Lakeland football gets into action

Published 10:10 pm Saturday, August 15, 2009

NORFOLK — Lakeland was the first Suffolk school to get on the gridiron against an opponent, participating in a four-team scrimmage hosted by Maury at Powhatan Field on Friday evening.

Each team had two sessions in which each side got to run 15 plays. Lakeland took on Tallwood and Green Run in the controlled sessions. The Cavaliers and Tallwood then played a 12-minute quarter which was close to a live game, with the main exception being on special team plays.

Last season, scoring points was generally no problem for the Cavaliers under first-year coach Glenwood Ferebee. On Friday, it seemed Lakeland’s defense was ahead of its offense.

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Tallwood scored once in its first session against Lakeland, but the Cavalier defense pitched a shutout from that point on, including in the 12-minute quarter when Tallwood took over one possession on the Cavalier 25 and another on the Cavalier 38.

“Today, we didn’t run everything we will be running,” said Ferebee. “For the most part we did pretty well.”

That plan makes sense for Ferebee as the live action came only a few days after Lakeland opened up its official practices on Monday. Usually teams have scrimmages starting at the end of the second or third week of practices.

In the planned series of plays, each squad started with the ball on the opponent’s 35-yard-line. Tallwood scored in seven plays against Lakeland to start the evening, but the Cavalier defense picked up its aggression from there.

Jaquan Demiel intercepted a pass, on an underthrown pass down the left sideline, on the first play after the Tallwood touchdown. The Lions didn’t manage a first down and Lakeland came up with a number of stops in the Tallwood backfield through the rest of the series.

On offense, Lakeland’s highlight was a 24-yard touchdown run by Raquan Johnson.

Lakeland blanked Green Run and forced another turnover, a fumble on a completed screen pass, to stop the Stallions at the 15-yard-line. Lakeland stopped Green Run on four downs on two other occasions.

Johnson was the standout on offense again. Green Run kept Lakeland quiet for the most part, but Johnson ran for gains of 15 yards and five yards on consecutive plays to score a touchdown. Walter Boykins took all the snaps at quarterback for the Cavaliers.

Lakeland and Tallwood fought to a scoreless draw in the 12-minute quarter. Lakeland went four-and-out to start the period, but the Cavalier defense held with Dakota Warren’s sack on a fourth-and-three play stopping Tallwood’s possession.

Lakeland again couldn’t get a first down and punted this time. A couple more Tallwood plays finished the period.

The Cavaliers look ahead to their season opener on Friday, Sept. 4 against visiting Wilson. The Cavaliers’ only non-Southeastern District game will get them ready for week two at city rival Nansemond River.