Warriors, Saints look for wins

Published 9:58 pm Thursday, October 6, 2016

Nansemond River High School looks to spoil a homecoming this Friday, while Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is back on the road Saturday trying to win back-to-back games for the first time all year.


Nansemond River (3-2) at Western Branch (2-3)

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The Warriors are riding high right now on what most think was an upset victory against a talented Indian River High School team last week. Now they go on the road this week and will try to play spoiler to a Western Branch team who will be hosting the Warriors for their homecoming game. Western Branch is coming off a bye week but has won its last two games.

The Warriors currently sit at sixth in the Southeastern District and fourth in the 5A South playoff rankings through five weeks.

“We are going to have to be more focused this week than we were last week,” junior JeVon Waller said. “We have to go out there and continue playing with confidence and remember everything we practiced.”

Practice has gone well for the Warriors so far this week, and coach David Coccoli likes where his team is from a preparation aspect.

“Practice has been good,” Coccoli said. “We have to come out with a win Friday if we want to make the playoffs and give ourselves good positioning.”

Western Branch has a strong rushing attack the Warriors will have to stop. Coccoli just wants his team to go out and play a solid game in all phases. A key to the Warriors getting a win on Friday is that they must not become complacent, something Coccoli knows his team has no time to do. But because of the win the Warriors recently had, it could allow them to play lax. But the Warriors are confident that won’t happen Friday.

“We have to keep playing with the same intensity,” quarterback Dy’Quan McGhee said. “We have to take every game one game at a time. We still have much work to do to accomplish our goals.”

As competitors, the Warriors know Western Branch will be extra motivated to win due to their homecoming weekend. However, if the Warriors want to keep building momentum to show that the Indian River win wasn’t a fluke, they will have to spoil the Bruins’ homecoming weekend.

“It would feel great to do that, seeing as we have not beaten them forever,” McGhee said. “For us to beat them on their homecoming would show the doubters how good of a team we are and how well we work together.”

The Warriors will be at Western Branch at 7 p.m. Friday.


Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (2-3) at Blue Ridge School (2-2)


NSA will be on the road for the second time this season Saturday against Blue Ridge School. The Saints are recently coming off their second win of the season as they defeated St. Anne’s Belfield last Friday. For the first time this season, the Saints will be looking to put together two back-to-back wins.

Last week the Barons won their game 55-14. The Saints know it is important for them to win this game to finally string along some consistency.

“We have to be intense and aggressive throughout the whole game,” senior Keshaun Moore said.

Last week, the Saints got big plays and big games out of Ehron Knight and Shaun Faulk, who both scored touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards. Offensively, the Saints put up consistent performances every week. Defensively is where the Saints lose focus at times, but NSA is confident they can put up back-to-back solid defensive efforts.

“If we run the ball well against them, we have a chance to win,” Moore said. “Defensively, it starts with us getting pressure on the quarterback. If we do that we’ll be fine.”

One thing that can possibly work in NSA’s favor is that the Barons are 1-2 at home, so they proved to be beatable. This also provides an opportunity to NSA to put up a better performance on the road than they did last time, where they lost to Perquimans 53-12.

The Saints know they have to play good sound football on the road and win the turnover battle. Staying focused throughout the game with their defensive assignments will allow NSA to realize their goal in playing a complete game.

The Saints will be at Blue Ridge School at 2 p.m. Saturday.