Lakeland, NSA get started tonight

Published 11:25 pm Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wilson (last year1-9 overall, 1-6 Eastern) at Lakeland (3-7 overall, 3-6 Southeastern) – 7 p.m.

The Cavaliers get their only non-Southeastern District game of the season to lead off their season. Overall, Lakeland needs a strong start since the first three games the Cavs face is likely the easiest stretch of games they’ll face.

Wilson, a longtime doormat in the Eastern District, has gone 2-28 in the last three seasons under head coach Carlton Thomas. Wilson’s offense topped out at 12 points for its best performance in a game last season. Wilson’s lone win, 10-7 over Granby, and a 14-12 loss to Nansemond River, were the only two games the Presidents stayed within a possession of last season.

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Both the Cavaliers and Presidents like to throw the ball, but the difference could well be if any Presidents can bring down Lakeland’s running backs, primarily Cedric Johnson.

Nansemond-Suffolk (5-5, 4-1 Tidewater Conference) at Windsor (6-4, 1-3 Tri-Rivers) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Windsor 20-7

Windsor and Nansemond-Suffolk have made this season-opening game a tradition and a rivalry over the past two decades, but Windsor’s dominated the series recently, winning the last four meetings.

Both the Dukes and Saints have debuting head coaches. For Windsor, Chuck Parish moves up from an assistant coach to the head spot. For the Saints, Kevin Allen comes into the NSA program as a completely new face with new schemes on offense and defense.

In the past four years, Windsor’s usually hurt NSA with its speed, mostly through its shotgun, spread running attack.

Layfette Murphy was Windsor’s main running back last season, but now is Windsor’s starting quarterback. Similarly, Will Crenshaw was a receiver/running back last season for the Saints, but is now NSA’s quarterback.