Lakeland High School sophomore linebacker Jaquan Yulee brings down a runner with force earlier this season. King's Fork High School head coach Joe Jones gave respect to Yulee and said the Bulldogs will need to put bodies on him in order to succeed offensively when the Cavaliers play host tonight. (Melissa Glover photo)
Lakeland High School sophomore linebacker Jaquan Yulee brings down a runner with force earlier this season. King's Fork High School head coach Joe Jones gave respect to Yulee and said the Bulldogs will need to put bodies on him in order to succeed offensively when the Cavaliers play host tonight. (Melissa Glover photo)

Cross-town rivalry heats up

Published 8:43pm Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some games postponed; check the story for details

King’s Fork at Lakeland

Last season — Lakeland 16, King’s Fork 15 (playoffs)

Lakeland 35, King’s Fork 7 (regular season)

The Bulldogs (4-1, 3-1) and the Cavaliers (0-5, 0-4) will meet Monday night at 6:30 in a postponed game in the wake of momentous developments between the two football programs. The last time they met was in the playoffs, King’s Fork’s first-ever berth, Lakeland’s second. The Cavs won at home in a fourth-quarter heartbreaker.

“A lot of guys remember the feeling we had last year, last game of the season in the playoffs, and how we felt leaving the field down there,” KF head coach Joe Jones said.

The other major development came in the offseason, when Lakeland hired longtime King’s Fork defensive coordinator Bryan Potts as its head coach.

Preparing for the Bulldogs, Potts said, “I started watching film on them on Sunday, and I started to get a funny feeling. It was kind of weird looking at film and game-planning against them.”

Jones said he wished Potts well when he left and still does, but good-naturedly acknowledged his new status as the leader of a rival.

“I hope he goes 9-1 every year, with the one loss coming to us,” Jones said.

Potts also made it clear where his new priorities lie: “There’s mixed feelings, but I’m anxious. I would love to get my first victory against them.”

Potts said, “We know we’re facing another good running back this week.” His team will aim to limit the big play capability of Bulldogs sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington.

“We’re facing an all-district quarterback, as well,” he said, referring to senior Uriah Adams.

Potts said his players will need to focus on their assignments to block each avenue of King’s Fork’s triple option offense.

Jones drew attention to Cavaliers junior quarterback Miles Goodman.

“He does a great job,” Jones said. “He’s very elusive. He’s got a good arm. We know they’re going to take their shots deep,” and he complimented a receiving corps that could make his defense pay if they are not careful.

He also credited the Cavaliers running game. He said the Bulldogs defensive line would need to be disciplined to shut it down.

Jones said on offense, his team would seek to put bodies on sophomore linebacker Jaquan Yulee to limit his effectiveness.

King’s Fork will be without senior wide receiver/defensive back JaQuon Diggs (kidney injury) and junior wide receiver/defensive back Camryn Little (knee injury) for the remainder of the season, but Jones said other players have stepped up.

Norfolk Academy at Nansemond-Suffolk

Last season — Norfolk Academy 16, Nansemond-Suffolk 8

The stage is set for a dramatic showdown at 7 tonight between the Saints (5-1, 1-1) and their rivals from Norfolk Academy (5-1, 3-0).

NSA officials said Thursday night they had not yet considered postponing the game.

It will be homecoming night at NSA, featuring a game likely to influence the post-season with two teams Saints head coach Lew Johnston considers evenly matched.

“This is why we play,” Johnston said. “We want to be in big games like this, and we’re excited.”

After two initial losses in 2012, the Saints produced a consistent stream of wins on its way to the state title game, interrupted only once by a 16-8 road loss to the Bulldogs. NSA has not forgotten it.

“That’s come up several times already, probably just about daily, as a matter of fact,” Johnston said with a chuckle.

The Bulldogs run a spread offense featuring a few different skilled running backs.

Johnston pointed to junior running back Demitri Boyce as the most dangerous of the group. He also highlighted junior quarterback Allan Parrott. “He’s really good at scrambling, so we’re concerned,” he said.

The Saints’ offensive line will return to full health, getting senior tackle Lee Willis back.

Oscar Smith at Nansemond River

Last season — Oscar Smith 49, Nansemond River 0

The Warriors (2-3, 2-2) have revived their season with back-to-back wins but now face a big task against Oscar Smith High School, a team currently riding a 60-game win-streak in the district dating back to 2006.

Officials said they would make a decision on postponing the game Friday morning. If it is rescheduled it will be set on Monday.

“It’s another ball game for us,” NR head coach Tracey Parker said.

“They’ve got some good athletes all over the field,” he said of the Tigers (5-0, 4-0). “Our goal is to make sure we’re in the right place to make plays.”

“They throw the ball around quite a bit,” Parker said. A primary target the Warriors will need to contain is senior wide receiver Jaylen Bradshaw, a Virginia Tech commit.

Nansemond River enters this contest without any major injuries to report.

If it goes as planned tonight, the game starts at 7.

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