Lakeside High School's Tosin Fawibe (from left), Jimmy Johnson and Chris Drayton celebrate after Johnson scored a touchdown Saturday night against Westside High School. With a 38-21 win at ARC Stadium, the Panthers erased the memories of a winless season last year.
Photo by Michael Holahan
The Lakeside High School football team got to ring its bell again, and the Augusta Christian Schools squad got its bell rung again.
The Panthers posted a 36-21 win over Westside High School on Saturday night at ARC Stadium, and upon its return to Columbia County, Lakeside celebrated by sounding the school's victory bell.
Last year there was only the sound of silence, as Lakeside struggled to an 0-10 season, but the Panthers needed just one game to make some noise in 2003.
"We made sure my dad was the first to ring it," Lakeside defensive back Kyle Hill said of his father, Randy, who is in his second season as head coach and finally savored his first victory with the Panthers.
Augusta Christian, meanwhile, is still searching for success against Tattnall Square Academy. The Lions had never beaten the Georgia Independent School Association football power, and the streak was extended when the Trojans earned a 28-20 win Friday night at Pride Valley.
The Lions fell into a 14-0 hole in the first half, and never recovered.
Tattnall held AC to 126 rushing yards in the game, with much of that total coming on Cole Rabun's 88-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Rabun added another score on a 30-yard pass from Adam McKinney, but it wasn't nearly enough to top the Trojans.
Augusta Christian's record dropped to 1-1, and the Lions face another tough test this week at Stratford Academy in Macon. AC has never beaten Stratford on its home field.
Lakeside has had recent troubles against Westside, but the Panthers ended the frustration with a show of force Saturday night.
The Panthers unveiled their new triple-option attack and shredded the Patriots defense for 337 rushing yards. Junior Carl Burrow led the charge with 179 yards, quarterback Jimmy Johnson mastered the option and rushed for 53 yards, Philip Sadler totaled 54 yards on the ground, and Tosin Fawibe tacked on 49.
Still, Westside clung to a 21-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Lakeside erased that deficit, and then some, by powering for three touchdowns in the final quarter. Burrow scored twice, and Fawibe sealed the win with a 34-yard romp with 13 seconds remaining.
Lakeside's Philip Sadler tries to get past the Westside defense Saturday evening at ARC Stadium.
Photo by Michael Holahan
"It was a back and forth game, but we wanted it more," Kyle Hill said.
Along with the solid offensive performance, the Panthers also played error-free football. Lakeside didn't commit any turnovers, and place-kicker Josh Ramp was perfect with five extra points and a 28-yard field goal.
Lakeside now has ample time to celebrate its season-opening win. The Panthers have an open date this week, and will be back in action Sept. 12 against Evans at Panther Stadium.
Other than the opportunity to start the 2003 campaign with a 2-0 record, Lakeside has extra incentive when the Knights pay a visit. Although the teams haven't been in the same region since 1999, the Columbia County rivalry lives on.
"The hatred is still there," Hill said.
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