the extra point, the Crusaders led 21-6.

From there, two NSA possessions ended in punts and two NSA possessions ended in turnovers. Lennon fumbled a handoff to end one possession near the end of the third quarter.

NSA’s last chance of the night moved from the Saints 20 down to the Crusader 21 before an NSA penalty forced the Saints into a 2nd and 25 situation. Lennon threw an interception on the 2nd down play, giving the Crusaders the ball with 1:09 left.

Miller carried 10 times for 77 yards to be Bishop Sullivan’s rushing leader. McIntyre was 8-for-15 passing for 49 yards.

Lennon was 5-for-15 passing for 56 yards, but 0-for-7 passing in the second half. Crenshaw rushed 13 times for 87 yards.

NSA (2-2, 1-1) plays at Virginia Episcopal in Lynchburg next Saturday afternoon.