Saints fall in season opener

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football team went to 0-1 on the season after a 40-0 loss against North Cross School last Saturday.

The Saints will be looking to quickly put the game behind them after taking a 40-0 loss to open the season. NSA traveled to Roanoke to take on North Cross, and NCS was able to blank the Saints in the season opener.

North Cross started the game with a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. They added six in the second quarter for a 19-0 lead at the half.

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The Saints were able to keep North Cross scoreless in the third quarter, but 21 points in the fourth sealed the deal for North Cross.

“Anytime you give up the amount of points we did was disappointing and frustrating,” Coach Mike Biehl said. “It’s one of those things where it isn’t as bad as you think it is or it isn’t as good as you think it is, either. It is frustrating knowing the things we put into it and the result we got. But there were a lot of good things out there.”

Ian McAninley was 16-27 with 109 yards for the Saints. George Pettaway and Christian Townsend each had five carries, with Pettaway earning 32 yards and Townsend earning 17. Simon Dowd led all receivers with six receptions for 55 yards. The Saints totaled four sacks, with Holden Shank grabbing two.

“We have a ton guys who are going to get better,” Biehl said. “They’re not going to let this loss affect them, and they are going to continue to work hard. We felt like we would have more production offensively, but we couldn’t quite get going like we wanted.”

The Saints have a lot of players who are new to the program, and Biehl believes with more time, those players will continue to get better. Defensively, the Saints started to play well once they settled down. They limited opportunities in the passing game for North Cross but gave up more than 200 yards on the ground.

NSA will go back on the road again this Saturday, as they look to bounce back against Blue Ridge School.

“As a competitor, any time you something doesn’t go the way you trained for it to go, you’re ready to get back out there,” Biehl said. “What I like about these guys are that they are ready to work on their game. They can’t wait to get back out there, and with all of the young guys we have got a taste of how the game is played at this level, they’re excited about what’s next.”