Cavs hope to make history

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lakeland High School will take on Tabb High School in the regional semifinals of the 3A East VHSL playoffs tonight at 7 p.m. on the Cavaliers’ home field in Suffolk.

Third-seeded Lakeland is 6-5 on the season, while Tabb, seeded seventh, is 7-4.

The Cavs are coming off of a quarterfinal playoff victory against Poquoson High School. The victory was sweet for Lakeland in many ways.

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Last year in the second round, they lost to Poquoson 28-0. In the first half of Friday’s game, the Cavs put up 41 points, eventually coasting to a 46-21 victory.

LHS is the only Suffolk school left in the playoffs. This will be the first time in the school’s history that it has hosted back-to-back playoff games or that it has made it this far into the playoffs.

“This a great opportunity for us,” Cavs coach Kevin Knight said.

“It’s been motivation for us to play in front of our home crowd. We feed off of their energy. Our games have been packed. The fans come out, even in the cold. To have an opportunity to host and win two playoff games is big for everyone involved.”

Tabb comes to Lakeland off a victory last week over second-seeded Park View High School. The Tigers were down 16-0 before scoring 28 unanswered points, earning the upset and their first playoff victory since 1993.

Both teams have momentum coming into the game, and defense may be the deciding factor in who will be the winner.

Tabb runs the Wing-T offense; the Cavs have seen that style of offense in previous games, including last week against the Islanders. The Tigers rushed for 430 yards last week, so stopping the run will be a point of emphasis for Lakeland.

“They are good at what they do,” Knight said. “They have a good running back and receiver. We have to make sure we stop the run. Any play in that offense can go for a long run, so we are going to have to be disciplined.”

Offensively the Cavs want to continue to get big plays.

Senior running back and Conference Player of the Year Damontra Milteer had 254 rushing yards and three touchdowns last week. Nashun Overton ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on just two carries. Alajuwun Langston, a second-team All-Conference player, added 151 all-purpose yards.

“This is another big game for us,” Overton said. “We will have to come out fired up and put points on the board early and often and not let up when we are ahead.”

All-Conference honors were announced this week, and 12 Lakeland players were recognized, but Knight thinks a couple more could have been honored.

All of the Cavs are highly motivated for the win.

“We want to go out and accomplish something that’s never been done before since Lakeland has been in AAA,” Knight said. “We are the only Suffolk school left in it. This game will be big.”

“If we get this win, this will be huge for the school,” Cavs senior Riley Richardson said. “This will be the first time in school history and would give us some well-deserved respect.”