Bulldogs get the win
Published 11:24 pm Monday, October 14, 2013
King’s Fork High School head coach Joe Jones and his former defensive coordinator, Lakeland High School head coach Bryan Potts, are still friends, but they probably were not happy with how many opportunities their teams kept inadvertently giving each other to win.
At times, the Bulldogs and the Cavaliers seemed to be playing against themselves as much as each other. In the mud of a field still retaining some water from a week of rain, both defenses showed strength, but penalties and turnovers became frequent features of the slow-moving second half.
Trailing by seven, host Lakeland had many opportunities to tie the game up, and their last one came with 14 seconds to go in the game, fourth and goal, with the ball on the Bulldogs’ 2-yard line. The Bulldogs defense ended up stuffing the attempt by Cavaliers sophomore fullback Jaquan Yulee.
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Because of the number of gains followed by losses, it seemed only appropriate that King’s Fork ultimately won the game on the next play while simultaneously sustaining a safety for a final score of 13-8.
Each team garnered seven penalties for 65 yards apiece, and there was more than one instance in which they had penalties at the same time.
The punt crews for both teams saw quite a bit of playing time, and misadventures on those plays are what put Lakeland in an early hole.
After both teams punted the ball away on their first two possessions, Lakeland was doing it for the second time from their own 4-yard line. A high snap meant senior kicker Austin Brown had to jump in the back of the end zone to catch the ball and ended up stepping out of bounds for a safety.
The Bulldogs had trouble running against the Lakeland defense and on the muddy terrain and ended up punting. The Cavs had to do the same shortly thereafter, again from deep in their own territory. King’s Fork got to Brown quickly, and he was downed at about the Lakeland 2-yard line.
King’s Fork sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington soon ran three yards for his team’s only touchdown. An offsides penalty on Lakeland during the extra point moved the Bulldogs close enough for a two-point conversion try, which senior quarterback Uriah Adams ran in for the 10-0 lead.
The Cavs’ passing game responded, however, near the start of the second quarter as junior quarterback Miles Goodman found senior wide receiver Markese Wright for a 54-yard touchdown pass. The two had difficulty connecting much of the night, but gave their team a great boost when they did.
On the Bulldogs’ ensuing possession, they fumbled a handoff, which Lakeland recovered, and momentum seemed to be favoring the home team. However, KF senior defensive back Truman Boyd got the first of two interceptions on the very next play.
On a Lakeland punt later in the second quarter, the Bulldogs fumbled, and the Cavaliers recovered but could not convert. The Bulldogs got far enough on their final drive of the half to end it with a 35-yard Austin Wall field goal.
The second half is when the teams most prominently began struggling against themselves. Wethington had two thrilling runs weaving from one side of the field to the other, which ended near the Lakeland 1-yard line. Both were called back due to penalties.
Goodman appeared to connect with junior running back Ja’Juan Walker for a 78-yard touchdown pass, but it got shortened to 64 yards thanks to a penalty. Goodman appeared to run for a touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but a flag was thrown, and it came back.
Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties cropped up for Lakeland near the end of the game. On fourth down at the Bulldogs’ 14, Goodman threw an incomplete pass, but appeared to get a defensive pass interference call. An unsportsmanlike penalty ended up pushing the Cavs back to the 22 and kept it at fourth down.
The defense once again stopped King’s Fork. A huge pass by Goodman put Lakeland in position again at the Bulldogs’ 37, but then Truman Boyd got his second pick a couple plays later.
Lakeland forced one last punt, leading to its final drive.
Goodman ended up with 107 yards passing, while Wright had three receptions for 66 yards.
Wethington led King’s Fork with 70 yards and a score on 16 carries. The Bulldogs gained 116 yards on the ground to Cavs’ 40, while King’s Fork only managed 42 yards through the air.
King’s Fork (5-1, 4-1) will ends its week at home on Friday against its other Suffolk rival, Nansemond River High School (2-4, 2-3). At the same time, Lakeland (0-6, 0-5) will celebrate homecoming as it hosts Hickory High School.