NRHS beats ‘dogs for homecoming

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nansemond River High School (5-3) defeated crosstown rival King’s Fork (3-5) on Friday night in a 30-19 homecoming win.

A lot was at stake at Nansemond River as the Warriors wanted a win to enjoy a homecoming weekend, while King’s Fork wanted a win to move them up in the playoff picture. Also, both teams want to be known as the best in Suffolk.

After a stalled first half, the Warriors got a late second-half push that gave them the victory.

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Both teams had their share of turnovers in the first half. At halftime, the Bulldogs led 6-3. The only touchdown was a three-yard run by Darran Butts that was set up by an interception by T.J Hart — his ninth on the year and a school record.

“I went through my keys and saw the No. 1 receiver running a slant, and I just drove on it and made a play,” Hart said of his interception. “It put our offense in position to score.”

In the second half, both teams played better, but the Warriors made more plays.

Nansemond River got a big game out of Anthony Oliphant, who rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns. JeVon Waller added 91 yards rushing. In the fourth quarter, Nansemond River got a game-changing 60-yard touchdown run from Ray Goodman.

“The offensive line will always determine what we do,” Waller said. “They started giving us exactly what we wanted, and it opened the whole game up for us.”

“All I needed was a kick-out block on the play we ran, and I knew I could be home free,” Goodman said of his 60-yard touchdown. “I cut in, broke a tackle and gathered myself, and I was off to the races. I saw my team excited on the sideline, and I knew we had a chance to pull away.”

Justin German did not start for the Bulldogs for health reasons. Quarterback John Woods started in his place. Woods threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Cherrod Joe. Butts was held to his lowest total of the year as he rushed for 17 yards.

“He’s their home-run threat, and I think we did a pretty good job on him,” Warriors coach David Coccoli said of Butts. “They opened things up in the second half, and their backup quarterback stepped up and played well.”

Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles was also satisfied with his quarterback’s play.

“John came in and did a great job for Justin,” Littles said. “He made some good plays out there for us.”

A lot of the contributors on the King’s Fork team are going through these game experiences for the first time. Littles hopes the team can begin to capitalize on plays.

“We can play with anybody,” Littles said. “We are getting these young guys the experience they need. Our kids are getting better, and they are learning. Sometimes you have to enjoy the process, even though it isn’t what you always want it to be. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Next for Nansemond River is a home game against Grassfield at 7 p.m. Oct. 28. The Bulldogs will be at Oscar Smith at 7 p.m. Oct. 28.