Friday features battle of unbeaten teams

Published 9:14 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee holds the ball as sophomore kicker Austin Brown approaches for a field goal attempt on Thursday afternoon during practice for tonight's showdown against Oscar Smith.

King’s Fork (4-0, 3-0) at Western Branch (4-0, 3-0) — 7 p.m.

Last season: Western Branch 12, King’s Fork 7

“We’re excited to be in this kind of a game midway through the season,” Bulldogs head coach Joe Jones said. “And as I told the guys, each week we’re presented an opportunity, and each opportunity has a little more significance to it.”

King’s Fork High School enjoyed a 39-7 homecoming victory last Friday over Great Bridge, and now the team travels to Western Branch for the Bruins’ homecoming.

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“They’ve kind of struggled the last few years, like we have,” Jones said.

The story has been different this season, though, as the Bruins trounced previously undefeated Lakeland last Friday, 50-0. King’s Fork, of course, is enjoying a similar ascent.

“(These are) two teams that are trying to establish themselves, and they’ve got an excellent football team,” Jones said. “They look very impressive on film and got a lot of speed.”

Western Branch junior running back Terrance Ricks had 110 yards and two touchdowns on six carries against Lakeland, and fellow junior running back Josh Marriner carried for 92 yards and a score. Marriner has 684 rushing yards on the season. They also were very instrumental on defense, accounting for 15 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two safeties.

“We’re going to have to play very well to contain them,” Jones said.

Oscar Smith (3-1, 3-0) at Lakeland (3-1, 2-1) — 7 p.m.

Last season: Oscar Smith 21, Lakeland 7

The defending AAA division 6 state champions come to town after a 49-0 rout of Nansemond River last week.

Lakeland is coming off a 50-0 loss to Western Branch. The Cavaliers had key injury absences, including seniors Chris Rodgers and Craig Taylor and junior DKente White. All three play on the offensive and defensive lines. Still, Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee gave the Bruins credit.

“We went in with a barely loaded gun, and it showed,” he said. “But that’s not taking anything from Western Branch. Even if we had (Rodgers, Taylor, and White), I’m not saying that we would have won.”

One player who remains sidelined for now due to a concussion during the Bruins game is standout senior wide receiver Antonio Jefferson.

Ferebee indicated that senior Derrick Edghill and the other receivers were ready to pick up the slack.

This week will be the first time the offensive line has been at full strength since Lakeland’s first scrimmage, Ferebee said.

“We feel good, we’re healthy,” he said.

Deep Creek (0-5, 0-3) at Nansemond River (1-3, 0-3) — 7 p.m.

Last season: Nansemond River 27, Deep Creek 3

Last week, Nansemond River visited 2011’s AAA Division 6 state champs Oscar Smith and lost 49-0. Recent history says Deep Creek should pose less of a challenge, but Warriors head coach Tracey Parker Sr. is not suffering from overconfidence.

“We’re not treating Deep Creek any different than we would any other opponent,” he said. “For us, we’re trying to develop and create some consistency within our program, within our practices, etc. So we can’t look past, through or under anyone.”

Deep Creek comes off its closest and highest scoring game, a 31-27 loss to Hickory last Friday.

Virginia Episcopal (4-0, 2-0) at Nansemond-Suffolk (2-2, 2-0) — 7 p.m.

Last season: Nansemond-Suffolk 20, Virginia Episcopal 6

“You’ve got to respect anyone who’s undefeated,” Saints coach Lew Johnston said. “They’ve got two wide receivers, one’s about 6’5” and the other’s about 6’6”, so (the quarterback) just drops back and throws it up to them.”

Johnston said the Bishops run their passing attack as a spread, which means NSA’s pass rush must be disruptive and its coverage must be strong.

“We’re going to run something that Texas Christian kind of invented, (which) is the split field coverage,” Johnston said. “So we’ll have one coverage to one side of the field and a different coverage to the other just, again, to attempt to throw off the quarterback.”

Virginia Episcopal comes off a 27-26 win over Atlantic Shores.