Saints blank Greenbriar Christian

Published 11:03 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

Nansemond-Suffolk’s Jack Russell (34) and A.J. Hicks (44) close in on a Greenbrier Christian running back Friday during NSA’s 13-0 win at home Friday night. NSA held Greenbrier to four first downs and 74 offensive yards.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s defense pitched a shutout and scored just as many points as the Saint offense for a 13-0 win over Greenbrier Christian on Nansemond-Suffolk’s homecoming Friday night.

The visiting Gators (5-3, 1-3) managed four first downs and 74 yards of offense on the night. The deepest the Gator offense advanced was the NSA 42 near the end of the first half.

“We sent a lot of different blitzes at them,” said NSA head coach Kevin Allen. “(Greenbrier) wasn’t able to know where we had guys coming from. We knew they ran the ball well in their last few games.”

Email newsletter signup

Every bit of NSA’s defensive effort was needed as the Saint offense didn’t exactly march up and down the field either. A touchdown drive in the second quarter was most of NSA’s offensive production.

The Saints and Gators traded a pair of punts to open the evening. Thanks to punter Sam Rapoport and freshman linebacker Jack Russell making three stops in the Gator backfield during the first two Gator possessions, NSA slowly won the field position battle.

Setting up on the NSA 41, backs Ryan May and Bobby Lamm powered the Saints most of the way down the field.

A 6-yard rush by May was NSA’s biggest gain on the drive until, on a first-down play, Domonique Lennon faked a handoff and rolled to his left. Lennon lobbed a pass for A.J. Hicks who was wide open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown catch.

The Saints had plenty of chances to extend their lead. Early in the third quarter, NSA started a possession at the Gator 45. With a couple carries by May and freshman backup quarterback Jackson DeMello tossing a 19-yard pass to tight end Harris Howell, NSA reached the Gator 14 before fumbling.

The Saints also missed a pair of field goals and had another field goal attempt lost to a bad snap. Two more trips into Gator territory ended in interceptions thrown by DeMello.

So NSA’s defense did one better than stopping the Gators. On a Gator punt out of their own end zone in the fourth quarter, the snap was fumbled and junior lineman Clay Rabey recovered the ball for a touchdown.

Russell and Will Riddick made fumble recoveries in the second half. Rapoport and freshman cornerback Jake Grady had two tackles for loss each.

Howell, a linebacker on the defensive side, busted up a Gator reverse option pass for an 11-yard loss to lead to the fumbled punt and Rabey’s touchdown.

Lennon rushed seven times for 65 yards. May carried 21 times for 41 yards. The Saints tallied only seven first downs and were 1-for-9 converting third downs.

Despite a 3-5 overall record, all three Saint wins have been over Tidewater Conference rivals so Friday’s win kept the Saints in the mix for the conference title.

“The good thing is, it would be great to make the postseason every year, but that’s not realistic, we still have a run at the conference championship. It’s great because the kids are still working and fighting toward that,” Allen said.

NSA plays its home finale, a non-conference game against Trinity Episcopal, Friday. The Saints go to Hampton Roads in two weeks for the season and TCIS finale. An NSA win over Hampton Roads would give the Saints at least a share of the TCIS title.