‘Let’s rectify some thoughts’
Lakeland looks for redemption
Grassfield (6-0, 5-0) at Lakeland (4-2, 3-2) – 7 p.m.
Last season: Grassfield 27, Lakeland 13
Lakeland got back into the win column last week with a victory over cross-town rival King’s Fork. Now the Cavaliers enter a game that holds the unique potential to help them re-establish credibility as a top team in the district.
The big hole in the Cavs’ record has been the 50-0 loss to Western Branch. Grassfield scored a 38-7 home win against the same Bruins team last week.
Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee still sees the opportunity to change minds about the Cavaliers tonight.
“In the eyes of the public, our thing is, let’s go in, try to get this win, and let’s rectify some thoughts about us, that we’re not an overrated team like people are saying we are by that one loss to Western Branch by 50 points,” he said.
Ferebee said misconceptions about the Cavaliers often stem from a misunderstanding of student body size for Lakeland and Suffolk schools.
“We only have about 40 kids on our team, so if we have some players that go down, it’s hard to replace them,” he said. “But we don’t try to make excuses for it, we just go out and play.”
It did not take long for Ferebee to see how the Grizzlies have been winning lately.
“Just breaking down film and watching the games that they’ve been playing, they’ve capitalized real well on other team’s mistakes,” he said. “Western Branch actually had eight turnovers in that last game that they played.”
Against Hickory and Western Branch, Grassfield has enjoyed 42 points from turnovers.
“So our thing is, let’s protect the football, play good sound offense, sound defense, and see what happens,” Ferebee said.
King’s Fork (4-2, 3-2) at Hickory (2-4, 1-4) – 7 p.m.
Last season: Hickory 29, King’s Fork 14
The Bulldogs look to bounce back from their loss to Lakeland, and the Hawks seek a win in the wake of their 48-10 loss to Oscar Smith. King’s Fork head coach knows what his team needs to be ready for Hickory.
“They’re big, they’re physical, and they’re disciplined,” he said. “They come right at you. A lot of times when you’re going against teams that have a lot of speed, they sometimes don’t like people running right at them, because when people run right at you, it kind of takes away the speed and you just got to line up and be physical. And that’s what we have to do this week.”
Nansemond-Suffolk (4-2, 2-0) at Norfolk Academy (4-2, 2-0) – Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Last season: Nansemond-Suffolk 27, Norfolk Academy 6
The Saints are on the biggest hot streak in Suffolk football. They bring four straight wins into a game against a Bulldogs team Saints head coach Lew Johnston described as much improved.
Johnston expects a challenge in stopping Bulldogs senior running back Hunter Wagnon and he is wary of letting NA hold onto possession.
“Their ability to control the football concerns me,” he said. “We need the ball to be able to score, and I think the way our offense is executing right now, there’s certainly going to be an opportunity to put a couple on the board.”
Norfolk Academy comes off a 32-6 win over Covenant High School from Charlottesville.
Great Bridge (0-6, 0-5) at Nansemond River (3-3, 2-3) – 7 p.m.
Last season: Great Bridge 29, Nansemond River 22
The Warriors have gotten back into the fight the last couple of weeks with consecutive wins, and now they face the Wildcats, who are likely hungry for a win after a surprising 18-16 loss to Deep Creek.
“Great Bridge spreads the field really good,” NR head coach Tracey Parker Sr. said. “They throw the ball out of that spread. They’re really big up front, so they do give you enough run to make you honor the run. They sling it around a little bit, so we’ve got to be ready to handle anything that we might see. At this point, trick plays and all that stuff, we need to be ready.”