Bulldogs, Cavs take center stage

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, October 8, 2015

With Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s football team having a bye this week and Nansemond River High School having played on Thursday, there will be just one high school gridiron show in town tonight.

King’s Fork (4-1) at Lakeland (2-3) — 7 p.m.

Last season: Bulldogs 35, Cavaliers 11

The first cross-Suffolk showdown of the football season arrives on schedule, though both King’s Fork and Lakeland high schools have had less time for rest and preparation than originally intended.


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Inclement weather forced the Bulldogs and Cavaliers to play their Oct. 2 road games on Monday.

“Even though it’s a short week, nobody has the advantage, because it’s a short week for both of us,” King’s Fork coach Joe Jones said.

Both Suffolk squads are also coming off victories earned in Chesapeake on Monday. The Bulldogs defeated Great Bridge High School 39-9, and the Cavaliers topped Deep Creek High School 30-13.

King’s Fork and Lakeland also avoided losing anyone due to injury during those contests.

Cavaliers coach Kevin Knight said his team has taken it easy this week in practice.

“We’re still moving fast but not as physical, being that we had a game on Monday,” he said.

The focus has been even more so on mental work, players learning assignments.

Taking every opportunity to save his players for Friday, Jones said, “We were able to rest some of our starters in the fourth quarter of (Monday’s) game.”

KF junior lineman Phillip LeClair could be back this week from a preseason injury. Bulldogs junior lineman Austin Williams will still be out but got cleared to start practicing.

The familiarity that players from opposing Suffolk teams have with each other makes cross-Suffolk contests special.

“These kids have been playing against each other since they’ve been playing Pop Warner football,” Knight said.

Jones said, “I think the kids knowing each other makes it fun and makes it a great game and great competition, and they’re going to elevate their game, we’re going to elevate our game.”

King’s Fork has won the unofficial Suffolk city title the last the two years, sweeping both Lakeland and Nansemond River.

As the Bulldogs aim to defend the title, Jones faces off against Knight for the first time.

“Kevin’s doing a good job over there,” Jones said. “He’s a first-class guy. I think a lot of him, (he’s) got a lot of football knowledge, a lot of football experience as a player.”

Jones noted the Cavs have good athletes, including freshman quarterback Tyquan Holloman, among others.

Holloman will look to build on his strong performance from Monday.

“He’s learning from watching film, he’s learning the system and he’s getting better,” Knight said.

The coach noted King’s Fork players have had the same system for a while, they know what to do and “they’re good at what they do.”

Rather than focus on Bulldogs senior feature back Deshaun Wethington, Knight wants to see good tackling with 11 heads going to the ball no matter who is carrying it.