For the only time this month, there were no high school football games played in Columbia County last week. Augusta Christian earned a road win Thursday, Lakeside triumphed Friday in Augusta, while Evans suffered a setback Saturday in Hampton, Ga.
Harlem and Greenbrier had open dates.
The action picks up this week, as four of Columbia County's five prep squads are on the gridiron, including county games at Greenbrier and Augusta Christian.
Augusta Christian beat Memorial Day School 34-7 on Thursday in Savannah, giving the Lions their third straight win.
Joel Whinghter led the way with 208 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The senior tailback now has 798 yards on the ground in five games this season. AC quarterback Adam McKinney contributed a touchdown pass and a short scoring run. The Lions accumulated 355 rushing yards and also dominated on defense, holding the Memorial Day offense to 169 total yards.
Augusta Christian (3-2) is at Pride Valley Friday, taking on local rival Edmund Burke Academy at 8 p.m.
Pack, Dogs starting over
After unexpectedly long layoffs, Greenbrier and Harlem finally take the field this week, as each squad plays its region opener this Friday night.
Both the Wolfpack and Bulldogs were set to play Sept. 14. Those games were postponed because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The next week, Greenbrier and Harlem each had an open date, which means the teams will be seeing action for the first time in three weeks Friday.
''It's tough. That's one reason I'm so worried; after three weeks of not playing you can lose that edge and not be in game shape,'' Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said of getting ready for this week's game at Cross Creek (7:30 p.m. kickoff).
Cross Creek is coming off a 19-7 win over Oglethorpe County, the school's first victory in a varsity game.
''They were a lot better than they were last year. They have more team speed,'' said Lewis, who scouted the Cross Creek-Oglethorpe game in anticipation of this week's Region 3-AAA contest.
Harlem stands 1-1-1 this season. The Razorbacks are 1-2.
Hephzibah (2-1, 1-0 in Region 3-AAAA) visits the Brierpatch at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a Region 3-AAAA battle against Greenbrier (1-1). The Rebels routed Butler 55-14 to win their region opener last week, setting a school record for points scored in the process.
Evans edged again
If it weren't for bad luck, the Evans football team would have no luck at all in 2001.
The Knights dropped a Saturday road game at Mount Zion-Jonesboro to fall to 0-3 this season. The three losses have come by a combined 10 points.
''We've had chances to win all three games and haven't found a way to get it done,'' Evans coach Lee Chomskis said.
Evans took a 16-7 halftime lead on a touchdown pass from Travis Clark to Terrell White, a 25-yard field goal by Brad Sickles and a four-yard scoring run by Fernando Mickens.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to two points with a third-quarter touchdown. The Knights came back with another Sickles field goal to make it 19-14 in the fourth quarter.
Mount Zion scored the game-winner with only 51 seconds remaining in the game, spoiling solid performances by Evans' Jon Lee (61 yards rushing), Clark (7 of 15 passing for 125 yards) and the Knights defense, which limited the Bulldogs to 173 total yards of offense.
The Knights travel for another Saturday contest this week. Evans opens its Region 4-AAAAA subregion schedule at 5 p.m. against Lovejoy, a 14-7 winner over Fayette County last week.
Despite the disappointing start, the Knights can get back in the race for a state playoff berth by beating the Wildcats. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.
''We're just emphasizing that we're 0-0 in the subregion,'' Chomskis said.
Ed Koester earned his initial win as Lakeside football coach when the Panthers topped Glenn Hills 21-13 at Lumpkin Road Stadium.
Tailback Quinton Taylor paced the Panthers with 173 yards rushing, including a second-quarter touchdown. Fullback Matt Nixon tacked on a scoring run, while quarterback Klay Koester tossed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Steven Rogers to cap Lakeside's scoring.
On the defensive side, Lakeside limited Glenn Hills to 153 total yards and just six first downs. The Spartans threatened in the fourth quarter, but key fourth-down stops by Lakeside preserved the victory.
Lakeside opened the 2001 campaign with two narrow defeats, and the Panthers didn't click against the Spartans, but coach Koester was satisfied to see his team move to 1-0 in Region 3-AAAA.
''It was a tremendously sloppy game. We were in a situation where mistakes could have hurt us,'' Koester said. ''The big thing here is that we got the win. We're 1-0 and in first place in the region and now we've got to fight to stay there.''
Lakeside has an open date this week. The Panthers return to action at home against region power Statesboro on Oct. 5.
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