Warriors fall to Lake Taylor

Published 12:19 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

It was the first taste that Nansemond River High School’s football team had of the postseason in this century, but it was undoubtedly hoping for something sweeter.

No. 3 Lake Taylor High School used a big second quarter to fuel a 35-7 win at home on Friday night, eliminating the No. 14 Warriors from the Group 4A South Region playoffs.

“It wasn’t one of our best games, but in the playoffs you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game every night,” Nansemond River head coach Tracey Parker said.

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The Warrior’s usually potent rushing attack was completely shut down by the Titans, held to a stunning 17 yards on the night.

The Warriors’ only points came late in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Jermaal Wells connected with senior wide receiver Mel Giddens for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

With 81 passing yards for the game, Nansemond River actually out-paced Lake Taylor in that category. The Titans had 72 with one touchdown, but it was the running game where they did most of their damage, covering 215 yards.

Senior running back Marcus Carter led the way with 115 yards on 13 carries, and junior utility player Marquise Poole 13 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Poole scored on a 30-yard run in the pivotal second quarter. The touchdown was preceded and succeeded by scores from junior quarterback/linebacker Shiheem Johnson. He first crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run, then later blocked a Warriors punt and returned it 15 yards for the score.

Titans senior defensive end and Ohio State commit Jalyn Holmes had a monster game on defense with 10 tackles, five for a loss, and five sacks.

Nansemond River senior linebacker Marvin Branch led all defenders in the game with 12 tackles, while senior defensive back George Smith had eight.

Jermaal Wells had five completions for 73 yards and a touchdown but was sacked eight times.

The Warriors finished the year with a record of 4-7. Their coach considered the overall achievement of the season.

“We had a slow start, with all the turnovers we were having,” Parker said. “We started the season 0-3, so the kids did a really good job of winning four of the last seven to get themselves a chance to get into the playoffs.”