Cavaliers race by Bulldogs

Published 12:32 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

Led by big play after big play from running back Cedric Johnson, Lakeland defeated King’s Fork for the first time since 2004 on Friday night, routing the Bulldogs on their own field 38-13.

The Cavaliers piled up 341 yards on offense and a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dontarius Boone, but 279 of those yards came from Johnson who raced for touchdown runs of 1, 74, 60 and 60 yards.

Lakeland and head coach Glenwood Ferebee threw all sorts of wrinkles at King’s Fork, starting in the game’s opening minutes and with the first time the Cavaliers got the ball.

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A fumble by King’s Fork’s A.J. Harper and a recovery by Lakeland’s JaQuan Demiel set up the Cavs at the KF 25 for their first possession.

Lakeland advanced inside the KF 10, then came out with a “Wildcat” formation made well-known at Arkansas with Darren McFadden. Johnson was Lakeland’s version of McFadden and two carries later, Johnson scored on a 1-yard run. Jake Estienne, on his way to a 5-for-5 night on extra points, along with a 25-yard field goal in the second half, made it 7-0 with 9:15 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs knotted the game a few minutes later. Laray Kindred and Stephen Riddick combined for a 54-yard pass to put KF in Lakeland territory. Facing 4th-and-9, Kindred found tight end Derek Wright over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown pass.

The tied score last 17 seconds as Boone fielded the ensuing kickoff and went untouched, sprinting 92 yards for a touchdown. Boone burst through a group of traffic near the Lakeland 25 and was completely clear after that.

Still in an action-filled first quarter, after the Cavalier defense forced a Bulldog punt, the first play of Lakeland’s next possession was a 74-yard touchdown run by Johnson. Add an Estienne kick and the Cavs led 21-7 8:50 into the game.

That would be all of the scoring until halftime. As for when KF had the ball, that was because of three interceptions by the Cavaliers against Kindred. Eric Reynolds, Rufus Artis and Asaad Graham picked off Bulldog passes, with Artis’ play stopping a KF drive that reached the Lakeland 14.

On the second play of the second half, Johnson made it three touchdowns with a 60-yard run which included fighting and dragging his way the final 10 yards into the end zone.

“All the credit tonight goes to the O-line,” said Johnson.

“They were doing everything out there and I just picked up the slack.”

“We expected a great game tonight, that’s all. We were just able to come out and do what we had to do.”

Lakeland added scores on two of its next three possessions. A 47-yard dash by Johnson didn’t go for a touchdown, but it did set up a field goal. Midway through the fourth period, Johnson’s last carry of the night was another 60-yard touchdown.

Neil McKoy with 5-for-9 passing for 48 yards and an interception. Demiel caught four passes for 49 yards, including a 35-yard reception from Walter Boykins on a reverse, flea-flicker play in the first half. Graham added a second interception late in the fourth quarter.

Johnson’s accolades for the offensive line were backed up in Lakeland’s postgame huddle as the offensive line received two separate rounds of applause from the Cavalier coaching staff and teammates.

KF added a touchdown in the fourth period with Kindred passing to Riddick for a 34-yard scoring play. That touchdown made it 31-13 Lakeland at that point.

Kindred finished 13-for-34 passing for 187 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Harper carried eight times for 59 yards. Mike Mason caught eight passes for 46 yards.

Despite the win giving Lakeland a 2-4 record overall, the Cavaliers believe they still have everything to play for this season.

“Playoffs, that’s our number one goal, to get to the playoffs,” said Johnson.

Next Friday, Lakeland (2-4, 2-3) hosts Nansemond River. King’s Fork (3-3, 2-3) must go on the road and face Oscar Smith which improved to 6-0 with a 48-7 rout over previously undefeated Western Branch on Friday.