Lakeland fumbles first game away

Published 11:29 pm Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lakeland's Walter Boykins throws during the second half of Thursday night's game at Wilson. The Presidents defeated Lakeland 32-16.

PORTSMOUTH – Lakeland lost five fumbles and committed more than 100 yards worth of penalties Thursday night and Wilson, building off a 2-8 season last fall, capitalized for a 32-16 win over the Cavaliers as both squads opened their football seasons.

The Presidents turned two of the Cavalier fumbles straight into points. Wilson’s Keon McSwaim returned one Lakeland fumble 51 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, giving Wilson a 13-0 lead at that point, and lineman Anthony Bullock scooped up a fumble and ran 70 yards for a touchdown with 2:06 left to put the game out of reach.

“Wilson’s a pretty good football team,” said Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee. “But you can’t beat anyone when you turn the ball over five times. We were still in it when we got it to 19-16, but then we made three or four more mental errors.”

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The Presidents opened the contest moving the ball well on the ground and through the air. Add in Cavalier mistakes and Wilson stormed to a 19-0 lead.

Derwon Greene passed to Rashad Riddick for a 45-yard touchdown to finish Wilson’s first drive, an 88-yard drive. After McSwaim’s touchdown, Greene passed to Antoine Hayes for a 7-yard touchdown play with 8:13 left in the half.

After Lakeland’s first six possessions ended in three fumbles and three punts, the Cavaliers worked their way back into the game in the final few minutes of the half.

Starting a possession on the President 37, Lakeland gave the ball to Raekwon Johnson most of the way and Johnson carried into the end zone from three yards out with 0:49 left.

Wilson marched straight down the field to open the second half and was about to regain a three-possession lead when Lakeland got a play that could have turned the game around.

On the Cavalier 16, Greene dropped back and tried a swing pass out around the right end. Rushing off the end, Antonio Jefferson leapt and caught the pass only a couple strides from the Wilson quarterback. Jefferson raced 70 yards for the touchdown. With almost a half to play, Lakeland was within a touchdown.

Lakeland’s defense kept scoring a couple minutes later. After a Wilson penalty on the ensuing kickoff placed the ball on the Wilson 8, an intentional grounding flag in the end zone gave Lakeland a safety, cutting the margin to 19-16 Wilson.

Following the safety, Lakeland took over at the President 45. On the first snap, Johnson rushed for a gain before fumbling for the third time of the night.

The Cavaliers held Wilson on the following possession, but the Presidents scored, on a 6-yard run by Greene, late in the third period to go up 25-16.

In the final few minutes, Lakeland drove into Wilson territory with clutch plays through the air.

On a 3rd-and-21 play, Walter Boykins hit Kendrey Thurman for a 22-yard reception. The Cavaliers went on to convert a 4th-and-6, again on a Thurman catch, and a 4th-and-4 on a Boykins-to-Bilal Cook reception.

Down to the President 18, Boykins dropped back to throw, pumped the ball, then was hit and lost the ball. Bullock was the next President to the pile as he picked up the ball and went all the way.

“We’ll go watch the film and show the kids our mistakes,” Ferebee said. “Wilson did a good job, but a lot of it was our mistakes, too. (Wilson) was more disciplined than we were.”

Lakeland (0-1) hosts city rival Nansemond River Friday at 7 p.m.