Columbia County's junior varsity football championship game, the County Cup, will be decided Thursday between Lakeside and Evans.
The two teams met last week in the final regular-season game of the year. The winner would earn the right to play host to the County Cup game.
Lakeside won that right in a 21-20 nail-biter over Evans.
"I was getting nervous," Lakeside coach Kevin Waters said.
"We let them back in the game."
Lakeside took control for the game's first three quarters. Daniel Harmon, a junior transfer from Josey, put the Panthers on the board first with a four-yard score for a 6-0 Lakeside lead.
After giving up a 76-yard touchdown catch to Evans sophomore Ryan Swann, Lakeside reclaimed the lead with a 56-yard scamper into the end zone from freshman Michael Paul late in the first half.
Lakeside quarterback Will Evans gave the Panthers a 22-7 lead on an 18-yard touchdown run with 6:43 left in the third quarter.
While the Panthers celebrated a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead, Evans was plotting a comeback.
After a Lakeside fumble, Evans freshman Bryan Freeman scored on a one-yard touchdown dive. The Knights held Lakeside to a quick three and out, and on Evans' first play, freshman Cory Durrwachter ran 78 yards for a touchdown to make it a one-point game.
Evans tried to tie the game with an extra point, but the kick sailed wide right to give Lakeside the 22-21 win and home-field advantage in the County Cup.
"Getting home-field advantage is huge," Waters said. "In a game like this, if we would have played it over there, we may have lost."
With the battle as close as it was, Thursday's rematch for the County Cup will come with both teams fully prepared.
"We filmed it, so we'll watch and make some more adjustments," Waters said. "I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve."
Evans will go to Lakeside on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. for the County Cup.
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