NSA wins, shares title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

SUFFOLK—Senior Chris Skeeter saved his biggest football night, by far, for his last home game.

Behind a school-record 332 rushing yards by Skeeter, Nansemond-Suffolk finished a Tidewater Conference co-championship with a 41-6 victory over Hampton Roads.

Skeeter carried 31 times for 332 yards and touchdown runs of 35, 35, 82 and 34 yards, and that was after starting the game expecting to share the rushing load with tailback Kenny Rice and fullback Dana Hunting.

“He and Kenny were going to split time, but Kenny then got hurt (in the first quarter).

We had used him off and on through the season,” said NSA head coach Monroe Wells.

“Everyone, the whole line, everyone who blocked for me, deserves credit,” said Skeeter.

“It feels good,” said Skeeter about the school record.

“For it to happen in my last game, I feel I gave it my all and left it all on the field,” said Skeeter.

The first quarter went by scoreless as the Saints hurt themselves with penalties and HRA’s offense had its first possession end with Andy Owens’ interception and its next two possessions end in punts.

NSA’s fourth possession of the night started on the HRA 42 early in the second quarter.

Skeeter got the call on three out of four plays and carried for gains of 14, six plus an HRA facemask penalty, and six to the HRA 1.

Hunting powered in on the next play.

Chase Cali, who went 5-for-5 kicking extra points on the night, made it a 7-0 NSA lead with 9:32 in the half.

HRA’s first play from scrimmage following the kickoff resulted in a fumble and NSA’s Christian Upchurch making the recovery.

Following a holding penalty on the Saints, Skeeter got a toss around the left side, cut directly upfield down the numbers, and went 35 yards for the touchdown.

Four minutes later, NSA set up a new possession at the HRA 35.

The first snap from there was a sweep to Skeeter going around the right side.

He was too fast for the Navigators and raced down the sideline for the touchdown.

The Saints stopped HRA again and got the ball back on the NSA 20 with 1:05 left in the half.

The final play of the third period was Skeeter’s longest run of the night, the 82-yard touchdown run.

Going off left tackle, Skeeter broke outside, then cut back up the middle, broke a tackle of last HRA defender around the NSA 40, and was gone.

“I got a hole.

Then I felt a guy grab my back, but I just kept my feet going and I took it to the house,” said Skeeter.

NSA (6-4 overall) and Norfolk Academy both finish with 3-1 TCIS records and claim co-championships in the conference.

“It’s a great feeling.

I think it makes it even better because no one thought we could do this.

No one thought we would beat Norfolk Academy, but we did.

We just had to believe, and we did,” said Wells.

“He hit the holes hard and there were holes for him,” said Wells about Skeeter’s night.

“He was able to use his speed and outrun everyone.

It was a great night for him.”

The Saints’ state playoff hopes probably went by the board earlier in the afternoon in the western part of Virginia when St. Anne’s-Belfield beat Blue Ridge 27-12.

Wells said some other results from Friday, involving schools St. Anne’s and NSA played earlier in the season, might somehow work to NSA’s favor, although it wasn’t likely. The Saints and Wells would still await Monday’s final rankings to see how the numbers work out.