Lakeside's Sam Jasinski snags a Glenn Hills fumble on the last play of the first half as teammate Johnny Los moves in on the play.
Photo by Jim BlaylockColumbia County's high school football teams don't deserve an "F" for their performances last week, but the outcomes certainly warrant a D - which stands for demoralizing.
All four county prep squads in action lost Friday night, and those region defeats may have sent some playoff dreams up in smoke.
In Region 3-AAAA, Greenbrier now faces an uphill climb to the postseason, while Lakeside is still trying to claw out its initial win of 2002.
In Sandersville, Harlem suffered through a Region 3-AAA rout at The House of Pain. And there was homecoming heartbreak at Blanchard Stadium, where a late drive came up short.
Augusta Christian did not play last week. The Lions return Friday night with a road game against Southland Academy. Kickoff is 8 p.m.
Glenn Hills at Lakeside
After watching his offense self-destruct during a 14-6 loss to Region 3-AAAA foe Glenn Hills, Lakeside coach Randy Hill wasn't questioning his play-calling.
He was questioning the lack of execution by the home-standing Panthers.
"You get to the point where you're tired of yelling, 'Do it right! Do it right!,"' Hill said. "We throw a bad pass, end up blocking the wrong people, make bad decisions. Defensively, we played good enough to win. Offensively, we had too many mistakes."
The Panthers (0-5, 0-3 in Region 3-AAAA) committed five turnovers, and one led to a 32-yard interception return that gave Glenn Hills a 6-0 lead in the third quarter. Later in the third, a Lakeside fumble set up another touchdown by the Spartans.
In the fourth quarter, Lakeside tailback Stephen Wilson started finding some running room, and scored a 15-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-6.
On their next offensive series, the Panthers were poised to score again, but the drive ended because of two false start penalties.
"That's just ridiculous, totally ridiculous," Hill said. "You can't win football games without paying attention the whole game."
Lakeside will go back to the drawing board this week, but getting ready for a road trip to Baldwin goes beyond studying X's and O's.
"The guys have got to be able to pick it up. Youth isn't an excuse anymore. We've played too many games for that," Hill said. "Some of them have to get some heart when it comes to crunch time."
Next: Lakeside at Baldwin, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Lithonia at Evans
Evans came close to capturing a homecoming win, but the game ended with an agonizing 14-13 loss to Lithonia.
"It was hard on everybody, and I take full blame," Evans coach Lee Chomskis said. "We had no business losing that game. I made a call I shouldn't have made."
The Knights mounted a march in the fourth quarter, driving from their own 7 to the Lithonia 5 yard line. The key play was a 44-yard pass from Travis Clark to Steven Rogers.
With just under two minutes left, and with his team trailing by a point, Chomskis took a gamble and lost. Instead of trying to take the lead with a short field goal, the Knights went for it on fourth down and got stuffed.
"It was fourth down and a foot, and we ought to be able to get a foot. I'm sorry for the kids that I didn't give them an opportunity to kick a field goal."
Evans (1-4, 0-2 in Region 7-AAAAA) will attempt to break through in region play this week at Cedar Grove.
Next: Evans at Cedar Grove, 8 p.m. Friday.
Harlem at Washington County
Harlem escaped Washington County without any injuries, but during the 40-10 loss to the Golden Hawks, the Bulldogs' pride took a beating.
"It got destroyed," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "The game was over with in 10 minutes. I thought we had a shot at winning, but they blew us off the football on both sides."
Harlem (3-2, 0-1 in Region 3-AAA) fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter, and it never got any closer. The Dogs tacked on the final score when Michael Hawkinberry threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Sturgis.
With Washington County, Westside and Laney looking like the top teams in Region 3-AAA, Harlem now enters a crucial stretch of the schedule, starting with this week's home game against Josey.
While the trip to Washington County was a harsh dose of reality, a win streak would put the Dogs back in the hunt for a region title.
"We need to beat Josey, Richmond and Jefferson the next three games, and that would put us in the playoffs," Lewis said. "Then we can see if we can knock off Westside or Laney and try and move up in the region standings."
Next: Josey at Harlem, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Greenbrier at Hephzibah
Greenbrier weathered a strong rushing attack by Hephzibah, but the Rebels outlasted the Pack to post a 21-14 overtime win.
"We had our chances, we just didn't take advantage," Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick said. "We thought we had the momentum on our side in the fourth quarter. We tied it at 14-14, and we could have gone for two, but we felt like we were in pretty good shape."
With the loss at Hephzibah, the Pack (3-2, 2-1 in Region 3-AAAA) is in a precarious position in Region 3-AAAA. Thomson appears to be a lock for one of four playoff berths from the region, and that means 10 other squads will battle for three spots.
Greenbrier's game Friday starts a critical stretch of the 2002 campaign.
"Nobody's out of it (the playoff race) yet, but we definitely need to win our next three ball games," Derrick said.
Next: Cross Creek at Greenbrier, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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