by Nick Bailey, recruit757
It seemed like the whole city of Suffolk was out to watch hometown favorite Nansemond River face off against the Truckers of Churchland. Pre-game we discovered that Malik Sexton, quarterback for Churchland, would not start the game but would start the second half. Also, starting running back Jamil Edwards did not play due to illness. That didn’t slow the orange and black attack one bit.
The game started off fast and neither team let off the gas pedal until the final whistle. Nansemond River decided to receive the ball on the opening kickoff and fielded it at their own 30 yard line. After a few plays, a bad snap to quarterback Jermaal Wells created a fumble and Churchland recovered. Only a few plays later, Jaylin Spruill scored on a 3-yard quarterback keeper, giving the Truckers a lead that they would never relinquish.
Unfortunately for the Warriors the turnover struggles were just starting.
After successive three and outs, Nansemond River regained possession and starting driving using a very effective option offfense. The set looked very similar to that of Georgia Southern who beat Old Dominion in the playoffs twice in the last two years. The Warriors had three players who could all run, including Wells. The Warriors’ deception was well executed. For the fans, the ballcarrier was a mystery every play.
The Warriors were on a 50-yard drive down field, when Jermaal Wells threw what looked like a good pass that was tipped, and Antonio Graham of Churchland snagged the ball out of the air with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Churchland did not take advantage and punted after only three downs. Nansemond River fielded the punt, and embarked on a drive that ended with a missed 35-yard field goal attempt. Churchland regained control of the ball and wasted no time advancing it. Jaylin Spruill threw a perfect pass to Javonte Avery for a 70-yard TD pass with 7:34 left in the second quarter.
The endzones would remain untouched for the rest of the half and the score at halftime would be 14-0 in favor of Churchland,
The second half started in the hands of Churchland and quarterback Malik Sexton. Sexton’s legs were his main weapon of choice tonight and he did not disappoint. On his first drive at the helm, he ran for a 47-yard keeper to put the Truckers in scoring position. Sexton was intercepted on the following play by Jermaal Wells of Nansemond River to end his first series. Luckily for Churchland, Nansemond did not care for the ball. Nansmond River fumbled and Javonte Avery of Churchland would pick it up and take it to the house for a 60-yard fumble return for a TD. The point after was missed, so with 7:00 minutes left in the third, the Truckers led 20-0.
The scoring did not stop there.
On the next Churchland possession, Malik Sexton kept the ball and took off for a 63-yard QB keeper and a score at the 3:35 minute mark of the third quarter.
Nansemond River then took a turn scoring when DeShon Saunders ran untouched right up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown run. The two point conversion attempt was run in by Latrell “Vegas” Sandifer. So with 1:22 left in the third quarter, Churchland led Nansemond River 27-8.
The only action of significance in the fourth quarter was a good drive by Nansemond River that ended in a interception being thrown to Jaylin Spruill of Churchland with 5:21 left in the game. The final score at Arrowhead Stadium was 27-8, Churchland defeating the Warriors of Nansemond River.
When asked about his team’s 3-0 start and the shock of early success, all an estatic Coach Alonzo Ricks could say was “(It’s) humbling. We have faced a ton of adversity and for our guys to come out here and play like they did today was great.” Ricks also added, “We have a lot to fix, tackling better and playing all three sides of the ball better, but it feels good.”
Overall the Truckers came into the home of some of the rowdiest fans in Suffolk and grabbed a good win that proved that Churchland can prevail in any situation.
FINAL: Churchland 27, Nansemond River 8
– Nick Bailey