Story and Photo by Brennan Waldorf
Warriors found running room but were hampered by turnovers and penalties in their 21-59 loss to the Rappahannock Raiders. The score shows a loss, but the Warriors gained valuable experience that should provide a strong building block for a team with only five seniors.
Nandua’s season started with a coin flip that put the ball in the hands of Rappahannock quarterback Kalique Gaines, who picked and prodded the Warriors defense apart. He scored early on his feet and then several other times throughout the game.
Nandua didn’t get much going in the first half on defense but it was full steam ahead in its run-dominant offense. Warriors quickly got to work with several runs that put them into scoring position on their first two offensive possessions. Unfortunately they were unable to convert good positioning into points as senior Joe Teasley threw two costly interceptions that would translate into two scores for the Raiders.
The half came to a conclusion with Nandua trailing 36-6, with the team’s lone score coming from Zykeese Davis on a 27-yard run.
The second half was a different story for Nandua. The defense shook its first-game jitters and the offensive legs were right back to running the ball.
Jaheim Bailey, who ran for 119 yards on 17 carries, started the half with a 31-yard run that put Nandua on the Rappahannock’s 28-yard line. After a series of penalties that pushed the Warriors back, Joe Teasley was able to convert on a clutch fourth-and-6, which then allowed for his four-yard rushing touchdown. What seemed to be a comeback was quickly derailed as the Warriors racked up several penalties through the last two quarters.
At the end of the game, their 229 rushing and 51 passing yards weren’t enough to overcome the half-time deficit.
The Warriors’ defense was highlighted by Tyler Greene, Larry Jones, and Markay Collins who led the team with six tackles apiece. Collins and Jones also joined forces for the team’s only sack of the night.
The Warriors will be on the road this week as they travel to Washington High for a 9 p.m. Friday night game.