By Brennan Waldorf
The Nandua Warriors traveled to Eastville last Friday with a district championship on their minds. The only thing in their way were the reigning two-time champs who are still searching for a win this season. The young Jackets have fought valiantly all season but were fighting out of their weight class in their matchup against the Warriors.
Nandua started with the ball on the Northampton 48 and opened scoring after just two plays. Jahiem Bailey took a sweep 35 yards to the right for a touchdown behind good blocking. Joe Teasley then converted two points with a pass to Dezmon Jackson putting the Warriors up 8-0.
Northampton’s offense worked as it has all season calling seven runs plays in a row and found success in moving the chains and getting into Nandua territory. A penalty for a chop block was called on the Jackets, which then forced a second-and-long scenario from the Warriors’ 38. Nandua’s defense, who were stout against the run the prior week, dug down and stopped the Jackets in their tracks causing a turnover on downs.
Nandua’s offense and defense were in full rhythm in the first half as they racked up 43 unanswered points before allowing a Northampton score. The Jackets’ Dustin Splawn scored his team’s only touchdown of the half when he punched in a 2-yard score after a series of running plays. The half would close with a Nandua field goal from Julian Major and the Jackets were down 46-6.
The second half saw a running clock and Chayce Wayman at quarterback for the Warriors after a Northampton fumble on the opening drive. The Warriors capitalized on the fumble and put another 6 points on the board with a 35-yard rushing touchdown from Collin Fritzgerald. Northampton senior Liam Sayers opened the Jackets next drive with a good return, putting the Jackets on their 45-yard line. The good field position would be converted into another 6 points for the Jackets when Splawn rushed up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown. The Jackets would get one more shot at scoring and made it all the way to the 3-yard line but ran out of time and fell at home 52-12.
Nandua moves to 6-4 on the season and undefeated in district play. The Yellow Jackets honored seniors Landen Sayers, Landon Custis, Owen Bott, Tyrell Crockett, Jeremiah Major, Crenscenico Sugia, and Arthur Stevens who will finish their careers as they travel one more time for a game against Arcadia in Oak Hall at 7 p.m.