Saints fall in Charlottesville
Published 10:39 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015
The 2015 St. Anne’s-Belfield School football team may be significantly different from last year’s, but it managed to get a familiar result against the visiting Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Saints on Thursday evening.
In 2014, NSA fell to the St. Anne’s-Belfield Saints 61-6 in the regular season and 40-24 in the state semifinals. On Thursday, it fell 41-24.
“We were awful,” Nansemond-Suffolk coach Lew Johnston stated. “We warned them all week about not taking them lightly, but we were flat, and they took it to us from the first drive.”
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NSA got the ball to open the game but turned it over just under a minute later on an interception. St. Anne’s-Belfield translated that turnover into seven points off 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Patrick Blake to senior wide receiver Jalen Harrison.
The host Saints extended their lead to 19-0 in the first quarter before Nansemond-Suffolk responded in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Robby Tew connected with senior wide receiver Noah Serianni on a 33-yard touchdown pass.
The two-point conversion by junior fullback KeShaun Moore cut St. Anne’s-Belfield’s lead to 19-8, but it made it 26-8 before halftime.
The game had been originally scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m., but inclement weather prompted school officials to move the game up to Thursday at 5 p.m. While this cut down slightly on the normal amount of preparation time, Johnston did not see that as a factor.
“We were flat, and they were hungry,” he stated. “They contained Noah (Giles) all night and threw the deep ball all game on us.”
Senior running back Noah Giles came into the game with more than 1,000 yards rushing on the season through five games, but he was held to 68 yards on 17 carries on Thursday.
St. Anne’s-Belfield had a balanced attack, piling up 187 passing yards and 207 rushing yards.
Harrison was a jack-of-all-trades, with 22 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns and a 29-yard touchdown reception. He went 11-for-24 passing for 151 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Picking off Harrison were NSA senior linebacker Cole Christiansen and senior defensive back Dominic Claxton.
In the third quarter, Nansemond-Suffolk forced a safety and got a good return on the free kick. The visiting Saints drove down to around St. Anne’s-Belfield’s 20-yard line when Giles fumbled.
“We played catch up the rest of the game,” Johnston stated.
Christiansen was a standout for NSA, with 10 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he had nine tackles, two sacks and an interception.
Next Friday night, Nansemond-Suffolk (4-2) hosts its archrival in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, Norfolk Academy.