Warriors host Western Branch tonight

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nansemond River defensive end Willie Gillus closes in on a sack during the Warrior win at King’s Fork earlier this season. The Warriors host Western Branch at Arrowhead Stadium tonight looking to keep their regional playoff hopes going.

Western Branch (2-5, 2-4) at Nansemond River (3-4, 2-4) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Western Branch 40, Nansemond River 0

New Warrior quarterback Darwin Barbee gave the Warriors their most balanced offensive attack of the season last week only for Great Bridge to score a touchdown and a two-point play with 1:25 remaining in the game and win 29-22.

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The Warriors scored three touchdowns through the air and gained 132 yards against the Wildcats. With LaMont Brown having 1,047 rushing yards in NR’s seven games, opposing defenses will key on him no matter how well the Warriors do throwing the ball.

Nansemond River held Great Bridge, usually a pass-happy offense, to zero pass completions while taking away two interceptions.

The loss still moved the Warriors from just on the right side of the playoff bubble now to the outside looking in with three games to play; so the Warriors need a big push to turn their good season into a postseason campaign.

Western Branch comes in off a 42-12 loss at Oscar Smith.

Great Bridge (5-2, 4-2) at Lakeland (5-2, 4-2) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Great Bridge 43, Lakeland 0

After posting 53 points two Fridays ago, the Cavaliers suffered their toughest offensive showing of the season last Friday at Grassfield, losing 27-13. With the loss to the 7-0 Grizzlies, Lakeland went from in great shape in the playoff ratings to, suddenly, little room for error at No. 6 in the region.

Great Bridge, with a five-game winning streak, is No. 5 in the region. Senior running back Adriell Mayes was practically the whole offense in the Wildcat win over Nansemond River, carrying 36 times for 255 yards and three touchdowns. Mayes has 1,367 rushing yards on the season.

It didn’t turn into enough points, but Lakeland freshman quarterback Miles Goodman still went 15-for-27 passing for 209 yards against Grassfield. Receiver Antonio Jefferson had a huge night with nine catches and 165 yards.

Grassfield (7-0, 6-0) at King’s Fork (1-6, 1-5) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Grassfield 35, King’s Fork 14

The Bulldogs get a very tough visitor for their homecoming festivities. The unbeaten Grizzlies have a two-touchdown win over Western Branch and a two-TD win over Lakeland in their last two outings.

Hosting the Cavs last Friday, the Grizzlies relied on the run and were plenty physical enough to do so.

King’s Fork junior Charles Clark turned in a 69-yard touchdown run and an 87-yard kick return touchdown to keep the Bulldogs close with Hickory until late in the game. Hickory scored the last 15 points for a 29-14 win.

Nansemond-Suffolk (3-4, 1-2) at Greenbrier Christian (4-1, 2-1) – 7 p.m.

Last season – Nansemond-Suffolk 13, Greenbrier Christian 0

The Saints romped over rival Norfolk Academy last Friday night for their third straight victory.

NSA’s quarterback shuffle was great with junior Tim Burns and sophomore Jackson DeMello in the 27-6 win. Both completed five passes. Both led scoring drives. More ways to move the ball took pressure off NSA’s running game, although the Saints still piled up 234 rushing yards.

Through the winning streak, NSA’s defense is making it easy for the offense, holding opponents to six points in each win. Getting a difficult schedule early in the season was hard on NSA’s record but it’s paying off now.

The Gators dropped their first game last Saturday, losing 37-10 to Bishop Sullivan.

Running back T.J. Reynard leads the Gator offense with 854 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.