The Lakeside Panthers are heading to Ware County Friday night with an upset in mind.
The Panthers (5-5, 4-3 Region 2) open the GHSA Class AAAAA State Football playoffs as Region 2’s No. 4 seed facing the Ware County Gators (9-1), the No. 1 Region 3 team.
The Gators lost its first game of the season then reeled off nine straight wins. Only twice did it have a winning margin of less than 17 points while recording four shutouts.
The Panthers lost three of its first four games and finished the season winning four of six.
Panthers head coach Jarrett Troxler knows they’ll have to play a complete game to come away with the win.
“The plan is to try to put together four quarters,” said Troxler. “We haven’t done it all season. No turnovers. Hang in there, maybe we’ll have a chance.”
Junior wide receiver Jonathan Edwards was going into the game with a positive mind set.
“It’s fantastic, but I thought we’d get a higher seed,” said Edwards of the Panthers making the playoffs. “We’ll get as far as we can and hopefully it turns out great.”
With a young team and recent trips to the playoffs, Troxler is excited about what the future holds for the Panthers.
“It’s very exciting,” said Troxler. “I’m excited for the football program. We haven’t had a ton of playoff success here historically. Going to the playoffs for the third time in four seasons and back-to-back seasons is big for us, it really is.”