Big second half leads to Saints win

Published 12:22 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

NSA football opened its season on Friday with a 34-7 win over North Cross School.

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football team got its first win against North Cross since Coach Mike Biehl took over. With a 34-7 win, the Saints start off 1-0 on the season, which is another first under Biehl’s direction.

“It’s a good way to start the season,” Biehl said. “We didn’t start very fast. We made some mistakes and didn’t capitalize on a couple of opportunities. We went into halftime and made some adjustments on both sides of the ball and played the way we were supposed to play.”

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NSA went into halftime down 7-0. From there, they scored 34 unanswered points in the second half to earn themselves the first win of the season. The Saints playmakers were able to do what they do best and put points on the board.

George Pettaway added two touchdowns along with Zac Morris, who added two as well. Ehron Knight added a score, and Biehl liked the way quarterback Ian McAninley was able to distribute the ball. Ben Koppelman did a good running job behind Pettaway, while Josh Hoerster was flying all over the field to make tackles Friday night.

“It was a good night by a lot of our playmakers,” Biehl said. “Our returns, as well as our first-year players, are all adding something to us. Guys like Seth Townsend and Will Wren were able to do some good things for us as well. Those first-year guys were all able to do some good things for us.”

“Felt good to get a win,” Pettaway said. “We didn’t play like we could have in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half.”

The biggest thing the Saints were able to take away is that they were able to come out with a win despite not playing their best football.

“I told the team to understand we went into halftime down a possession,” Biehl said. “We settled down and we didn’t lose our cool, nor did we lose sight of what our objectives were. To come out and score 34 unanswered points showed a slight glimpse of what this team can become. We are an unfinished product, but the fact that we dug deep and were able to win was good.”

The Saints are approaching each week one step at a time. They want to go 1-0 each week, and they have done that so far with the win over North Cross. The 24-hour rule is officially in effect as the Saints shift their focus to their next opponent.

“The main thing is staying hungry and not being satisfied with one win,” Biehl said. “We met our goal this week, and now it’s on to Blue Ridge.”

NSA will take on Blue Ridge School at home at 7 p.m. Friday.