Cavs face biggest test yet

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lakeland’s Orel Drummond hits a Hickory running back in a district game earlier this season. The Cavaliers travel to Oscar Smith for a matchup of two of the three undefeated schools in the Southeastern Friday night.

Lakeland (4-0, 3-0) at Oscar Smith (3-1, 3-0) – 7 p.m.

Last year – Oscar Smith 41, Lakeland 6

Lakeland’s stunning start to the football season meets the undisputed powerhouse in the Tigers’ 40-game district winning streak.

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Oscar Smith had a tame offensive game by its standards in beating Nansemond River 21-0 last Friday. That win came in a short week for the Tigers, who’d played the previous Monday. Now the Cavaliers have the abbreviated week of preparation and rest, having edged Western Branch in the closing seconds, 26-23, on Monday at Cavalier Park.

Lakeland hopes to have starting quarterback Zach Super back from an injury suffered two weeks ago.

Raekwon Johnson’s kept the Cavaliers going, moving from running back to quarterback. It’s been enough to keep winning, but compared to Lakeland’s first two games with Super at QB, it’s not the same passing attack spreading the ball all over the field and well down the field. Johnson’s rushed for 524 yards and totaled 13 touchdowns as a passer, runner and receiver.

Tiger quarterback J.J. Williamson has 901 passing yards in four games. Running back J.C. Coleman has rushed for 625 yards.

As impressive as the Tiger offensive numbers always are, Oscar Smith’s defense held Nansemond River to zero first downs last week.

The Cavaliers, the Tigers and Grassfield are the last three undefeated teams in the Southeastern District.

Nansemond River (2-2, 1-2) at Deep Creek (0-4, 0-3) – 7 p.m.

Last year – Deep Creek 37, Nansemond River 7

The Warrior defense did four touchdowns better against Oscar Smith last Friday than it did last season in a 21-0 Tiger win that was only 7-0 at halftime. In the three contests prior to facing the Tigers, NR’s allowed 19 total points.

Meanwhile, Deep Creek hasn’t scored a point yet this season, with the closest margin being a 38-0 loss to Western Branch.

Hickory forced three lost fumbles in beating the Hornets 41-0 on Friday. Two weeks ago, the Warriors forced one fumble and three interceptions in their 27-0 win at King’s Fork. If the Warriors keep those trends going, NR’s defense can put points on the board or set up their offense in great field position against the Hornets.

Western Branch (1-3, 1-2) at King’s Fork (1-3, 1-2) – 7 p.m.

Last year – King’s Fork 20, Western Branch 13

The Bulldogs and Bruins both come into Friday night’s game on three days’ rest from Monday night games.

Western Branch led Lakeland 16-3 in the second quarter and had an excellent chance to get the last-minute win, instead of Lakeland’s dramatic win, as the Bruins had the ball at the Cavalier 27 with 0:54 remaining in the game before Lakeland lineman Craig Taylor’s interception.

King’s Fork junior Charles Clark returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and gained 85 rushing yards, along with senior quarterback Matt Hommell running for 100 yards and a touchdown but Great Bridge’s offense was too much in a 40-18 win over the Bulldogs.

Nansemond-Suffolk (0-4) at Virginia Episcopal (1-2) – Saturday, 2 p.m.

Last year – Virginia Episcopal 28, Nansemond-Suffolk 10

Bobby Lamm rushed for 209 yards and scored 17 of NSA’s 23 points Friday night, with two touchdowns on the ground, two extra points and a 43-yard field goal, but it wasn’t enough as Bishop Sullivan beat the Saints 38-23.

In the last two weeks, the Crusaders and Norfolk Christian scored nine touchdowns on the Saints, with all nine coming through the air.

Virginia Episcopal comes into the game off a 48-0 loss to Christchurch on Saturday.