Pilots fly by Warriors

Published 8:14 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Nansemond River High School Warriors traveled to Norview High School Friday night to take on the Pilots in the first round of the 5A South playoff.

A slow start hurt the Warriors (6-5) as the Pilots (9-2) hit the gas early, resulting in a 55-32 win.

“We came out flat,” Warriors senior Henry Moreno said. “We allowed them to get a big lead, and we were unable to gather enough momentum to bring us back into the game.”

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Norview jumped out to a 20-0 lead after the first quarter. The Pilots scored four touchdowns before Nansemond River got on the board for the first time with an 86-yard Rashaad Williams kickoff return.

Special teams was the theme for the Warriors, as they scored on three special teams plays. Nansemond River had two kickoff returns for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery ran back for a touchdown as well.

“It was a good effort,” Warriors coach David Coccoli said. “I was pleased with the way the special teams played.”

“Offensively we could not produce,” Warriors senior Dy’Quan McGhee said. “Special teams kept us in the game. Rashaad Williams and Quijion Gordan are sophomores that balled out. Both returned kicks helping us get on the scoreboard. It’s going to be a bright future for Nansemond, because it was a young team that showed they could keep up with anyone.”

At one point, the Warriors had 10 underclassmen on the field on offense.

Defensively, the Warriors gave up two touchdowns of 60-plus yards. Kevin Marks had 206 yards rushing for the Pilots, and their offense also threw for 306 yards.

The Warriors will finish the season with a 6-5 record — one more loss than they had last year, when the team finished 7-4. This is the first time the Warriors have finished with back-to-back winning seasons since 1996.

Next year, the Warriors have a solid core returning and will look to do next year what has never been done, which is win a playoff game at Nansemond River.

“It’s a big accomplishment for these kids to have back-to-back winning seasons,” Coccoli said. “We have a whole lot of young kids this year, and we were successful.”

“It was a good season,” Warriors senior Ray Goodman said. “We had a lot of good times and made many memories worth cherishing. Overall we had fun, and I am going to miss playing here.”

5A South

(6) Nansemond River 0 17 0 15 — 32

(3) Norview 20 21 7 7 — 55

N-Marks 42 run (Koolman kick)

N-King 65 pass from mack (Koolman kick)

N- Ashby 20 pass from Mack (kick failed)

N-Marks 66 run (Koolman kick)

NR-Williams 86 kickoff return (Lomax kick)

N-Deaton 35 pass from Mack (Koolman kick)

NR-Lomax 43 field goal

N-Deaton 3 pass from Mack (Koolman kick)

NR-NR Gordon 79 kickoff return (Lomax kick)

N-Marks 80 run (Koolman kick)

NR-Harrell 36 fumble recovery (Lomax kick)

NR-Gregg 13 blocked punt return (St. Louis pass)

N-King 25 pass from Mack (Koolman kick)