Lakeside was without one of its key defensive players Friday.
The Panthers likely will miss linebacker Kyle Tudor for another two weeks as he mends a strained ligament in his knee. But a week after laying down in the second half of a loss to Glenn Hills, Lakeside's defense showed it could come together by stopping Harlem when it counted.
"We subbed some people in," said Panthers defensive end Cody Marsh after his team beat Harlem 22-15. "They stepped up."
The Bulldogs ran 51 plays with their misdirection offense and controlled the clock. They scored twice in the third quarter to lead by 8.
But unlike the week before, the Panthers finished. They tied the game before the third quarter was done and scored the winning touchdown after forcing a fumble in Harlem territory.
"We started playing Lakeside football and hitting them in the mouth," Marsh said.
Marsh said the Panthers watched a lot of film and tried to focus everyone on playing their assignments. The Bulldogs' offense relies heavily on misdirection, and they were succeeding with it through three quarters.
"That kind of stuff is hard to defend," Lakeside coach Jody Grooms said. "They did some stuff that caused us problems."
The Bulldogs were forced to run their offense with only one of their two quarterbacks after Tyler James left in the first quarter with an apparent concussion. Junior Zach Morris stepped in and led Harlem on three scoring drives during the second and third quarter.
"We can run our offense with either one," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "That's why its good to have two quarterbacks."
Lewis said he and Grooms talked before the game about how each of their teams struggled to finish the week before.
Evans pulled away from Harlem during its 41-7 win, and Lakeside surrendered 28 points in the second half of its loss to Glenn Hills.
Both coaches were pleased with how their teams responded.
"We came up on the short end of the stick score-wise," Lewis said. "But they didn't leave nothing on that field."
Grooms agreed: "Harlem played inspired football. We knew they were a good team."
Grooms' squad won its first region game after having led during each of its first two chances. Evans beat Lakeside on a last-minute touchdown. The Panthers led the Spartans by two touchdowns early before Glenn Hills ground game got going.
"It's nice to get a region win after two tough ones," Marsh said.
LAKESIDE 22, HARLEM 15
Lakeside 7 0 8 7 -- 22
Harlem 0 3 12 0 -- 15
L-- Chris Hartfield 2 run (Michael Combs kick) 1:28
H-- Taylor Camp 32 FG 4:09
H-- Seth Hill 30 run (kick failed) 11:03
H-- Will Lewis 36 run (kick failed) 2:30
L-- Hartfield 37 run (Levi Hanks pass from Chad Chandler) :54
L-- Chad Chandler 19 run (Michael Combs kick) 6:35
First Downs 10 11
Rushes-Yards 28-218 49-163
Passing Yards 10 4
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-9-0 1-2-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 5-3
Punts-Yards 4-27 3-34
Penalties-Yards 8-78 4-34
RUSHING--Lakeside: C.J. Marshall 12-91, Chad Chandler 8-76, Chris Hartfield 6-47, Michael Paul 2-4. Harlem: Seth Hill 22-65, Will Lewis 6-49, Zach Morris 15-43, Forrest Christian 1-5, Tyler James 1-1, Edmond Jones 4-0.
PASSING-- Lakeside: Chandler 3-9-10. Harlem: Zach Morris 1-2-4-1.
RECEIVING--Lakeside: Marshall 1-7, Levi Hanks 1-2, Kevin Hennecken 1-2. Harlem: Jones 1-4.
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