Jarrett Troxler saw plenty of good from his Lakeside High School football team in Friday's 33-14 victory over South Effingham. But the head coach also saw some things that need improvement.
It's that striving for perfection that could make this a state playoff team.
"We started off good out of the gate," Troxler said. "But... I'm real disappointed in our offensive play in the third quarter. We didn't stay on blocks up front. That'll be corrected next week.
"I can't complain too much about 33 points, but we wanted more," he added. "A win is a win, though."
When South Effingham made an early mistake - a missed punt - the Panthers capitalized. Senior running back Johnathan Long scored on an 18-yard run on the next play, giving the Panthers an early lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
"Oh man, it helps a lot," Long said of the solid start. "When we're able to get the ball and drive it down and score first right away, it sets the tone for the whole game. We get the whole team hyped up, and the defense gets pumped up."
Long was the early catalyst and the team's primary offensive option, carrying 28 times. He finished with 182 rushing yards and scored two first-half touchdowns.
With the win, Lakeside (4-4, 3-1) maintained its spot at No. 2 in Region 2-AAAA North. The Panthers' final subregion contest is Oct. 28, at home against Columbia County rival Evans.
When Long scored his second touchdown, on a 1-yard plunge with 3:09 to go before halftime, the Panthers led 26-0.
Senior quarterback Mark Weidenaar had scored on a 28-yard run in the first quarter and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Chasereau in the second.
The Panthers defense allowed only two first downs in the first half and consistently held standout back Joshua Mercer in check.
However, the junior broke free for a 66-yard run to get the Mustangs (3-5, 2-2) on the board before the half. He added a 42-yard run in the second half that set up his second touchdown.
That score got South Effingham within 12 at 26-14, but Alex Prichard helped Lakeside turn the momentum with a fourth-quarter interception.
His return set the Panthers up with good field position, and Zack Banks scored on an 11-yard run to clinch the win.
Weidenaar had a strong night, finishing with 112 of Lakeside's 337 rushing yards and adding 129 passing yards.
Warriors dominate subregion foe
Jamal Cummings topped 100 yards rushing again, helping Grovetown to a 42-14 road win over Region 3-AAA North opponent Josey.
Cummings had 129 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Terrell Hughes had a pair of scores, while Daniel Winfield had a 40-yard touchdown run.
The Warriors also scored on a blocked punt. It was a season-high in points for Grovetown (6-1, 3-0), which outscored Josey 14-0 in the second and third quarters.
Wolfpack score subregion victory
Greenbrier came into its game against Region 2-AAAA North opponent Effingham County in dire need of a victory.
There's a big difference between region play 2-1 and 1-2, and the Wolfpack came up with a 35-28 road victory to earn their second subregion win.
Greenbrier (4-3, 2-1) has contests remaining against South Effingham and Statesboro. The top four teams in the subregion have a shot at a state playoff berth. Statesboro leads the way with an unblemished record, while Lakeside, like Greenbrier, has one defeat.
Late spurt lifts Lions to triumph
Down by four points entering the fourth quarter, Augusta Christian got a late lift from Thomas Banks to surge to a 41-25 victory over visiting Orangeburg Prep.
Banks scored on a 1-yard run and on a 30-yard pass from Tyler Roberson in the fourth quarter. Banks had 165 yards on 21 carries, as the Lions (6-2) racked up 308 rushing yards.
Tyler Roberson had two touchdown runs, while Adonis Roberson and Sean Sweeting had touchdown runs of 46 and 34.
Cavaliers rally in fourth for victory
Trailing by a touchdown after three quarters, Augusta Prep scored all three of the game's fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 28-14 road win at Anderson.
The Cavaliers (4-3) got three touchdowns from Kevin Huggins: a 12-yard pass from Jack Owens and runs of 3 and 2 yards.
Nate Pylant had 143 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Huggins finished with 124 on 33 carries. The Cavaliers had 324 rushing yards and held Anderson to 147 total yards.
Blue Devils too much for Knights
No. 3 Statesboro's triple-option attack was simply too much for Evans in a 34-0 win in Region 2-AAAA North play.
Evans (2-5, 0-3) trailed 13-0 at halftime. The Knights, who have lost four consecutive games, had not scored fewer than 12 points in a game all season.
Pair of scores not enough for 'Dogs
Harlem earned a season-high in points, but Richmond Academy earned a 34-14 road victory in Region 3-AAA North play.
Alonzo Hill scored on a 65-yard pass from Mason McDaniel, and Austin Burt added another score on a 3-yard run. Dontel Frails had an interception to set up the second score for the Bulldogs (0-7, 0-3).
It was both a season-best in points scored and a season-best in points allowed for Harlem.