NSA pulls away in Richmond
Published 11:43 pm Friday, October 25, 2013
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy head coach Lew Johnston had said his team would be looking at Friday afternoon’s road game against Trinity Episcopal School as its first playoff game. The Titans did their part to provide the atmosphere, trailing only 22-14 after the first quarter.
“They had a lot to play for,” Johnston said of the Saints’ host. “They were ranked fourth, and it was their senior day, so their kids were fired up. It was good. First half, both teams were hitting hard, playing well.”
Both defense and offense put the squeeze on Trinity Episcopal in the final 24 minutes of the game to give NSA a 58-29 victory.
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“We did the the things we needed to do, but most importantly we played four quarters,” Johnston said.
The Titans scored first on a 10-yard run and later on in the first quarter with a 58-yard pass, but NSA hit back on the ground.
First it was back-to-back 7-yard touchdown runs by sophomore running back Noah Giles. Then, junior fullback David Gough ended the first quarter scoring with a 5-yard run.
The lone second quarter touchdown came from the Nansemond-Suffolk passing game, which proved potent throughout the contest. Senior quarterback Jackson DeMello found his cousin, sophomore running back Graham Moore, for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
The Saints led 28-14 at halftime, but their coach said the second half may have been even better.
“We ran both our Wing T package and our spread shotgun package,” Johnston said, pleased with the diversity between the passing and running games.
DeMello went 6-for-12 for 99 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He started off the scoring in the second half with a 7-yard toss to senior split end Michael Tyler Lepore.
Gough ran for touchdowns of 44 and 13 yards in the second half. However, they came among two Trinity Episcopal touchdowns that arose, in part, from Nansemond-Suffolk’s struggles to replace injured sophomore kicker Ben Anderson.
C.J. Patterson and Ryan Joen took turns kicking off in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, with both kicks being returned for touchdowns.
DeMello connected with senior tight end John Mobley for a 40-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring for the game.
The passing game was a factor, but it was still the running game that primarily carried the NSA offense, totaling 415 of the Saints’ 514 total yards. Gough had 15 carries for 167 yards, three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. Junior running back Addison Peak carried the ball 17 times for another 167 yards, and Giles ended up with 51 yards, two scores and a 2-point conversion on eight carries.
Mobley finished with three receptions for 66 yards, a touchdown and a 2-point conversion catch.
Nansemond-Suffolk (7-2, 2-2) will host Hampton Roads Academy next Friday, closing out the conference and regular season schedule on senior night.