Wk 12 RNK 2023 BONUS GAME – Nansemond Suffolk Academy @ North Cross

Wk 12 RNK 2023 BONUS GAME – Nansemond Suffolk Academy @ North Cross 752 1294 SWVA High School Sports

VISAA D2 Playoffs – State Semifinals

Raider Defense shuts out the Saints in State Semi’s 35-0 as North Cross advances back to the ‘ship

Willis Field, Roanoke, VA – The first week of the season North Cross (10-2) eeked out a 15-13 win over the Nansemond Suffolk Saints (NSA) to start new Head Coach Shannon Taylor’s tenure. The two met again Saturday, this time at Willis Field in Roanoke, and you could see a difference.“We are not the team we were in late August…we are in better shape, getting better day to day, week to week.” That was evident Saturday afternoon, as the Raiders manhandled the Saints to the tune of a 35-0 shutout.

North Cross picked off NSA quarterbacks 6 times. The visitors really only threatened to score once and that came at the end of the first half. Big plays turned in by Raiders again and again played a part. After an interception by Sophomore DB 13 Jase Rhodes, it took only two plays for Senior RB 4 Kam Johnson (11/157,2TDs) to burst 28 yards up the middle for the TD. Johnson has rushed for over a thousand yards the last two years. Combined with Senior RB 2 Jerel Rhodes (10/105), the Raiders are hard to guard. North Cross’ second score was a 75-yard punt return by WR/DB/KR 1 Jaziel Hart. The Sophomore caught it in a crowd and then smoked everyone with his speed to pay dirt. It was 14-0 at the half.

QB 11 Brock Miles laced a perfect 16-yard TD pass to Hart, and then Johnson rolled in from 38-yards to make it 28 to zip with 8 minutes left. The second half was highlighted by four more Raider INTs. The most electrifying being Freshman DB 12 Jesiah Hines 33-yard “theft and heft” to finish the days scoring. Coach Taylor’s first words to his team after the win, “We are going back to the ‘ship” … that’s the state championship, for those playing at home. The Raiders are playing for the title, and now we’ll get to see this Saturday, if their “ship” indeed comes in. – Cap’n Crunch

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