Lakeside bounced back from its first loss of the season to pick up a key Region 3-AAAA victory at Richmond Academy, winning 16-6.
The Panthers (5-1, 4-1), who had dropped their first game region of the season the week before at Hephzibah, were not only looking to get back on track, but also avenge last season's 30-0 loss to the Musketeers.
"Losing was not an option," Lakeside linebacker/running back Chris Hartfield said. "Practice was extra hard this week."
Added Lakeside coach Jody Grooms: "Offensively, we didn't have a good plan last week (at Hephzibah). We had to reevaluate some things we were doing. We didn't feel like we could come in with the same game plan and beat these guys."
Lakeside regained its form on the ground after rushing for 78 yards the week before. The Panthers rushed 52 times for 193 yards against the Musketeers -- 161 on 35 second-half carries. Ricky McMurtrey led Lakeside with 71 yards on 14 rushes.
Lakeside ran the ball nine times during a 12-play, 56-yard opening drive that ended with Ben Hunt's 32-yard field goal. With 6:18 left in the quarter, the Panthers led 9-0.
"We felt like coming out in the second half we needed to establish the run," Grooms said. "We wanted to get points on that first drive and make it a two-score game."
Lakeside's defense almost pitched its fourth shutout of the season against a team averaging more than 26 points a game. The Panthers allowed just 148 total yards, 65 yards coming on one drive late in the fourth quarter.
Mar-Quon Medlock's 32-yard pass to Drek Reid put the Musketeers at the Lakeside 3. Two plays later, Jerrel Anderson punched it in from the 1 to trim the deficit to 10 with 4:16 left.
The Muskeeters couldn't overcome three turnovers. Those mistakes, in addition to offensive woes throughout the evening, led to just one red-zone opportunity.
"It's disappointing because we thought we could play with them," Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "Our offense is pretty good. Those turnovers killed us."
Two big plays by Mark Weidenaar helped the Panthers overcome their three turnovers. In the first quarter, the sophomore quarterback heaved a 53-yard play-action pass to Ben Brooks down the middle for the game's first score.
With Lakeside facing a third-and-goal from the 10 midway through the fourth quarter, Weidenaar darted right and dodged two tacklers to put the Panthers went up 16-0.
Evans 42, Westside 26
Evans scored three non-offensive touchdowns and shook free from the Patriots in what was a close game through three quarters.
Jamerson Turner returned the opening kickoff of the second half 71 yards for a touchdown. Tevin Nelson scored on a 77-yard punt return in the first half before Evans' offense even got on the field, and Glenn Cassedy returned a fumble 25 yards late in the third quarter to put the Knights ahead by 21.
The Knights rushed for 164 of their 237 rushing yards after halftime to wear down the Patriots' defense.
Westside lost the ball four times on two interceptions and two fumbles, while Evans had two turnovers on a fumble and an interception.
Harlem 19, Cross Creek 8
Taylor Camp caught a touchdown pass and kicked a field goal and two PATs as Harlem beat Cross Creek for its first victory of the season.
Bulldogs senior Zach Morris put an exclamation point on the breakthrough victory with a 55-yard touchdown run during the third quarter. Morris rushed for 133 yards on just 11 carries.
Harlem improved to 1-5 and plays at Hephzibah on Friday.
Locust Grove 13, Grovetown 12
Grovetown went for the 2-point conversion and victory on the road Friday but could not beat Locust Grove for a second time this season.
The Warriors pulled to within a point on Seth Hill's 47-yard touchdown run off a fake punt with just over nine minutes left in the game. Grovetown tried a pass on a conversion attempt, but it was incomplete.
The first-year Warriors are now 5-3.
Hill rushed for 122 yards for Grovetown, which travels to powerhouse Northside-Warner Robins on Saturday.
Luella 33, Greenbrier 7
Greenbrier receiver Ricky Wibe caught three passes for 100 yards and a late score, but the Wolfpack could not solve Luella's defense.
The Wolfpack were held to 35 yards on the ground. Quarterback Scott Reeder threw for 151 yards for Greenbrier, which fell to 2-4.
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