All Suffolk teams set for action

Published 7:36 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

With Nansemond-Suffolk Academy coming off of a bye, all four Suffolk teams hope to be back in action this Friday, assuming they are able to play after Thursday’s weather.

King’s Fork High School (5-1) at Indian River High School (6-0)

This game between the Bulldogs and the Braves has the potential to be the game of the week. The teams have a combined record of 11-1 as two of the premier teams in South Hampton Roads. The Bulldogs will be going into a tough environment on the road, trying to hand Indian River its first loss of the season.

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King’s Fork is the last of the Suffolk teams with a chance to knock them off. In previous weeks, Indian River took care of Lakeland High School and Nansemond River High School.

Last week, King’s Fork came out strong, putting up 39 points in the first half against Great Bridge High School. It showed King’s Fork knew how to respond to a loss and continue to get better. This week they are going up against a stout defensive front, so the Bulldogs will have to continue being physical.

King’s Fork will visit Indian River at 7 p.m. Friday.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (6-0) at Norfolk Academy (3-2)

NSA doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The Saints are a perfect 6-0 through seven weeks and have been ranked No. 1 in the state in Division II for a couple of weeks now.

However, that doesn’t mean the Saints are going to start overlooking their opponents. They visit a formidable opponent in Norfolk Academy, a team Coach Mike Biehl has not beaten since he took the job at NSA.

Biehl believes NSA is coming off the most productive bye week they have had in terms of still staying focused.

“Getting better over the bye week is a goal every team wants, but it rarely ever happens,” Biehl said. “But I think we did that. We got better, and we were able to remain focused on the things we want to do. I think the guys are confident about what we are asking them to do this week, and that’s always a plus.”

NSA is expected to be at full health this week, with standout George Pettaway returning to the lineup. Against a team like Norfolk Academy, Biehl believes the Saints will have to match discipline with discipline. Norfolk Academy doesn’t make a ton of mistakes, so the Saints will have to do a good job forcing them into mistakes and capitalize on them.

Offensively, the Saints want to continue to get their playmakers into space. If they stick to what they do best, they believe good things will start happening.

“We got a good opportunity in front of us with a very good football team,” Biehl said. “We have played them for decades, and it’s a great rivalry we have to go out there and take care of business.”

NSA will be at Norfolk Academy at 7 p.m. Friday.

Nansemond River High School (3-3) at Western Branch High School (0-6)

Nansemond River will try to play spoiler to Western Branch this Friday. The Bruins are hosting their homecoming this week, and the Warriors want to make sure they don’t enjoy it too much. The Warriors are coming off a loss to Oscar Smith High School last week and are looking to get back on track.

“Practice has been going well, and we’ve been doing a good job correcting our mistakes,” Coach Justin Conyers said. “The biggest thing we have to do this week is execute. We didn’t execute against Oscar Smith, and it reflected on the scoreboard.”

A win for Conyers Friday will be one of his more special wins of the season. Conyers is an alumnus of Western Branch High School, and ironically his 10-year anniversary is this weekend.

“It’s definitely an exciting time for me, and we want to come out on top this weekend,” he said. “Our plan is to win out, and that’s our goal.”

Nansemond River’s three losses come from teams with a combined record of 17-1. They have good positioning for the playoffs right now but have a chance to move up in an even better spot if they win Friday.

Nansemond River will be at Western Branch at 7 p.m. Friday.

Lakeland High School (1-5) at Grassfield High School (2-4)

After a close loss against Deep Creek High School, Lakeland will look to get back on track against Grassfield. Last week, Lakeland played well enough to win from an effort standpoint but just couldn’t reel it all the way in.

A win against Grassfield can reposition Lakeland for a solid playoff spot. Defensively, Lakeland played well last week. Antonio Vaughan had 11 tackles to go with two sacks. Lamonta Waters and Adrian Granderson added interceptions. Natouris Knight had a key forced fumble to give the Cavs a chance to win at the end.

They will need the same type of intensity on defense to be able to get a road win Friday night. Last year, the Cavs got a 17-7 win over Grassfield. With Grassfield being a Class 6 school, that can give the Cavs the momentum they need for the playoffs and to finish out the rest of the season strong.

Lakeland will be at Grassfield at 7 p.m. Friday.