Lakeside High School football coach Jody Grooms saw signs before the season began that pointed to this type of start.
The Panthers won their second consecutive game to start the year after beating rival Greenbrier 26-0 on Friday.
Grooms said his team's performance Friday, and in its shutout of Evans in the Sept. 4 opener, was the start Lakeside's coaches expected after watching them work during the summer.
"We've paid our dues," Grooms said. "We've gotten stronger and made a commitment to make this a year-round event."
Lakeside (2-0) has swept its closest rivals for the first time since Grooms took over the Panthers' head job in 2007.
The Panthers' posted their second shutout of the season, the most in a season for the program in at least nine years.
The Panthers' defense forced six Greenbrier turnovers during the first half Friday, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns. Jacob Lane scored on a 47-yard return and safety Khadi Tshishiku returned an interception 40 yards for another score.
"The defense was making big plays. It kept going our way," junior linebacker Kendal Parker said.
Quarterback Mark Weidenaar started the Panthers' scoring with a play fake and pass to Ricky McMurtrey.
Weidenaar and junior quarterback Ben Wilson traded series during the game, as the pair combined to complete 18 of 35 passes for 179 yards.
When one wasn't playing quarterback, the other was split wide or coming out of the backfield. The shuffle worked well Friday, and Wilson said the chemistry should improve.
He also had praise for his teammates on the other side of the ball.
"Our defense played awesome," Wilson said.
The turnovers shocked Greenbrier (1-2), playing on its home field. The Wolfpack couldn't muster any momentum after the first half.
"We let the outcomes of the game get to us," Greenbrier running back Kendrick Wilson said. "We're going to just get stronger. That's all we can do."
Greenbrier running back DJ Tyson left the game in the third quarter. Tyson was down about 10 minutes after being tackled before his head was stabilized and he left the field on a stretcher.
The American flag was lowered to half-staff during the national anthem before the game.
The symbol was to remember the victims of 9/11, but also to remember Chris Smith, the Greenbrier football player who died in July.
Smith's parents, Rob and Temeka Keeler, were honorary captains for the game.
The Keelers, each wearing Smith's No. 6 jersey, locked hands with Greenbrier's other captains and walked down the track and out to midfield for the coin toss.
A moment of silence was held and a black sign with a No. 6 was illuminated behind one end zone.
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