Playoffs at stake in season finale

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

The regular season comes to an end this week, and Suffolk teams will be pushing for playoff positioning.

King’s Fork High School (8-1) vs. Oscar Smith High School (8-1)

The Bulldogs are the only thing that stands in the way of a triple-digit win streak for Oscar Smith.

Email newsletter signup

Both teams sit with one loss on the season, and the winner of this game wins the Southeastern District. The Tigers’ winning streak in the district dates back to 2008.

Bobby Boone makes a play for the Bulldogs in a prior game. King’s Fork High School will take on Oscar Smith High School at home at 7 p.m. Friday. Both teams are 8-1.
Caroline LaMagna Photo

“It is business as usual,” Bulldogs coach Scottie Littles said. “They are a great team, and they are talented. We are going to prepare like we always prepare. At the end of the day, we feel like if we execute and do the things we are supposed to do, we will be fine. It is going to be a great atmosphere.”

Offensively, it will take a full team effort by the Bulldogs to get a win. Teams have been struggling to score points against the Tigers defense this season. They have allowed a total of just 27 points all year in the district. It all starts with Darran Butts, who remains the top rusher in the district. Justin German will have to continue to be effective as well. Last week, he made plays with his arm and legs in the team’s win over Deep Creek High School. Bobby Boone, who had two touchdowns last week, will continue to provide a weapon for the Bulldogs along with Cherrod Joe and Sam Dunn.

The Bulldogs will be playing for their first district championship in school history. Win or lose, Littles will have led the Bulldogs to one of their best regular season records. It will also be an emotional game, as Littles described it, because it is senior night.

“These kind of games is what you play for, and these are what you coach for,” Littles said. “We are here to compete. We are excited about this opportunity.”

King’s Fork will host Oscar Smith at 7 p.m.

Nansemond River High School (5-4) vs. Grassfield High School (3-7)

The Warriors will host Grassfield for homecoming on their regular season finale. Nansemond River is coming off of a 63-0 win over Great Bridge, so the momentum is high. They would also like to secure their third winning season in a row.

At the moment, the Warriors are in the top five in the Class 5 Region A rankings in the VHSL. A win could change the Warriors’ seeding, but the Warriors want to finish on a high note for the playoffs.

Nansemond River will host Grassfield for homecoming at 7 p.m.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (5-4) vs. Hampton Roads Academy (4-5)

The Saints are on the brink of a playoff spot at the moment, and they need a win to get into better position for a playoff berth.

Even so, Saints coach Mike Biehl approached this week as if it were a playoff week.

“Overall, it has been one of our best weeks of practice this whole season,” Biehl. “Our guys understand not only that we have to win the game, but we have to send a statement with the way we come out and play.”

It will also be senior night for the Saints, and the seniors will be looking to extend their season. Biehl believes the team knows what is at stake and how they need to handle their business.

It starts at the quarterback position for HRA. Biehl and the defense have been working on limiting the production that comes from that position.

Last week, the Saints put up another 50-plus point performance behind Erek Smith’s four touchdowns. Senior quarterback Robby Tew hit a milestone in the last game, compiling 50 career touchdowns.

With a win Friday, NSA could allow Biehl to achieve his first winning season the head coach of the team.

NSA will host HRA at 7 p.m.

Lakeland High School (3-6) at Great Bridge High School (0-9)

Lakeland will finish its regular season against a winless Great Bridge team that has allowed at least 40 points in each of its Southeastern District games this season. In the last couple of games, Cavs coach Kevin Knight has not liked how the team has turned the ball over. He is hoping to see if his team can limit those on the road today.

“If we protect the ball, we will be fine,” Knight said. “With the way we have turned it over lately, it would be hard to beat anyone. So, we just have to take care of the ball and just execute.”

Preparation has gone well this week, and Knight has been preaching to his team that not only do they have to win, but they have to win big. Getting a win over a bigger school could help Lakeland’s seeding in the playoffs. Knight wants his team to have that playoff mindset already in their heads.

“We are not overlooking Great Bridge by any means,” Knight said. “But our goal is to make the playoffs.”

Lakeland will be at Great Bridge at 7 p.m.