Lakeland shuts out Hickory

Published 12:18 am Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lakeland improved to 2-0 on the season with a 27-0 victory over the visiting Hickory Hawks in a game mired by penalties.

Cavaliers head coach Glenwood Ferebee was glad to have the win, but felt his team was sloppy and let them know in the post-game huddle that Monday would not be a light practice.

Lakeland's Jaquan Yulee, right foreground, and Craig Taylor, left, move toward the ball on defense during the Cavaliers' 27-0 victory over the Hickory Hawks on Friday night.

He noted that the officiating was frequently unfavorable.

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“A lot of things didn’t go our way, but we got the ‘W,’” he said. “This is a game we got to learn from. We got to learn to play through adversity. We finished the game for the most part. We had a lot of big plays that were called back.”

The Cavs had 10 penalties for the game.

“The score says the game was close, but if you watch the film, it wasn’t as close as it seemed,” Ferebee said. “We had about four or five good plays called back that probably would have turned into touchdowns.”

The touchdowns that Lakeland did score tended to be thrillers.

To begin the game, the offense turned the ball over when Antonio Jefferson fumbled, and it looked like the Cavs might be in for a tight game. But then a few minutes later, junior defensive end Marche Everett intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards for the first score of the game.

Later in the quarter, the offense went to work. Jefferson recovered from the prior fumble by taking a short pass from Zach Super and turning it into a 44-yard touchdown.

“I just made something out of nothing,” Jefferson said. “I thought I was going to get tackled, but I made a move, he missed, just took it the distance.”

Jefferson had a sensational game with seven catches for 135 yards and an interception and a bevy of tackles on defense.

Super had a great game passing for the second game in a row, going 18 for 21 for 247 yards one touchdown and no interceptions.

If there was a player of the game, though, it seemed like the title would go to junior linebacker Antonio Perry.

Late in the second quarter, he intercepted Hickory’s quarterback and returned it to Hickory’s own 30-yard line. The Cavs offense was not able to convert.

Perry gave them another chance near the beginning of the second half when he picked off another pass, putting Lakeland on the Hawks’ eight-yard line. Raekwon Johnson ran it in shortly thereafter from four yards out. The point after was blocked by Hickory, putting the score at 20-0.

As the second half continued, penalties began to pile up for Lakeland.

“Mental errors as far as block in the back, holding, unsportsmanlike conduct,” Ferebee said. “To me, the way the game was going, the game was getting out of hand from the first half.”

Lakeland’s Chris Rodgers was ejected from the game for allegedly punching an opposing player, but Ferebee is confident it will get overturned.

“They said he punched him, but they’re going to send the film in, we’re going to appeal it,” he said. “The guy was holding him, trying to pull him down to the ground and he just pushed off of him to release himself. It was not a closed-fist punch thrown.”

The game appeared to be slowly drawing to a conclusion as Hickory tried to drive for their first score when, with 30 seconds left, Perry made his third interception of the game, and this time he returned it 75 yards for the game’s final score.

“Just being where I was supposed to be at the right time,” he said, “doing what coach told me to do, and doing what I had to do in practice and it come to you.”

Lakeland will host Maury High School on Friday.