Warriors trounce Truckers

Published 11:20 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

The Nansemond River High School football team is serving notice to the remaining opponents on its schedule that it is a force to be reckoned with this year.

The Warriors jumped out to a 20-0 lead by halftime and ran away with a 30-7 win over host Churchland High School on Friday night.

“We’re still going through growing pains, but it’s nice to go through growing pains and be 2-0,” Warriors coach David Coccoli said.

Nansemond River High School senior quarterback DeShon Saunders throws a pass against host Churchland High School during the Warriors' 30-7 victory on Friday night.

Nansemond River High School senior quarterback DeShon Saunders throws a pass against host Churchland High School during the Warriors’ 30-7 victory on Friday night.

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Nansemond River is defined, in part, by its youth this season, but the young players gave a telling sign that they are striving for greatness with their postgame reaction to their performance.

“The kids really believed they left some points on the field and did not play their best game,” Coccoli said. “We kicked a lot of field goals when we should have scored some touchdowns.”

Coccoli gave credit to the Truckers’ defense for helping limit the Warrior offense but noted the Warriors also simply need to improve.

The first half was largely a dominant display put on by the visitors.

“We were moving the ball up and down the field, and defensively, we only gave up one first down,” Coccoli said.

On the initial drive, senior quarterback DeShon Saunders scored on an 18-yard touchdown run.

In the second quarter, junior running back Terrence Lambert scored on a 22-yard run.

Later, junior defensive back Marquis Braimer picked off the Churchland quarterback and returned the ball about 46 yards, setting up the first of freshman kicker Evan Lomax’s three field goals on the night.

He hit the first one from 23 yards out to make it 17-0 in the waning moments of the half.

Not done yet, the Nansemond River defense gave the offense another chance moments later when sophomore linebacker Henry Moreno registered an interception and returned it 41 yards. It set up a 20-yard Lomax field goal.

Moreno had a stellar night, with eight tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception.

In the second half, senior defensive back Antonio Sims grabbed an interception and returned it 21 yards, setting up Lomax’s final field goal, a 26-yarder.

Churchland began to move offensively toward the end of the third quarter, scoring its only points at the beginning of the fourth off a run up the middle, but it was a drive that Nansemond River aided by fumbling the ball on offense.

“We need to get better in the second half,” Coccoli said.

Warriors junior running back Jonas Jones provided a nice flourish to the end of the game with a 58-yard touchdown run.

The Warriors gained 250 yards on 38 carries, led by Lambert who had 16 carries for 90 yards. Saunders had 13 carries for 71 yards and Jones ended up with nine carries for 92 yards.

Saunders also had five completions, each to a different receiver, for a total of 57 yards.

Nansemond River (2-0) now prepares for its home opener next Friday against Great Bridge High School.