Things couldn't have gone much worse last week for Columbia County's high school football teams.
Evans, Lakeside and Augusta Christian all got hammered Friday night, and the trio of lopsided losses were by a combined score of 123-14.
Greenbrier managed a home victory Friday, but in the process the Wolfpack lost their starting quarterback.
Harlem escaped Black Friday unscathed - the Bulldogs didn't play. The team used its open date to prepare for this week's Region 3-AAA opener at Washington County.
Game time in Sandersville has been changed - Harlem (3-1) and Washington County will kick off Friday at 7:30 p.m., and there is plenty on the line.
"We can make a big statement for Harlem football if we go down and beat WACO at WACO," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "We could move into the upper echelon of Triple A football in Georgia. We're going to have a football game on our hands, but our crowd feels like we can play with them."
Meanwhile, the other county squads in action last week were playing with fire.
Butler at Greenbrier
At the Brierpatch, Brooks Robinson took a trip to the end zone. Then the Greenbrier quarterback made a visit to the emergency room.
In the first quarter of the Pack's 23-8 win over Butler, Robinson rolled out and sprinted for an 8-yard touchdown run. At the goal line, Butler's Keltavious Jones crashed into Robinson - the Greenbrier junior suffered a broken collarbone and will be out four to six weeks.
Senior Cam Griffin took over at quarterback, completing five of seven passes to spark the Pack to a Region 3-AAAA win. Griffin started at quarterback last season, but moved to linebacker this year.
"Cam came through for us big time tonight," Pack coach Mickey Derrick said.
Griffin wasn't exactly excited about being back in the saddle again.
"It's not something I wanted to do, but it's a necessity now that Brooks is gone," Griffin said. "Our prayers go out to Brooks. I'll just try to do my job the best I can, and hope he comes back soon."
Greenbrier built a 16-0 lead, with fullback Tyler Dent setting up two second-half scores, but the Bulldogs began to rally in the fourth quarter.
After Butler cut the margin to 16-8, Greenbrier's defense came through, as Jimmy Viebrock and Eugene Rogers each picked off a pass. Rogers returned his interception for a 63-yard touchdown to clinch the win.
"I just play as hard as I can and see what comes out of it," said Rogers, who also hauled in a scoring toss from Griffin.
Greenbrier (3-1, 2-0 in Region 3-AAAA) will travel to Hephzibah this Friday, where the Pack will attempt to spoil the Rebels homecoming.
More importantly, Greenbrier wants to remain unbeaten in region play.
"We're off to a good start," Rogers said. "We still have some improving to do, though, and we have a big matchup with Hephzibah coming up."
Next: Greenbrier at Hephzibah, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Evans at Tri-Cities
Evans coach Lee Chomskis had a simple explanation for why the Knights were thumped 49-7 by Tri-Cities.
"They were bigger, faster and more physical," Chomskis said of the Region 7-AAAAA mismatch.
Evans took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Fullback Chris Cozart led an 80-yard drive, which was capped by a run from Abdul Walters. That was the lone highlight for the Knights (1-3, 0-2 in Region 7-AAAAA).
The Knights won't have to travel to inner-city Atlanta this week, as Lithonia visits for a region game at Blanchard Stadium.
"We can play with Lithonia," Chomskis said. "They're beatable, but we have to play well and not make any mistakes. We're going to have to go out there and fight, because Lithonia is bigger, faster and more physical than we are."
Next: Lithonia at Evans, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Lakeside at Thomson
Lakeside and its first-year coach Randy Hill were searching for their initial win of the season last week - Thomson's Brickyard wasn't the right place to look.
"They're going to give everyone in the state a hard time," Hill said of Thomson, which ran past the Panthers 44-7. "They're so strong defensively, and when they got to the corners on offense, it was all over."
Lakeside dropped to 0-4 (0-2 in region 3-AAAA), but Hill wasn't ready to push the panic button.
"This is going to be a fun second half of the season," Hill said. "A win would change the momentum for our kids, and their attitude is good. We have six big games left, and we're not out of the playoff picture."
Hill hopes his players will get an emotional boost against Glenn Hills in the homecoming game Friday night at Panther Stadium.
"We'll have to get fired up for Glenn Hills, because they're going to be tough," Hill said. "This is a must-win for us."
Next: Glenn Hills at Lakeside, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Augusta Christian at First Presbyterian Day School
An areal assault brought Augusta Christian down to earth Friday in Macon.
First Presbyterian Day School quarterback Patrick Jackson completed 25 passes to pace a 30-0 win over the Lions.
AC went to Macon with a three game win streak, but fell to 4-2 with the road loss.
"We just didn't play particularly well," AC coach Bruce Lane said. "FPD is a little better team than we thought. Offensively, we couldn't get anything going."
The Lions have an open date this week to get ready for their non-region game at Southland Academy.
"We're going to watch the game film, then go back and work on some things we need to improve," Lane said.
Next: Augusta Christian at Southland Academy, Oct. 11.
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