Cavs, Saints play for playoff hopes

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lakeland (5-2, 4-2) at Deep Creek (4-3, 4-2) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Deep Creek 13, Lakeland 0

Lakeland’s sixth and the Hornets are 10th in the latest Division 5 regional power ratings. Lakeland needs this game to keep its postseason destiny in its own hands going into the last two weeks of the regular season.

In its four victories, Deep Creek’s allowed 9.8 points per game. In its three losses, the Hornets have allowed 30.3 points per game.

The tempo and style of the game will likely decide a lot tonight. If the Cavaliers connect for a couple big plays in the air, or if Cedric Johnson breaks a long run or kick return, it could be all Lakeland needs. If not, the contest probably comes down to which team puts together one good drive, or commits one major mistake, in the fourth quarter.

Nansemond River (1-6, 1-5) at Oscar Smith (7-0, 6-0) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Oscar Smith 40, Nansemond River 6

The Warriors broke through with their first win of the season last Friday, beating Hickory 14-13. Bernard Jennings scored on a 30-yard reverse play, giving him four touchdowns in NR’s last four games.

Jennings and sophomore quarterback Kyle Moore have given the Warriors more punch to its offense to go along with sophomore running back Lamont Brown.

Unfortunately, after getting a win, Nansemond River has Oscar Smith to deal with. The Tigers are No. 8 in the USA Today Poll. Oscar Smith quarterback Phillip Sims is the VHSL’s (Virginia High School League) all-time leader in passing yards and is two touchdown passes away from that record.

King’s Fork (1-6, 1-5) at Western Branch (3-4, 3-3) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Western Branch 28, King’s Fork 7

Western Branch has three straight wins and back-to-back blowout shutouts against Hickory and Indian River.

The Bruins seemed way down after going 8-2 last season, but the rebuilding is apparently going quickly. Leondre Walker rushed only nine times, but had 178 yards and three touchdowns, in WB’s 41-0 win over Indian River.

King’s Fork still has two big games left on the schedule, and a chance to disrupt Lakeland’s playoff hopes, in the last two weeks of the season. If the Bulldogs can get back on track starting tonight, there should be plenty of motivation to face their city rivals.

Nansemond-Suffolk (5-2, 2-1) at Greenbrier Christian (1-5, 1-1) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Nansemond-Suffolk 25, Greenbrier Christian 0

Five different Saints scored NSA’s five touchdowns last Friday in one of the most lopsided wins the Saints have ever had in their long series against Norfolk Academy.

The Saints moved to within 0.03 rating points of first-place Blue Ridge in the VIS (Virginia Independent Schools) Div. II standings. The higher-seeded team gets home games in the state semifinals and finals, so the Saints have that reward to fight for.

The Gators are coming off of their best two games of the season. GCA beat Hampton Roads 14-13 two weeks ago and lost 13-5 to Bishop Sullivan on Saturday. Bishop Sullivan, 3-0 in the Tidewater Conference, beat NSA 21-6.