Suffolk title on the line

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stopping King's Fork High School junior feature back Deshaun Wethington will be the top priority for host Nansemond River High School's defense tonight. (Danny Haymond photo)

Stopping King’s Fork High School junior feature back Deshaun Wethington will be the top priority for host Nansemond River High School’s defense tonight. (Danny Haymond photo)

King’s Fork (5-1) at Nansemond River (3-3) – 7 p.m.

Last season: Bulldogs 35, Warriors 20

King’s Fork High School and Nansemond River High School face off after each football team previously defeated Lakeland High School soundly.

“Our mythical Suffolk city title is on the line,” Bulldogs coach Joe Jones said.


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New Warriors coach David Coccoli brings experience from the Group 6A level that parallels what Jones and the Bulldogs did last year as a 4A playoff team. Coccoli’s Bruins at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge went 9-4 last season and advanced as far as the 6A South Region semifinals.

Noticing Coccoli’s effect on Nansemond River already, Jones said, “Coach Coccoli’s done a great job there. I know they’ve got a new and refreshed attitude, and they play well. I’ve watched them on film.”

Coccoli has been taking note of the Bulldogs, as well, seeing what helps make them tick.

“They have a heck of a running back, and they ride him a lot,” Coccoli said, referring to junior Deshaun Wethington. “He’s probably one of the better running backs in the state of Virginia.”

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

Last season: Saints 50, Gators 0

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football team enters its homecoming game tonight following a difficult 56-42 road loss to Norfolk Academy.

Johnston said the story of that game was “again, the inability of our defense to stop anybody. We’ve made some changes position-wise, scheme-wise.”

The injury report continues to be a factor for NSA.

“Good news is we’re getting Camden Sutton back,” Johnston said, referring to his senior lineman, but starting junior quarterback Noah Serianni could be out with a sprained ankle.

“(Freshman) Robby Tew may be getting his first start at quarterback tomorrow,” Johnston said on Thursday.

Freshman lineman Chris Murphy is healthy again, and sophomore linebacker Ke’Shaun Moore was awaiting an update Thursday on his thumb.

The Saints played well against Greenbrier Christian Academy in the preseason.

“Looking at them now, compared to eight weeks ago, they are much-improved,” Johnston said.

Lakeland (1-5) at Hickory (1-5) – 7 p.m.

Last season: Cavaliers 17, Hawks 0

Lakeland High School’s football team went 1-9 last year, its lone win coming against Hickory High School. Cavaliers coach Bryan Potts expects that to be a great motivating tool for both teams tonight.

“It was our homecoming,” he said, and this year, “It’s their homecoming.”

Potts said the Hawks are going to be playing with passion, and “we’ve got to come out and meet their emotion.”

Both teams are looking to bounce back from lopsided losses last Friday; Hickory fell 34-0 to Indian River High School.

Potts knows what to expect from the Hawks.

“It’s no secret what (Hickory coach) Jupiter Wilson likes to do,” he said. “He likes to establish the run.”

Potts said he thinks his team is faster, but “when you put size continually on you for four quarters, it wears on you.”