VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – It looks like the third time- and 41 years- was the charm. Having decided 2015 would be his last season on the sidelines, Lew Johnston road off into the Friday night lights atop his players shoulders, drenched in ice cold water, after Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s 38-18 win over Atlantic Shores captured the VISA Division III state championship.
“I guess it’ll sink in sometime tonight, but wow, what a special finish,” said Johnston after the win. It was the third time Johnston had coached in a state title game; the first two were at Western Branch High School.
His Saints delivered a dominating performance on what looked like would be an even matchup against the undefeated Seahawks. NSA led 24-6 at the half, and used a punishing defense to slow down what had been a very potent Seahawk passing attack. Motivation was not very hard to come by on the Saints’ sideline.
“He’s been coaching 40 years and we just worked so hard during the season, and he deserves it,” said a teary-eyed running back Noah Giles, who’s headed to William & Mary next season.
“He’s coached some pretty good teams, but you know what, I believed this is the best team as far as (heart) goes,” said senior linebacker Daniel Griffith.