Warriors snap two-game skid

Published 7:47 pm Saturday, September 24, 2016

A sluggish start did not keep the Warriors from fighting back and winning Friday night at Hickory High School.

The Warriors (2-2) had been on a two-game losing streak and wanted desperately to get back in the win column, so the season didn’t start getting away from them.

Hickory went up 13-0 on the Warriors, but Nansemond River found a way to fight back.

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“We came out very slow,” coach David Coccoli said. “We fought back. We tightened up on offense and played extremely well on defense. I was proud we were able to get back in the winning column.”

This win was important for the Warriors, because after a disappointing loss to Deep Creek last week, the Warriors could have let that affect them. The Warriors also haven’t had any luck with the injury bug, as a couple of players on both sides of the ball are still out, which also could have been discouraging.

“This win was vital after what we had shown our last two games,” quarterback DyQuan McGhee said. “We realized how much potential we have, and it also boosted our confidence going into a well-rounded Indian River team next week.”

Nansemond River first got on the scoreboard after a 95-yard kickoff return by Kevin Johnson. McGhee also had a big game for the Warriors as he led them in rushing with 89 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Ray Goodman also ran the ball well for 42 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

“We improved out there, which is important,” Coccoli said. “We moved the ball well up front. Kevin did a great job on that kickoff return. Our quarterback did a good job running the ball efficiently.”

Even though fighting back to win the game showed how resilient they are, they prefer to start fast. Getting off to a more rapid start will be helpful for the team’s rhythm.

“We know we have to start faster, but I’m thankful for our team’s fight,” Henry Moreno said. “I have so much love for my boys for fighting hard. Now we have to put this win behind us and get ready for next week.”

The Warriors are hoping to get a couple of guys back from injury this week, and they also don’t want to become complacent after finally getting a win again.

“We are going to continue to improve and build,” Coccoli said. “We want to make sure we are playing four quarters of football.”

Next for the Warriors is a game at home against Indian River at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.

Nansemond River 21     Hickory 13

H-Dunaway 11 run (Kick failed)

H-Gamboni 3 run (Kick failed)

NR-Johnson 95-yard kickoff return (Lomax kick)

NR-McGhee 28 yard run (Lomax kick)

NR-Goodman 2 run (Lomax Kick)

Nansemond River stats:

Passing: McGhee (1-4-12-1 int)

Rushing: McGhee (8-89-1 td), Goodman (11-42-1 td), Moore (10-54), Harrell (5-7), Bell (2- -6)

Receiving: Harrell (1-12)