Warriors, Bulldogs ready for playoff matchups

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Warriors and Bulldogs earned playoff berths after the regular season and are looking forward to getting wins on the road.

No. 6 Nansemond River High School at No. 3 Indian River High School

The Warriors will meet the Braves in the playoffs for the second time this season. In 2017, both teams met in the regular season and the playoffs, with the Warriors getting a win over Indian River in the region semifinals and eventually becoming the region champions. Both teams met twice last season, with Indian River winning both matchups, ending the Warriors’ season in the region semifinals. This year’s matchup will come in the first round because of such a stellar region this year.

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When the two teams played in September, Indian River won 40-20. It started with a rough first half that put the Warriors down 33-14. In the second half, Indian River was able to control the rest of the game. Coach Justin Conyers felt like the game didn’t go defensively as well as they had hoped but felt good in the Warriors’ offensive performance.

Conyers’ message has been consistent for the past three weeks for the Warriors as they have already activated playoff mode. They dominated a tough Deep Creek High School team last week, which should give them some momentum heading into a road matchup with the Braves.

“We feel like if we play our brand of football, no one can stop us,” Conyers said. “Hopefully, we get a chance to redeem ourselves this time around. We felt like the score didn’t reflect the type of team we are, so we are hoping for a different result this Friday night.”

One of the Warriors’ biggest goals for the playoffs against any opponent is making big plays during big games, offensively or defensively. The Warriors were among the top teams rushing the ball, with X’zavion Evans and Brent Stratton both have combined for 10 touchdowns the past two games for the Warriors with Evans rushing for more than 200 last week. Defensively, the Warriors will need to be mistake-free against Indian River.

“We tell the guys all the time we are going to do our best to put them in position to make plays,” Conyers said. “We have to be ready to go out there and make them when they come our way.”

Nansemond River will be at Indian River at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10.

No. 6 King’s Fork High School at No. 3 Warhill High School

The Bulldogs will head on the road for its first playoff appearance under Coach Kermit Buggs. They will match up with Warhill, which has only one loss this season. Warhill ended their season last week on a sour note, being shut out 50-0 to Lafayette High School. King’s Fork took a tough loss to Grassfield High School by two points.

After learning they had earned a playoff berth, Buggs talked about the season being back to 0-0 for everybody now and that it will be important for the Bulldogs to focus throughout the week to be ready for the playoffs.

“We have to focus on ourselves and making sure we are eliminating mistakes,” Buggs said. “With this being the playoffs, you have to take things one game at a time, so we are trying to go 1-0 this week and then go on to the next week.”

The Bulldogs believe playing in the Southeastern District will help them in the region playoffs because of the tough teams they face week in and week out.

“We feel like that does give us an advantage,” Buggs said. “We have been playing a ton of Class 5’s and 6’s throughout the year, so we feel like that can help us for what we may see during these playoffs.”

The key to a Bulldogs win will be putting two complete halves together, and the Bulldogs hope that comes to fruition when it will count most.

King’s Fork will face Warhill at Wanner Stadium in Williamsburg at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10.