Cavaliers tested

Published 7:05 pm Friday, August 13, 2010

Lakeland’s football squad suited up against an opposing team for the first time this season, hosting a scrimmage against Lake Taylor Thursday evening at Cavalier Park.

With three weeks to go before games count, Lakeland’s defense and the rushing ability of Rackwon Johnson stood out for the Cavs against the Eastern District’s Titans, a perennial playoff team. Lake Taylor finished last season with a 9-3 mark and with a 20-19 loss in the regional playoffs to eventual state champion Phoebus.

Most of the scrimmage was run with each side running 15 plays, with no clock or special teams plays.

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The Cavs had no problem stopping Lake Taylor in its first series on offense and went a step beyond holding the Titans by intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble.

Rackwon Johnson, a tailback built more like the middle linebacker position he plays on defense, showed his speed as well on Lakeland’s first try on offense.

After quarterback Walter Boykins completed a couple short passes, Johnson carried going behind left tackle, broke through a hole and down the left sideline for a 68-yard touchdown run.

Lake Taylor’s defense made things tough on the Cavaliers most of the rest of the evening. Johnson had a couple more good rushes. Boykins connected with Jaquan Demiel through the air for gains of 21 and 17 yards.

Lakeland held the Titans off the board until the final play of Lake Taylor’s third time with the ball, a 20-yard touchdown pass.

The final segment of the scrimmage was 24 minutes worth of play with a running clock, but with more realistic series of downs with changes of possession and turnovers counting.

Lakeland’s defense, a defense that allowed 17 or fewer points in seven games last season, stopped the Titans on downs and recovered a fumbled snap on Lake Taylor’s first two possessions of the “second half.”

Lake Taylor scored on a long touchdown pass for the only score of the running clock portion. The Titan defense turned up its pass rush and increasingly hurried Boykins as the scrimmage moved along.

The Cavaliers have one more scrimmage, Friday at 6 p.m. at Princess Anne, before opening their season and trying to improve on last year’s 6-4 record.