NSA kicks off football season early
Published 9:34 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014
Difficulty in scheduling made one thing eventually clear for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s and North Cross School’s football teams — if they were going to play each other, it had to be today.
The Saints get the 2014 season on the gridiron started at 7 p.m. tonight, hosting the Raiders at Arthur E. Jones Athletic Field. The earlier start compared to most other high school teams meant NSA’s preseason training was shortened slightly, but Saints coach Lew Johnston feels his team is ready to go.
“I think if we weren’t a veteran team I’d be concerned, but we got both our scrimmages,” he said.
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Usually the second scrimmage would be coming this week, but because it is instead an actual game, Johnston said, “There’s just kind of been a little bit of a sense of urgency this week.”
He is entering game one the way any football coach would want to on the injury front.
“We’re healthy,” he said. “We’re 100 percent, everybody’s good to go.”
This will be the first time a Johnston-led Saints team faces North Cross, a team known for frequenting the Division III state championship game within the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.
The teams traded game film, and NSA gained some insights into the Raiders.
Their quarterback, senior Max Revercomb, is dangerous, having thrown for more than 1,500 yards last year. Senior Ryan Dent is a major threat out of the backfield, rushing for around 1,200 yards and 24 touchdowns.
A dual threat, senior Isaiah Harris was a leading receiver for the Raiders in 2013 and also gained over 300 yards rushing. Catching about the same number of balls as Harris, but gaining nearly twice as many yards per reception was junior Jordan Lowery.
“We’ve been preaching all week, they can catch some balls, we just don’t want them to gain any yardage after the catch,” Johnston said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.