Saints lose season opener to Norfolk Christian
Published 7:55 pm Saturday, August 27, 2016
After winning the Division III state championship last year, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy has to defend its title. Things didn’t go as NSA would have liked them to, as Norfolk Christian left Arthur E. Jones Athletic Field with a 30-6 win.
NSA is under new direction with Mike Biehl, so the Saints will take time to adjust to their new coach.
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“We want to take this season one game at a time,” Biehl said. “We want to learn from this and move forward. I don’t want to hit the panic button.”
Biehl will evaluate himself just like he will his team as he takes pride in NSA’s recent success. One thing that stood out in Friday’s game in Biehl’s eyes were the teams conditioning. When key players are off the field, the team isn’t as efficient and Biehl wants his team to become more efficient going forward.
NSA got off to a good start Friday night, getting stops on defense and being the first team to put points on the board with 9:35 left to go in the first quarter. Their only touchdown would come in the first quarter on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Robby Tew to Erek Smith.
“We did the simple things on that drive,” he said. “We threw the ball on time. It was a slant route we threw on time. When we get the ball to our guys in space, we are really tough to stop.”
The Saints are transitioning from a Wing-T to a spread offense, which offers more opportunity for their players to work in space.
“Our reads are simple as well as our route concepts. When we throw the ball when we are supposed to and then catch it in space, we had a drop off there we weren’t consistent.”
Turnovers were a big part of the game for both teams. Both teams combined for seven turnovers, with Norfolk Christian forcing five interceptions and NSA forcing two.
“We just didn’t have it for 48 minutes,” Biehl said. “We will get back to work this week and continue to improve.”
The Saints have next week off before playing Christchurch School at Arthur E. Jones Athletic Field Sept. 9, 7 p.m.