St. Anne’s-Belfield crushes NSA

Published 12:27 am Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football team was playing against a team called the Saints on Friday night, but NSA coach Lew Johnston indicated the visiting Saints of St. Anne’s-Belfield School were not the only ones that got in the way during a disastrous game for the home team.

“I hate to make excuses,” Johnston said, noting the visitors were good. “We played lousy. Fundamentally, we didn’t block, we didn’t tackle.”

The host Saints fell behind 32-6 in the first quarter and ended up losing 61-6 in a game that featured two of the top three teams in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state ratings for Division II schools.

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“Everything that could go wrong went wrong right from the get-go, and it went downhill from there,” Johnston said.

NSA drove down the field in the first quarter, but when Johnston called for a running play with senior fullback David Gough, junior quarterback Noah Serianni got the wrong signal and threw a slant pass that St. Anne’s-Belfield junior Kareem Johnson returned 90 yards for a touchdown.

Also in the first quarter, St. Anne’s senior quarterback Lee Parkhill threw touchdown passes of 10 and 14 yards to Johnson and junior wideout Campbell Miller, respectively. In between those scores, senior Jake Allen added to the pile of points with a two-yard scoring run.

For the game, Parkhill was 10-of-17 passing for 246 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.

STAB also got 105 yards on the ground and ended up with 377 yards of total offense. Nansemond-Suffolk did not experience similar success, only managing 141 yards.

“They out-played us up front,” Johnston said.

This meant NSA’s vaunted rushing attack could only manage 98 yards for the game. Gough was held to 14 yards on 11 carries and junior running back Noah Giles had 35 yards on 11 carries.

Serianni had difficulty throwing the ball, as “he had people in his face all night,” Johnston said.

He ended up 4-of-12 passing for 40 yards, with two interceptions. He was his team’s top rusher with 38 yards on six carries.

“He made a nice scramble down to the (two), which set up our only score, but he was running for his life,” Johnston said.

Serianni also ended up running it in for the touchdown, late in the first quarter.

Injuries were already hurting Nansemond-Suffolk coming into the game, as senior running back Addison Peak, sophomore linebacker Ke’Shaun Moore, junior defensive back Graham Moore and freshman lineman Chris Murphy were out. But the hits kept coming.

Senior lineman Shay Wood, who just returned from an injury, went out with a hurt arm. Senior lineman Camden Sutton went out with a knee injury, and sophomore starting center Ian Brads suffered a foot injury.

Johnston noted the starters are starters for a reason, and now he is being forced to play many backups, and as a result, “we can’t compete with a team like (St. Anne’s-Belfield). They’re a good football team.”

The coach put things in perspective moving forward.

“We have four games,” he said. “I think we’re eventually going to get some of these kids back and hopefully our level of play improves.”

Nansemond-Suffolk (3-3) has an open date next week, giving it time to regroup and more time for injuries to heal ahead of a road showdown on the afternoon of Oct. 11 against rival Norfolk Academy.