Lakeside hoped to solidify its hold on third place in Region 2-AAAAA with a homecoming win against Jones County Friday night.
The Greyhounds had other plans.
Jones County wore down the Panthers’ defense with its bruising ground game, rushing 54 times for 522 yards without throwing a pass in its 49-35 win.
The teams fell into a tie for third place in the region, with the Greyhounds holding the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Panthers’ three-game winning streak came to a stop as the team dropped to 4-4, 3-2 in the region. The Greyhounds improved to 5-3, 3-2.
The Panthers matched the Greyhounds touchdown for touchdown in the first quarter, going into the second quarter tied at 14. Lakeside began to turn the ball over however, and finished with two interceptions and two lost fumbles.
“They’re physical and big up front and they mashed us off the ball,” said Panthers head coach Jarrett Troxler. “I knew we were going to have to score some points. Unfortunately we turned the ball over. When you give up that many yards rushing and turn the ball over, you ain’t gonna have a chance to win.”
Despite the loss, the Panthers can secure a playoff spot with a win against Evans Friday night.
In the second quarter, an interception, fumble and turning the ball over on downs at the Greyhounds’ five with 1:30 left in the half proved to be too much.
“Not getting a touchdown down there before the half hurt us,” said Troxler.
Hunter Banks came on in relief of quarterback Tanner Brassell in the second quarter. With the team behind, he aired it out in his first extended action since hurting his knee against Thomson in the team’s second game on Sept. 7. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 243 yards with one interception. He found a good target with receiver McTier Mosley, who caught 12 balls for 135 yards.
“We’ve had a good connection since the spring,” said Banks. “He’s one of the most sure-handed guys and I have a lot of confidence in him to catch the ball when I throw it to him.”
A 10-play, 80-yard drive, capped by JaVeon Brigham’s two-yard touchdown run, brought the Panthers to within 28-21 with 3:03 left in the third quarter. Brigham scored two touchdowns on the night.
In the fourth, the teams traded touchdowns and the Panthers trailed 35-28. The Greyhounds virtually iced it when they used a seven-play, 95-yard drive to go up 42-28. They punched in a final score on a short touchdown after recovering a fumble deep in Panthers’ territory.
The Greyhounds three-pronged rushing attack was led by Undre Williams, who had 28 carries for 243 yards and three scores, Walker Juhan, who toted it 17 times for 159 yards and three scores and Jo Jo Gibbons, who rushed 4 times for 111 yards and a score.
• Augusta Christian finished off a perfect South Carolina Independent School Association regular season with a 42-20 win over Orangeburg Prep Friday night. The Lions open the Class AAA SCISA Playoffs at home Friday against Cardinal Newman, who the team beat 55-15 on the road Sept. 7.
• In Region 2-AAAAA action, Warner Robins spoiled Grovetown’s homecoming 35-14 and Greenbrier fell to Northside, 35-0.
• In Region 3-AA play, Harlem lost in overtime to Dublin, 20-14.