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Lakeside, Augusta Christian travel for playoffs in football

Lakeside (6-4) at Warner Robins (8-2)

Posted: November 9, 2011 - 12:14am  |  Updated: November 9, 2011 - 1:49am

Last week: 5-1

Season total: 45-12 (78.9 percent)

The 2011 football season has come to an end for all but two of our county teams. Lakeside and Augusta Christian will try to carry the torch for the county this Friday night. Both will be on the road, and both will have their hands full with difficult opponents. However, a lot of folks predicted Lakeside would lose to Brunswick, too.

 

Lakeside (6-4) at Warner Robins (8-2)

Last week: Lakeside beat Brunswick 33-12; Warner Robins beat Lee County 56-14.

Last meeting: The last meeting between the Panthers and Demons was 1999. Warner Robins won 52-7.

All-time: Warner Robins leads the series 6-0.

Lakeside averages 28.9 points per game and allows 24.9 points per game. Warner Robins averages 32.2 points per game and allows just 10.9 points per contest.

Lakeside has four losses, but the combined record of the teams it has lost to is 39-2. In other words, this is a solid football team. Johnathan Long might be the most underrated running back in the area. His 246-yard, three-touchdown effort versus Brunswick was one of the best individual rushing performances in school history.

People think of Lakeside as a pass-happy offense. I have tried to tell everyone who will listen that the Panthers have one of the best rushing attacks in the Augusta area. Long has already run for more than 1,000 yards, and quarterback Mark Weidenaar is not far behind. That said, Warner Robins presents a major challenge.

The Demons only allow 10.9 points per game with a bend-but-don’t-break defense. They allow nearly 250 yards of offense per game, but they seem to keep people out of the end zone and they are extremely opportunistic. They have intercepted nine passes this season and returned three for touchdowns. On offense they have more than 2,000 yards on the ground.

Brian Sutton leads the way with 580 yards and eight touchdowns on 122 carries. They have struggled at times throwing the football. Ty Odum is the starter under center. He is 60 of 136 (44 percent) for 889 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions on the year. And they protect the ball well, with only 11 turnovers all year.

If the game comes down to kicking, Warner Robins is in good shape with Kyle Floyd. He is 34 of 35 on point-after attempts and four of five on field goal attempts this season.

One key stat I noticed is how well they adjust early in games. The Demons outscore the opposition 135-20 in the second quarter this season.

The teams have one common opponent in Northside Warner-Robins. Lakeside lost 57-14, while Warner Robins fell 32-24. However, Lakeside’s matchup with Northside was back on Sept. 17. They are a much different team now and are riding a five-game winning streak.

Warner Robins 28, Lakeside 27

 

Augusta Christian (8-3) at Hammond (10-1)

Last week: Augusta Christian beat Ben Lippen in Round 1 41-25. Hammond crushed Laurence Manning 44-7.

Last meeting: Hammond edged ACS 21-20 in their regular-season meeting a couple of weeks ago.

All-time: Hammond leads 10-1 since 2004.

Augusta Christian averages 28.7 points per game and allows 20. Hammond averages 36.1 points per outing and allows only 10.9

The Lions have proven they can play with Hammond. Now they must prove they can get over the hump. The last meeting was at ACS. This time the Lions must go on the road.

It is very easy to pull for Keith Walton and I will be doing so this week, but I think beating Hammond on the road will be a little too much to ask.

Hammond 31, Augusta Christian 24

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