Lakeland High School senior running back Antonio Perry found very little running room on Friday against host I.C. Norcom High School. The Cavaliers were limited to 32 yards rushing while the Greyhounds piled on the rushing yards on their way to a 40-6 rout of the Cavaliers.
Lakeland High School senior running back Antonio Perry found very little running room on Friday against host I.C. Norcom High School. The Cavaliers were limited to 32 yards rushing while the Greyhounds piled on the rushing yards on their way to a 40-6 rout of the Cavaliers.

LHS Cavaliers struggle out of the gate

Published 12:01am Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lakeland High School has established a strong football legacy thanks to the impressive accomplishments of the teams from the last two years, and the 2013 squad hopes to continue that.

However, Friday was a rough start.

Norcom beat the Cavaliers again and again with its rushing attack, leading to a 40-6 season-opening loss for Lakeland on Friday night in Portsmouth.

After his first game as a head coach, Lakeland’s Bryan Potts commented on the youth of some of his players and said, “There’s going to be some growing pains.”

In the first quarter, the game looked like it could go back and forth, as the Greyhounds scored first, but then the Cavaliers responded with a 7-yard touchdown pass from junior Miles Goodman to freshman Alajuwun Langston.

The Cavs’ one-dimensionality on offense limited them, however, as they rushed 11 times for only 32 yards.

The Greyhounds rarely gained many yards through the air, but their rushing game was well-fueled by running backs, fullbacks and senior quarterback Darron Downing. Norcom later led 20-6 by halftime off of 15- and 14-yard runs.

Potts said, “They knew they were bigger up front,” but he put the responsibility on his players, saying, “You’ve got to do a better job getting off blocks.”

What Lakeland showed real promise with, at times, was its passing attack. Though junior quarterback Miles Goodman was visibly frustrated at many points during the game, he was able to connect with several receivers.

In one instance, two long completions in the Cavaliers’ second possession of the third quarter suddenly put them on the Norcom 18-yard line.

“We wanted to come out and attack the middle of the field,” Potts said, because there was an opening there.

Lakeland was not able to get any further, however. They threatened at other times through the air, as well, but Potts said pass protection ultimately broke down, preventing plays from developing properly.

Goodman was 12-for-19 for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Senior wide receiver Markese Wright had four receptions for 69 yards, and Langston had two catches for 33 yards.

Potts said he was confident in his team’s ability to learn from this game, saying, “We’ve just got to get better, and we will get better.”

Lakeland (0-1, 0-0) visits Great Bridge High School next Friday.

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