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Warriors and Bulldogs home for game two

All four Suffolk schools will be in action this week, with the Warriors and Bulldogs having home openers.

King’s Fork High School (1-0) vs. Western Branch High School (0-1)

The Bulldogs will kick off their home opener against Western Branch. The Bruins won the 2016 matchup 35-14 on their home field. This year, they come to Suffolk to face a well-rested Bulldogs team coming off of a bye week.

King’s Fork won its first game of the season against Wilson 41-0. They took the bye week to fine-tune some things while also getting players who were banged up healthy again. Western Branch faced Lake Taylor last weekend and was defeated 34-26.

“The bye week was good for us,” Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles said. “We were able to get some guys back healthy, and we were also able to take care of the kids.”

Western Branch is an athletic team that creates different dynamics between running and passing the ball. It has a first-time player at quarterback who does a lot of what Justin German does for the Bulldogs. Quarterback BriQuan Harrell leads the team in rushing yards and will need to be accounted for. Stopping the run will be a priority for King’s Fork.

“We have to show up and play our game,” Littles said. “We didn’t play well up front at all against them last year. The offensive line knows they are ready to step up to the challenge.”

In order to go 2-0, the Bulldogs want to continue to play fast and physical. It is important to King’s Fork to protect its home field. The Bulldogs possess a lot of talent, and Littles feels his team is right where it wants to be, but it has to show up each game.

A slow start is always a concern coming off a bye week, but Littles thinks the Bulldogs will be ready. Their start against Wilson was slow, but the Bulldogs finished well.

“The team knows what’s ahead of them, and I think they are ready and prepared to try to beat a very good opponent.”

King’s Fork will host Western Branch at 7 p.m. Friday.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (0-2) at Christchurch School (0-1)

The Saints will be on the road for the third time in three weeks as they travel to Charlottesville to take on Christchurch. NSA is starting week three 0-2 after a loss to North Cross School last week.

Preparation for the week has been good, and coach Mike Biehl feels good about his team this week. At this point of the season, Biehl says preparing for the third road game feels like the “norm.”

“I like where our heads are at,” Biehl said. “Everyone has a good attitude about this week. I like where we are going.”

Christchurch lost its first game 20-26. Quarterback Steve Stilianos is the team’s do-it-all player. Last weekend, he threw for 89 yards while leading the team in rushing with 114 yards. Biehl will primarily center their game plan around stopping the quarterback, who also plays defensive end as well.

“He does everything for them,” Biehl said. “He can will that team to do anything they want to do. If we want to win it starts with stopping him first and getting them into predictable passing downs. We have to be smart about how we rush him.”

Offensively, the Saints want to use their zone blocking to their advantage. Last week, George Pettaway had an explosive game for the Saints. He rushed for 90 yards while also catching two passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. Schematically, Biehl and his staff has come up with ways to get him more involved, along with playmakers like Ehron Knight and Erek Smith.

The Saints will travel to Christchurch Saturday and will play at 1 p.m. Last year, NSA won 36-14.

Lakeland High School (1-0) at Indian River High School (1-0)

Lakeland will go on the road to face the Braves. It is the first road game of the year for the Cavs, who split one game between two days. They defeated Wilson 26-14, but the game was suspended last Friday due to weather, so the Cavs finished it up on Monday.

Securing the win Monday started off a week of high confidence for the Cavs. Indian River is coming off of its first game as well, in which the team shut out its opponent 15-0. Last year, Indian River caused problems for the Cavs, leading to a 33-9 victory.

Lakeland will see a familiar face on Friday in Nashun Overton, the former wideout for the Cavs, and also Ricardo Ray, another former player.

Tyquan Holloman had a big game against Wilson, finishing with 300 passing yards. Tyriq Rawlings, Nate Edgehill and Jordan Porter were the recipients of his long passes.

If the Cavs can control the tempo and continue their explosive offensive output, it is possible they can go 2-0 after Friday.

Lakeland will go to Indian River at 7 p.m. Friday.

Nansemond River High School (1-0) vs. Hickory High School (1-0)

After an impressive road victory last Friday against Maury High School, the Warriors will have their home opener. Nansemond River will take on a 1-0 Hickory team whom they defeated last season.

The Warriors are excited about their home opener and want to build on what they provided last week. Wali Faulk had a big night for the Warriors last week, rushing for 175 yards and touchdowns. His 175 yards currently leads South Hampton Roads. Quarterback Kori Riddick held his composure behind the line, throwing for a touchdown.

Nansemond River’s defense stepped up in the second half after a shaky first half. Gerard Stringer will return this week for the Warriors after sitting out the season opener with an injury. To continue what they started last week, the Warriors believe it starts up front.

“The game is won in the trenches, so if the offensive line and defensive line can dominate, we should get the win,” Riddick said.

Faulk also feels his offensive line was responsible for the game he had last week. Staying on the same page as his linemen will help with execution as the Warriors look to go 2-0.

Nansemond River will host Hickory at home at 7 p.m. Friday.