NSA wins against IWA in close game

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

by James J. Lidington

Robby Tew’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Ehron Knight with 44 seconds remaining and Zac Morris’ extra point pushed Nansemond-Suffolk Academy past local rival Isle of Wight Academy, 35-34, on Friday night.

The two teams, who hadn’t squared off in the regular season since the mid-1990’s, didn’t disappoint. IWA’s touchdown with 2:15 left in the third period — on a 2-yard run by Colton Heard and a PAT by Tre Powell — made the score 34-14 and appeared to put the Chargers ahead by a comfortable margin.

IWA starting quarterback Ryan Boyce, the team’s second-leading rusher, left the game with a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Boyce was tackled hard after a 32-yard run that set up Heard’s scoring run. On the previous play, NSA had been penalized for roughing the passer.

The Chargers’ Hunter Edwards picked up the slack, rushing for 326 yards on 34 carries and scoring three times. Zach Stroud added 67 yards and IWA rushed for 476 team yards.

However, the Saints went on to score 21 unanswered points. On the ensuing kickoff, Erek Smith rambled 85 yards for a touchdown; the PAT made it 34-21. IWA’s next drive stalled at midfield and forced a punt. But four plays later, Tew found Ehron Knight on a 64-yard pass-and-run that, along with the PAT, made it 34-28.

The Chargers got the ball back with 10 minutes remaining, needing to kill as much time as possible. With sophomore Luke Scrivanich in at quarterback, they got four first-downs over the course of a 53-yard drive that ended when Edwards couldn’t convert on a fourth-and-5 at the NSA 8.

The Saints (1-3) got the ball back with 2:14 left and took advantage of a pass-interference penalty that set them up in IWA territory. Tew’s pass to Knight with 44 seconds tied the game. Morris’s PAT won it.

The Chargers (2-2) could only manage one first down and 16 yards on their final possession.

JAMES J. LIDINGTON is a teacher at Isle of Wight Academy. Contact him at 357-3866.