Lakeside High School's undefeated run was derailed a yard from the goal line Friday.
Hephzibah remained undefeated in Region 3-AAAA after Rebels lineman Lavorious Beasley stuffed Chris Hartfield's two-point conversion run in overtime to secure Hephzibah's 14-13 victory.
The Panthers' overtime touchdown pulled them within a point and, after a penalty moved Lakeside up to the 1-yard line, they went for two.
"The kids wanted to go for it and we felt like we could get a yard," Lakeside coach Jody Grooms said. "They made a great play. They got some penetration. The one thing we couldn't let them do, they did."
At 4-1 overall, the Rebels are off to their best start under fifth-year coach John Bowen. Hephzibah remained tied with Richmond Academy atop the Region 3-AAAA standings at 4-0.
"We know that we beat a good team, and we have several good teams still left on the schedule that we're going to have to beat," Bowen said. "None of them are going to roll over for Hephzibah. But 4-0 in the region is nice."
The game pitted two of the region's better defensive teams. Lakeside totaled 123 yards and Hephzibah had 121 -- including Bobby Liggins' 2-yard scoring run in the first half, the first touchdown the Panthers' defense had allowed all season.
Lakeside rushed for minus 23 yards in the first half. Hartfield gained 52 yards on eight second-half carries. Mark Weidenaar rushed once on a 50-yard bootleg that knotted the game at seven with 10:26 remaining.
After committing five turnovers -- four in the first half--Lakeside (4-1, 3-1) still had a chance to keep its perfect season alive. Late in regulation, the Panthers drove from their own 22 to the Hephzibah 30.
On second and 6, Liggins blew through the line and hit Hartfield for a 4-yard loss. Then, with 53 seconds remaining, Lakeside followed with a delay-of-game penalty, which pushed the ball back to the 39 and out of field-goal range.
"You had two great defenses playing hard," Bowen said.
In overtime, Hephzibah got the ball first and took the lead on Terry Robinson's 12-yard scoring pass to Shaquille Wheeler in the back of the end zone. Dustin Dekert added the extra point.
Lakeside responded with Weidenaar's 15-yard touchdown pass to Ricky McMurtrey on the Panthers' first play. Lakeside lined up for the tying extra point, but Hephzibah jumped offside. After a timeout, Lakeside lined up just outside the 1 for the two-point conversion try. Rebels lineman Kwame Collins blew through the right side of the line and hit Hartfield, and Beasley wrapped him up at the 2.
The Augusta Chronicle staff writer Chris Gay contributed to this story.
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