As Lakeside High School finished off its 17-0 win over Evans on Friday night, Panthers head coach Jarrett Troxler said it wouldn’t be long before his team turned its full focus to its most important game of the season.
Lakeside, the No. 2 seed out of Region 2-AAAA North, will take on South No. 3 seed Brunswick on Friday night in the region play-in game with a state playoff berth on the line.
“We’re going to enjoy this for about two hours, then start getting ready for Brunswick,” Troxler said.
Brunswick coaches were on hand for Friday’s home game to trade film with Lakeside’s coaching staff.
Though the Pirates have a 4-5 overall record, Troxler noted that they have a very talented squad.
“We have a tall drink of water ahead of us,” he said. “They’re big, athletic, and have four or five (potential Division I) kids.”
If Friday was any indication of Lakeside’s readiness for playoff football, things are looking up.
The Panthers shut out the Knights (3-6, 1-4) for the third consecutive year.
Evans got nothing going with the ground game, typically its bread-and-butter.
Seven players got at least one carry, but it resulted in only 2 yards on 20 carries.
Meanwhile, Lakeside (5-4, 4-1) had its way running the ball while securing a two-score lead before halftime.
Quarterback Mark Weidenaar had the only two touchdowns of the night on a pair of 7-yard runs.
The first came on the Panthers’ first drive after his 52-yard gain set up a first-and goal. The second came on the first play of the second quarter to finish a 12-play drive.
Both Johnathan Long and Weidenaar topped 100 yards rushing; the senior running back had 136 on 27 carries, while Weidenaar had 125 on 14 rushes.
The rushing attack was key on a night when Weidenaar finished with just 28 passing yards, just missing on a pair of long passes to Spencer Plunkett.
“I thought we ran the ball pretty well, especialy early in the game,” the senior quarterback said. “They started picking up on some of our stuff that second half, and we had to make adjustments.
“But we got the win.”
Eric Preheim bumped the lead to 17-0 in the third quarter with a 25-yard field goal.
While the Knights’ passing game struggled in the first half – Tyler Roberts had just 24 yards and two interceptions in the half – it picked up in the fourth quarter.
Roberts finished 12-for-26 for 114 yards, but was sacked a handful of times.
For Evans, Jacob Rizner had seven catches for 81 yards and also boomed a 66-yard punt.
Lions fall short against rival
In a tight contest between two of the top SCISA Class AAA teams, a failed 2-point conversion with 28 seconds to go proved the difference in Hammond’s 21-20 win over Augusta Christian.
Tyler Roberson scored on a 1-yard run to get the Lions (7-3) within a point in the final minute.
Thomas Banks had 112 rushing yards and an 18-yard touchdown run. He also ran for a 2-point conversion.
William Wolf scored the other Augusta Christian touchdown on a 26-yard fumble return that tied the game at 14 in the third quarter.
Michael Clifton had 75 yards receiving.
Warriors fall in their bid for a sub-region title
Thomson secured its spot atop Region 3-AAA North with a 55-0 win over visiting Grovetown.
The undefeated Bulldogs took a 41-0 halftime lead and cruised home.
Grovetown still has a shot at earning a state playoff bid if it can defeat stalwart Washington County on Friday night.
“We’re in the SEC part of our schedule now,” Grovetown head coach Rodney Holder said. “But a win next week and we’re in.”
The Warriors (6-3) were held to 71 yards and just three first downs.
Bulldogs remain winless with defeat
Josey earned a 40-6 victory over Harlem to snap a four-game losing streak.
Harlem (0-9) will go for its first win of the season when it plays host to winless Hephzibah on Friday in the Region 3-AAA crossover games against the South division.
The Bulldogs have not finished a season without a win since 1995. Cavaliers earn first playoff win
A strong first quarter lifted Augusta Prep to the program’s first postseason victory, a 35-12 win over Home School Depot in the first round of the Georgia-Alabama Independent League playoffs.
Augusta Prep (6-3) led 21-6 after the first quarter.
Kevin Huggins had 41 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
Patrick Reynolds added a pair of touchdowns, including a 59-yard run.
The Cavaliers didn’t punt and totaled 317 rushing yards.
Blue Devils rally for win over Wolfpack
Down only six at halftime against No. 3 Statesboro, Greenbrier was held scoreless in the second half of a 52-22 home defeat.
At halftime, Statesboro held a slim 28-22 lead.
In the loss, Greenbrier receiver Rhett Stanley matched a school record for receiving yardage.
The senior had 159 yards on seven receptions.
The Wolfpack (4-6) fell to the fourth seed in Region 2-AAAA.
Only the top three seeds have a shot at making the state playoffs in Friday’s crossover games against the South division.