Cross-city matchup leads Friday’s actionPublished 10:23pm Thursday, October 4, 2012
Lakeland (3-2, 2-2) at King’s Fork (4-1, 3-1) — 7 p.m.
Last season: Lakeland 53, King’s Fork 3
By record, the two best Suffolk teams in the Southeastern District meet tonight to establish city supremacy and improve positioning for the post-season.
King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones pointed out that these inter-city match-ups with Lakeland are always special because players that used to be teammates at the middle school level get to face off.
“Plus, the fact now (is) that this year we’ve both got winning records and both have got goals set to get into the playoffs and we’re both Division 5 schools, so it makes it an important game for the district and for the playoffs too,” Jones said.
Both teams experienced blowout losses last week — the second in a row for Lakeland — and both teams are looking to rebound.
“Regardless of what our record is, our goal is to get to the playoffs and be peaking once we get to the playoffs,” Cavaliers head coach Glenwood Ferebee said. “So, we’re upset that we lost two games, but at the same time, the season isn’t over. We’re focusing on the second half of the season, and we’re going to try to run the table.”
The Bulldogs have been focusing on protecting the football in practice this week after six turnovers against Western Branch, and they have prepared for the Cavaliers’ diverse offense.
“They’ve got a good passing attack, they’ve got a good running attack, they can be balanced when they want to be,” Jones said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons that they can choose from, and we’ve just got to be prepared for all of them.”
Ferebee afforded King’s Fork respect based on the numbers alone.
“Their record is better than ours, they gained more yards against Western Branch than us, so we’re looking at a competitive game this week,” he said.
Nansemond River (2-3, 1-3) at Indian River (1-4, 1-3) — 7 p.m.
Last season: Indian River 12, Nansemond River 10
Both Nansemond and Indian River teams are coming off important wins. For the Warriors, it was the first since the season opener. For the Braves, their 27-26 victory over Great Bridge was their first win of the year.
The Warriors realize that they have dug a hole for themselves, but their eyes are fixed on a specific goal.
“We do have our goals set on making the playoffs and we know that’s a tough road to go,” Nansemond River assistant coach Brian Maus said. “We’ve just got to improve on what we did last week.”
The challenge this week will be in facing a team with a distinct familiarity to their game.
“They’ve got good athletes, they execute pretty well,” Maus said. “We’re very similar as far as our style and how our team is, so it’s going to be a tough battle.”
Portsmouth Christian (1-4, 0-1) at Nansemond-Suffolk (3-2, 2-0) — 7 p.m.
Last season: Nansemond-Suffolk 42, Portsmouth Christian 6
The Saints find themselves in a different situation from a year ago when they faced the Patriots.
“Obviously, we’ve got to feel good coming off of three straight wins,” NSA head coach Lew Johnston said. “Last year, we’d just won our first game when we went up against them.”
He has warned the Saints against complacency this week and prepared them for a dissimilar look to the one the Bishops showed last week.
“It’s kind of a different offense Portsmouth Christian runs that they’re not going to be spreading it out and throwing it all over the place like Episcopal did,” Johnston said. “They’ve got two very good running backs.”
Johnston was referring to a Patriots running attack that averages 202.6 yards a game, benefiting from contributions by junior John Pope and senior Rayshard Brown.
“They’re as good as we’ve seen,” he said. “If we don’t tackle or play our run assignments, they’re capable of breaking it.”