Homecoming and a rivalry

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week Eight for Suffolk high school football includes a rivalry game and two homecoming games.


King’s Fork (3-4) at Nansemond River (4-3)

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It is homecoming weekend for the Warriors, and what better of an opponent to host than an intra-city rival?

The Bulldogs travel to Nansemond River to try to spoil some homecoming plans. Both teams want to be the best in the city of Suffolk, and the Bulldogs are halfway there, as they defeated Lakeland High School two weeks ago in an offensive shootout.

The Bulldogs know how important this game is, not only for their goal to be the best in the city, but for their playoff implications as well.

“We have had a great week of practice,” Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles said. “They are a 5A team, so it will boost our playoff spot if we can get the win. The kids feel like they can do it.”

This is the second week in a row King’s Fork will play a team during its homecoming. Last week the Bulldogs were defeated by Grassfield 45-17.

Last week the Bulldogs got big performances out of receivers Cherrod Joe, who caught 11 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, as well as Chris Shearin, who had more than 100 yards as well. Joe is the leading receiver in the area, with 570 yards.

The Warriors will have to account for everyone on the Bulldogs offense. Not only can their running back Darran Butts be a threat, but they have playmakers on the outside, as well. Butts has a chance to hit 1,000 yards as he currently sits at 908.

“We have to play well up front and getting our hands and our eyes where they need to be,” Littles said. “We are going to go as far as our offensive line takes us. They have a good linebacker core that can challenge us up front.”

The Warriors possess a talented running game, as well, led by JeVon Waller, who had 158 yards and two touchdowns last week against Great Bridge. He is similar to Butts in speed and elusiveness. Last week, the team made a switch at quarterback and started sophomore Kori Riddick. In his first start, he rushed for a touchdown.

King’s Fork knows it must contain the Warriors’ running game.

“We have to be aggressive and set the tone,” Bulldogs’ T.J Hart said. “We have to be disciplined. We know they have a good running game, but we’re ready for it.”

Nansemond River was the city champ last year, beating both Lakeland and King’s Fork.

“Our plan is to be back-to-back city champs,” Waller said. “There are two teams to beat for it, and we are going to make sure we remain city champs.”

It is homecoming week for the Warriors and players know they need to separate the fun that comes with this particular week from their job that they have to do Friday night.

“Every game counts, and we refuse to lose,” Warriors’ Gerrard Stringer said. “It’s important that we stay focused.”

“We have to win this game if we want to make a run in the playoffs,” Henry Moreno said. “I think everyone on the team is excited and ready to play.”

Taking care of business for homecoming is something Warriors coach David Coccoli wants to make sure his team accomplishes.

“The most important thing of homecoming week is the game,” Coccoli said. “Everyone will remember if you won or lost our homecoming game. The kids have to be prepared. King’s Fork is a good team and can put up a lot of points.”

Both teams know what’s a stake which will make for a competitive game for both schools. King’s Fork will be at Nansemond River 7 p.m. Oct. 21.


Lakeland (5-2) at Grassfield (6-1)

LHS will be on the road this week to take on Grassfield team that is coming off a win against King’s Fork. The Cavs are going into the game prepared for a hostile environment and a Grassfield team that has only one loss on the year.

“They have good size up front, and they’re a very disciplined team,” Cavs coach Kevin Knight said. “They execute their plays well, so we have to play smart football.”

The goal for the Cavs’ defense is to stop the run. Last week the Grizzlies had a 200-yard rusher. The Cavs are coming off of a 21-0 homecoming victory against Hickory High School.

“The guys are focused, and we’ve had one of our best week of practice this week,” Knight said. “We want to stop the run. We can’t be successful if we don’t do that.”

“If we come out and play our game and stick together we should be fine,” Cavs quarterback Tyquan Holloman said.

In Week Eight of the season, the Cavs’ Damontra Milteer is still the rushing leader in South Hampton Roads with 1,222 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. The Cavs know the Grassfield defense will be focusing on stopping Milteer, so Knight says it is important to get other players involved.

Guys like Alajuwun Langston, Nashaun Overton, and Deondre Little will be featured to take pressure off of Milteer.

Both of the Cavs’ losses have come on the road this year, so winning on the road is a priority.

“They have a great atmosphere out there,” Knight said. “We have to use their energy to our advantage. We have to play mistake-free football.”

“We have to protect the football and play our game and play fast,” Langston said.

LHS will be at Grassfield 7 p.m. Oct 21.


Nansemond-Suffolk (2-5) vs. Greenbrier Christian (0-7)

NSA returns home for the last time this year as it faces Greenbrier Christian for homecoming.

The Saints are coming off of a loss to Norfolk Academy and can regroup against a Gators team that has not won a game yet this year.

There will be many distractions provided for the Saints, as they have senior night as well as every NSA state championship will be honored during the game.

“For us it’s about getting the job done,” NSA coach Mike Biehl said. “We have to be focused. We want to put our best foot forward.”

The Gators try to bring a lot of pressure and run an unorthodox style of defense. Last week quarterback Robby Tew threw for three touchdowns. Ehron Knight had 83 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Erek Smith added 65 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Defensively the Saints gave up 65 points last week. Biehl said his team played well in spurts, but this week it will be more about a consistent effort for 48 minutes.

“Our energy level has to be high,” Biehl said. “Offensively and defensively, we want to keep our foot on the gas and play strong for 48 minutes.”

With everything going on this week a NSA win will be special for the Saints community.

“Any win in front of our home crowd is great,” Biehl said. “When you consider everything going on it will mean even more. We want our seniors to leave the home field for the last time with a win.”

NSA will be at home against Greenbrier Christian 7 p.m. Oct. 21.