Cavs win scoring frenzy

Published 9:56 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

By Matthew Hatfield

Special to the News-Herald

Lakeland High School’s football team got a taste of what some of the pros get to experience with a Monday night game against Great Bridge

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The game had been rescheduled from Friday because of weather.

Nothing could stop the host Cavaliers from lighting up the scoreboard in a 55-26 Southeastern District win that pushed their record to 3-1 overall on the season.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Lakeland coach Kevin Knight said. “Last year, we played Deep Creek on a Monday on a nasty field and came out with a victory. Against a Wing-T team, you’ve got to get your guys right, and the rain didn’t help in giving us a lot of time to get prepared, but I’m glad we came out with the victory.”

For much of the night, the two teams traded touchdowns, combining for 919 yards of total offense. Lakeland finished with 553 yards on 53 plays, quite a turnaround from the Cavaliers’ previous outing, when they failed to find the end zone.

“We had to make up for not putting up any points in the Oscar Smith game, so we wanted to come out strong offensively,” Cavs’ senior running back Damontra Milteer said. “We have a lot more seniors this year, and we’re not young anymore, so that can’t be an excuse.”

Milteer continued his hot start to the season, rushing for 204 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, with 178 of those yards coming before halftime. He leads the Southeastern District in rushing with 617 yards through four games.

“I didn’t really expect it,” he said. “We’ve just been working hard since the off-season. I give the credit to my offensive line with [Garrett] Whitley, Chase [Bell] at center, Riley [Richardson], Ben [Leonard] and Aaron [Britt].”

Sophomore quarterback Tyquan Holloman showed pinpoint accuracy in leading the Cavs to touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions. Holloman finished 15 of 20 for 255 yards through the air, with touchdown passes to Alajuwun Langston and Deondre Little. He also ran for 46 yards and intercepted a pass on defense.

“Those guys are very talented and bring excitement to our offense,” stated Knight of Milteer and Holloman. “Damontra had a great year last year and is finally getting noticed. Tyquan took his bumps and bruises last year, but he’s learning the offense and becoming more of that vocal leader that we need, and it’s showing on the field.”

Langston hauled in nine passes for 131 yards and gave the Great Bridge secondary fits all night long.

“In my opinion, Alajuwun is one of the best players in the ‘757,’” Knight said. “I’m glad to have him, because he’s a big help to us offensively, defensively and on special teams.”

While Lakeland scored nearly every time it had the ball, there were some defensive breakdowns they’d like to fix, as the Wildcats threw for 322 yards. Three of their touchdowns came on big plays of 29 yards or longer.

“We haven’t allowed an offensive passing touchdown so far this season until (now). Back to the drawing board,” addressed Knight. “Our defensive backs noticed that, and that’s not how we play ball. We’re just going to go back, look at film, teach it, learn from it and play better on Friday.”

On the plus side defensively, Lakeland held Great Bridge to 44 yards rushing on 32 attempts, with senior linebacker Demetrius McKinney totaling 11 tackles, four behind the line of scrimmage. Sophomore defensive back Tariq Rawlings was in on eight tackles and had one of three takeaways by the defense on his interception midway through the second quarter.

Lakeland will play again Friday, when the Cavs host Deep Creek (2-2).

“It’s a huge game. We want to get that home-field advantage for these playoffs,” Knight noted. “Deep Creek is a better team than what we faced last year. My job is to get those guys ready to go, and come Friday I think our guys will be ready.”