Wow! What a great week of football. Grovetown won its first home game in school history and now has a winning record at 2-1.
At Lakeside, it also was a magical night. Obviously the Evans Knights would have liked a different outcome after losing to their archrival 17-0. But football aside, it was just a special night. The Virginia Tech Marching Band was at the game to perform in honor of former Lakeside and Virginia Tech band member Ryan Clark. Clark was killed when he came to the aid of a classmate during the shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus that saw 32 people die in April 2007.
Let me take a moment to thank the Clark family and all of the Hokies who made the trip down for the game. The band was tremendous. They cheered for their adopted high school team with as much passion as they cheer for the Hokies.
In addition to providing the Panthers with an emotional boost, they also showed the Lakeside fans a thing or two about how to behave at a home football game. And finally, their performance of Amazing Grace at halftime had plenty of people reaching for a hanky.
On the field, the Panthers played their hearts out en route to a 17-0 shutout win over the reigning 3-AAAA champs. Junior quarterback Ben Wilson played more like a savvy veteran than a kid making his first varsity start.
The capacity crowd seemed to fuel this kid. He threw for 170 yards, but more importantly seemed to come up with the big plays when his team needed them. He connected with Ben Brooks on a fourth-and-12 play to set up the Panthers' first score. Then he hit Brooks again for a 35-yarder that set up a field goal on the final play of the first half.
Backing up their quarterback was a stifling Panther defense led by linebackers Chris Hartfield and Kendal Parker, who seemed to be in on every play. They shut down the vaunted Evans ground game and handed the Knights their first shutout since November 2007.
Now for the picks:
Last week I was 3-1, missing out on the Evans game. That puts me at 6-1 so far this season.
Lakeside (1-0) at Greenbrier (1-1)
Last Meeting: Lakeside won 14-7 last season
All-Time Series: Greenbrier leads 8-3
Last Week: Greenbrier beat Harlem 27-12; Lakeside beat Evans 17-0
The Panthers need to be careful and not have a letdown after such a huge emotional victory over Evans. I think playing an in-county rival will help.
Lakeside 20, Greenbrier 7
Grovetown (2-1) at Allatoona (0-2)
The Warriors are off to a nice start with consecutive victories. This week Grovetown takes on an Allatoona team in its second year of existence. Last season, Allatoona went 3-3, but has given up 77 points in two losses to start this season. Xavier Crain, Seth Hill and Co. should be all smiles again this Friday night.
Grovetown 27, Allatoona 13
Harlem (0-1) vs. Glenn Hills (0-1)
Last Meeting: Glenn Hills knocked off the Bulldogs 20-7 last year.
All-Time Series: Harlem has a 5-4 advantage
Last Week: Harlem fell to Greenbrier 27-12; Glenn Hills lost to Baldwin 36-12
Glenn Hills is coming off a playoff appearance last season and still has a few weapons back this season. They should get by the Bulldogs.
Glenn Hills 26, Harlem 10
Augusta Christian (1-1) at Hilton Head Prep
Last Week: ACS routed Fox Creek 48-19; Hilton Head Prep lost to Ben Lippen 42-18
The Lions are coming off a nice bounce-back win, blasting Fox Creek last week 48-19. They played a loaded Charlotte Christian team in week 1. They should still be a contender in South Carolina Independent Schools Association, even with young players at several key positions.
To beat Hilton Head Prep they must slow down the Dolphins combo of 6-3 senior quarterback Matt Layman and senior wide receiver Deante Scott (5-7, 165 lbs.). Layman completed 23 of 41 passes for 225 yards in three touchdowns last week. His go-to man was Scott, who hauled in 10 passes for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns.
ACS 34, HHP 20
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