Warriors, Cavs and Saints looking to regroup

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, October 13, 2016

Suffolk schools are back in action this week, with three teams looking to get back in the win column.

King’s Fork High School (3-3) at Grassfield High School (5-1)

After getting back in the win column last week against Suffolk rival Lakeland High School, the Bulldogs have a tough task this week as they go on the road to face Grassfield. The Grizzlies are coming off a win against Great Bridge and will be hosting the Bulldogs Friday night for their homecoming.

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“They are a very big and strong football team,” Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles said. “They can punch you in the mouth if you allow them to. They are very sound and well-coached.”

On the road, the Bulldogs have played well enough to win games. They have a road win against Hickory and had it not been for a couple plays late in the fourth against Western Branch, they could have possibly won that game as well.

If the Bulldogs want to get a win, they will have to continue to get strong performances from running back Darran Butts, who has had 200-plus yards rushing in each of his last two games. He is second in the Southeastern district in rushing yards behind the Cavs’ Damontra Milteer. With 127 yards Friday night, Butts can break the 1,000-yard barrier. Butts will allow things to open up for his teammates such as receiver Cherrod Joe, who is the leading receiver in yards in South Hampton Roads.

“When you got a kid that runs a 4.4, he’s always a threat to take one the distance,” Littles said. “If they try to stop Darran other things will be available. We have the leading receiver in the area in Cherrod Joe and a quarterback who’s top three in passing yards. It’s about executing our game plan.”

Grassfield defeated King’s Fork last year 38-14.

“They put a thrashing on us last year,” Littles said. “It will be great to get that confidence back. We are a 4A team who plays 5A and 6A teams. A win will be good for use for postseason momentum.”

The Bulldogs are at Grassfield at 7 p.m. Friday.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (2-4) at Norfolk Academy (4-2)

NSA is back on the road again this week after a 57-14 road loss last week to Blue Ridge School. Like King’s Fork, the Saints will also be trying to play spoiler to a team who is having their homecoming this weekend.

“I told the kids this is the perfect week for us to bounce back,” coach Mike Biehl said. “Because of what they present on offense, it forces you to communicate. We have to be locked in and focused.”

Norfolk Academy is coming off of a 42-40 win over what was previously an undefeated Atlantic Shores team. Biehl knows that the offense the Bulldogs run can cause confusion for defenses, as they do a lot of shifting and motioning.

Offensively last week, the Saints only had 184 yards of total offense, which is a little below the average output of previous games. NSA did have two touchdowns through the air but only had 60 rushing yards. Biehl believes that if his team does the little things, that will help them get back on track.

“Just like defensively, we are going to have to communicate,” Biehl said. “We have to get the calls in, understand our assignments and play as fast as we can. I think if we do that we’ll get back to scoring points like we have in previous games.”

Last week the Saints did win the turnover battle, and they do believe if they win it again this week, that will put them in a position to capitalize against Norfolk Academy.

“We just have to stay positive throughout the game,” Saints quarterback Robby Tew said. “If we continue to move the ball well and win the turnover battle, we have a great chance to win this game.”

NSA is at Norfolk Academy at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Nansemond River High School (3-3) at Great Bridge High School (1-5)

After being shut out on the road last week against Western Branch, the Warriors get a chance to heal their wounds against Great Bridge. The Wildcats are currently last in the Southeastern District but are not to be taken lightly. Two weeks ago, the Wildcats won a shootout against King’s Fork to give them their only win of the season thus far.

“We’ve got to make sure we play well if we want to win,” Warriors coach David Coccoli said. “They are one of the top offensive teams in the area, even though their record doesn’t reflect that. We have to pay close attention to their quarterback and receiver duo. They make that team go.”

The Warriors players have had talks among themselves about having trust in one another and working together as a team. They hope to carry that mindset not only into Friday’s game but also into the rest of the season.

This week the Warriors have made changes to their offensive personnel to allow them to be more successful after only having 54 yards of total offense last week. They are hoping the move pays dividends for them Friday night.

“We need to establish a good running game and score some points,” Coccoli said.

“We have been very focused this week,” Warriors Gerard Stringer said. “We are ready for tomorrow. It’s important for us to win our last four games to get a good spot in the playoffs.”

Nansemond River is at Great Bridge at 7 p.m. Friday.

Lakeland High School (4-2) vs. Hickory High School (2-4)

The Cavs return home for homecoming weekend after a road loss against Suffolk rival King’s Fork last week. Before that game, the Cavs had been on a three-game winning streak. Though 4-2 is not bad, the Cavs have re-shifted their focus to now finishing the season at 8-2.

To get to 8-2, the Cavs will have to play host to a Hickory team that snapped a four-game losing streak last week after they defeated Deep Creek. The Cavs are confident that they won’t take them lightly and are excited about their homecoming filled weekend.

“Homecoming is huge,” Cavs coach Kevin Knight said. “You got alumni coming back and the city coming out to support. It’s very important to go out there and get our crowd involved and build some momentum quick.”

Last week, the Cavs got a monster game from Milteer, as he rushed for 322 yards. He is the leader of South Hampton Roads in rushing yards with 1,113 to go along with 13 touchdowns. However, also last week, the Cavs didn’t get much going through the air, although that may had been due to a rainy Thursday night. Knight is confident that his quarterback Tyquan Holloman can put the King’s Fork game behind him.

“Tyquan has had a great week of practice so far,” Knight said of his quarterback. “He is a confident player I think he’s moved on from last week’s game and he’s throwing the ball well.”

Hickory runs a Wing-T offense, and preparation this week has been dedicated to stopping that style of offense. So far the Cavs have not lost a home game this season, and they look to continue that streak Friday.

“We just need to play together on both sides of the ball and special teams, and we will be fine,” Milteer said. “We had a great week of practice this week, and we are ready to go.”

“With me being so close to my senior brothers, homecoming is big for us, knowing this is their last ride,” quarterback Tyquan Holloman said.

Lakeland’s homecoming game is at 7 p.m. Friday.