Cavs face tough task vs. Grizzlies

Published 6:04 pm Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grassfield (7-2, 7-1) at Lakeland (6-3, 5-3) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Grassfield 20, Lakeland 14

Last week’s upset win by King’s Fork put Lakeland squarely on the bubble of the Eastern Region, Div. 5 playoff race. Going into Friday’s action, Lakeland has the last spot, the eighth seed, in the division ratings.

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The best news for the Cavaliers could wind up being action in Portsmouth and Hampton on Friday and Saturday. No. 7 Bethel faces No. 1 Phoebus and No. 9 Booker T. Washington faces No. 5 Norcom on Friday. No. 10 Warwick hosts 4-5 Kecoughtan on Saturday.

Grassfield is No. 4 in Div. 6. The Grizzlies boast one of the best defenses in the region. Grassfield comes in off a 7-3 win at Deep Creek. Lakeland topped Deep Creek 20-0 a couple weeks ago. Grassfield’s lone district loss was a 7-3 score against Oscar Smith; so that shows how tough it will be for the Cavaliers to score tonight.

Nansemond River (2-7, 2-6) at King’s Fork (2-7, 2-6) – 7 p.m.

Last season – King’s Fork 46, Nansemond River 0

Despite having a mostly-disappointing season, the Bulldogs can finish their season with the Suffolk championship.

On Nansemond River’s side, a Warrior win would mean all three Suffolk schools finish with a 1-1 in-city record. A Warrior win would also mean NR’s best record since 2005.

Matt Hommell, who took over the starting quarterback spot four weeks into the season, completed 9 of 14 passes and ran for KF’s only touchdown of the game in KF’s 7-6 win last Friday at Lakeland.

Both teams have been playing improved defense lately. King’s Fork held Lakeland standout Cedric Johnson to 50 rushing yards. The Warriors have played solid defense each of the last four games. NR’s won two of the four, versus Hickory and Indian River, and played Oscar Smith and Great Bridge tight until the second halves.

Hampton Roads (2-6, 1-3) at Nansemond-Suffolk (6-3, 3-1) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Nansemond-Suffolk 41, Hampton Roads 13

In a strange twist over the last couple weeks, Nansemond-Suffolk can take a share of the Tidewater Conference title thanks to the 1-3 Navigators.

That’s because HRA beat Bishop Sullivan 15-14 last Thursday. That contest was postponed because of an illness that effected most of the Bishop Sullivan team. Since returning to action, the Crusaders, who were 6-1 before the illnesses, lost to HRA and Hampton Christian.

Beyond the TCIS, NSA remained No. 2 in the VIS (Virginia Independent Schools) Div. 2 power ratings even with Saturday’s loss at Trinity Episcopal. As it stands now, NSA would host a rematch versus No. 3 Portsmouth Christian. NSA beat PC 14-7 in Portsmouth on Oct. 9.

A loss to Hampton Roads probably wouldn’t drop NSA out of the playoffs, but it would likely cost the Saints a home game in the semifinals.