Rivalries, revenge, redemption highlight Bay Rivers football slate

While reading, 'ritin and 'rithmetic are traditionally the "Three Rs" for high school students, rivalry, revenge and redemption will replace them on football fields in the Bay Rivers District.

Friday's slate includes two of the district's most intense rivalries, Tabb against York at Bailey Field and Lafayette at Bruton. The revenge game, at least from Poquoson's standpoint, will be at Poquoson Middle School, where the Islanders host Warhill.

Surprisingly, it is Grafton looking for redemption when it goes on the road to play New Kent. The Clippers, touted by many as the district favorite, have lost two close games to start the 2012 season.

Below is a brief look at what's at stake in each game.

Lafayette at Bruton

Want excitement? Bruton won 43-36 in double-overtime in 2010, before Lafayette extracted payback in the form of a 20-14 overtime win a year ago.

Want hard hitting? You'll get that, too because this is a showdown of relative versus relative and one childhood friend against another.

"This is as true a cross-town rivalry as there is in the Bay Rivers District," Bruton coach Tracy Harrod said. "They all know each other, are cousins or played rec ball together."

Lafayette coach Andy Linn said, "In 16 years, I'm not sure if the outcome has been decided more than a touchdown as many as five times.

"It's going to be a knockdown, nasty football game. Tracy is a good coach and he's got a unique set of tough kids."

Warhill vs. Poquoson

The Islanders entered last year's meeting as defending state AA Division 3 champion and on a 15-game win streak. Five turnovers later, the final one and interception by Warhill star Devonte Dedmon at the goal line in the final seconds, the Islanders had lost 13-7.

The victory catapulted Warhill, which has just five victories in school history, to a 7-5 record and playoff appearance. Poquoson rebounded to go 8-4, but no doubt is eager to avenge last year's defeat.

"About half our kids were on the team last year, so they know what's going on," Poquoson coach Elliott Duty said. "I don't think we'll come out flat."

Warhill coach Billy Jarvis said, "You get up for Poquoson because any time you play them you know you're playing one of the best around."

Tabb vs. York

A storied rivalry dating back to 1973 includes York's 1988 upset of unbeaten and nationally ranked Terry Kirby-Chris Slade Tabb in the regional final, and Tabb's upset of unbeaten York at the same stage a year later.

More recently, in 2008, current University of Richmond receiver Ben Edwards' seven-touchdown effort, which brought York back from 28 points down late in third quarter to a 49-48 triple-overtime victory, added to series' lore.

York has had the upper hand since, but harbors no illusions about an easy victory.

"We know we can't take Tabb lightly," York coach Doug Pereira said. "They play very, very hard."

Tabb coach Matt Lawson said, "There's no problem getting the kids up, any more than there is for the Poquoson or Grafton games."

Grafton at New Kent

How close has Grafton come to the 2-0 record? The Clippers were stopped a yard short of the winning touchdown in a 26-21 loss at state power Powhatan, then lost 21-20 to Poquoson when their extra point was blocked in overtime.

The frustration for Clippers coach Jared Van Acker is that many of the points surrendered are directly or indirectly from turnovers, and the lack of points scored is largely the result of untimely penalties. The Clippers remain confident.

"We should've won both games, and the way we lost them is frustrating," he said. "But there's a lot of football to be played and we still feel we'll be a very good football team."

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