End of the road for Cavaliers

Published 11:21 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

Lakeland senior defensive end Tyler McCaw gets after Lake Taylor senior Donavan Powell during the Cavaliers’ 46-7 loss in the VHSL Division 5 Eastern Region semifinal on Friday night in Norfolk. Host Lake Taylor won 46-7 in the Virginia High School League Division 5 Eastern Region semifinal.

The Lakeland Cavaliers could not overcome its own mistakes and a strong Norfolk opponent, losing 46-7 to host Lake Taylor in the Virginia High School League Division 5 Eastern Region semifinal on Friday night.

Things got started off on the wrong foot immediately for the Cavaliers when the opening kickoff went through the hands of senior wide receiver Darnell McMillian. He recovered and ran out of the end zone, but Lakeland started on its own 10-yard line.

Senior quarterback Zach Super fumbled the snap on the next play, and the Titans recovered on the Cavaliers’ 3-yard line. They scored shortly thereafter on a 3-yard touchdown pass, and the score was 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

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“We didn’t show up in the first half and dug ourselves a hole,” Cavaliers head coach Glenwood Ferebee said. “Made mistakes in the first half, we missed a few key throws in the first half.”

The fumbled snaps continued to plague Lakeland as they have for some time, and Ferebee was at somewhat of a loss for explaining them.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know,” he said. “It’s been happening all year. We practice every day, I guess it’s nerves. When we get in a big game, kids got to be able to play in big games. We can’t get nervous to a point where we lose our composure, and I think that’s what has something to do with the snaps.”

Lake Taylor held a 27-0 lead at halftime and extended it to 33-0 less than a minute into the third quarter off a quick offensive drive.

The Cavaliers (8-4) finally got on the board late in the third quarter thanks in large part to senior wide receiver Antonio Jefferson, who had a strong game. With the score 39-0, Jefferson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Titans’ 17-yard line.

A couple plays later, Super found Jefferson for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Junior kicker Austin Brown put in the extra point as the Cavs avoided the shut out.

In the fourth quarter, after a running clock had been instituted, senior linebacker Eric Brown got an interception. A reception by Jefferson and a Titans penalty put the Cavaliers on the Lake Taylor 38-yard line with a chance, but an interception gave the ball back.

“We knew we couldn’t run the ball on them, we knew we had to throw the football, but when they were open, we didn’t make the plays we needed to make tonight to get the win, and we didn’t play disciplined on defense enough to get the win,” Ferebee said. “You can’t do that against a good football team, and it showed in the score.”

Overall, Ferebee still found reason to be encouraged by the 2012 Lakeland Cavaliers.

We progressed from last year,” he said. “We made it to the semifinals. So, next year we’re still a young team. I lose my receivers and my quarterback, but we got some guys that’s behind them that’s going to be able to spell them. They just got to dedicate themselves to the weight room and dedicate themselves to the off-season and we should be right back in this position next year.”