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ROANOKE — Big plays were a big deal Friday, as undefeated North Cross blanked Hampton Roads Academy, 41-0, in high school football on the Raiders field.
Senior quarterback Miles Lowman thrilled the Homecoming Day crowd by throwing for three long touchdowns and running for another to send HRA to its sixth defeat in several games.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Lowman hit Austin Zappia for a 63-yard strike with 6 seconds left and 7-0 lead. The bomb came after one of two big plays for the Navigators. Sophomore Kyle Slate intercepted a Lowman pass and returned 35 yards to the Raiders 31. Two plays later, a fumble gave the ball back the NC, and Lowman struck for the first score on the next snap.
Lowman’s 14-yard run and 27-yard pass to Maurice Garrison highlighted NC’s first possession of the second quarter, Lowman cruising in from the 4 to make it 14-0.
The Raiders (7-0) drove 71 yards on its next set of downs, taking just 4 plays to score. Lowman connected with Nariq Bailey for a 43-yard TD pass.
HRA gambled on fourth down and lost at its 38, and North Cross went the 38 yards needed for its fourth straight touchdown drive of the half. Bailey accounted for the last 25 yards on a pass for a 28-0 halftime lead.
The winners took the opening kickoff of the second half, and drove 74 yards on 9 plays. ZaeWaun Baines burst through for a 25-yard touchdown.
Again, the Navigators got what appeared to be a big break late in the third quarter, recovering a fumble. However, two plays later, they fumbled it back on their 16. Lucas Arnold, who didn’t carry the ball in the first half, rushed 12 times for 68 bulldozing yards in the second half, and scored from the 1 early in the fourth period.
HRA quarterback Khaliff Jimmison was hounded all day by a strong NC front line. He was dumped for losses 10 times, including big sacks of 16, 13, 12 and 10 yards. With his losses, HRA totaled just 10 yards rushing in the game.
Submitted by Alan Hirsch
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