A common goal -- and often overused clich -- for football teams at this point in the season is the ability to control their own destiny.
Before Friday, the final Region 3-AAAA standings looked like they would be decided by the flip of a coin.
But with one game remaining in the regular season, Lakeside is the only remaining team that can control its destiny en route to a region title.
The Panthers' victory over Butler on Friday, coupled with Hephzibah's loss to Richmond Academy, means Lakeside would earn the No. 1 seed and region title with another victory Friday.
Lakeside owns the edge on Evans, which suffered its only loss at Lakeside to start the season.
The Knights didn't know any of that last week when they dusted Cross Creek 49-18 behind a strong first half.
Evans won its seventh consecutive game and can secure the region's No. 2 seed with a victory at Richmond Academy to end the regular season.
"I'm pretty sure it's going to be a game that comes down to the end," Evans receiver Tevin Nelson said. "At the same time, we're going to be prepared for it."
Evans (8-1, 7-1) had its highest point total of the season after two quarters Friday.
"Everything was going right," Nelson said. "We had a goal. We knew what we had to do."
Among the bizarre plays during the high-scoring first half: Each team scored during the first quarter on consecutive runs totaling 139 yards, Evans punter Joe Rizner pinned a kick inside the 1 and the Razorbacks' band was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when they continued playing despite being warned by the referees to stop while Evans was on offense.
Evans' 17 seniors were recognized before the game. Among them were quarterback Troy Griffith, who completed his first five passes and tossed two first-half touchdowns to senior teammate Nelson.
"We made big plays and we capitalized on them," senior offensive lineman John Iarocci said. "We weren't a second-half team like we had been."
The Knights have scored at least 28 points in each of their eight victories.
The big night Friday started with a score on the Knights' first play from scrimmage, "27 zone," a quick toss to Jonathan Finch that went for 49 yards.
"We had everyone blocked," Iarocci said.
"It was good."
Cross Creek coach David Tate, whose team pulled off an improbable victory over Richmond Academy the week before, was perplexed by the Knights' field position. Six of Evans's touchdown drives started in Razorback territory.
"We just can't give up the short field," said Tate, whose team fell to 3-6, "especially when they mix it up like they do."
Cross Creek's lone highlight came on its first play from scrimmage, a 90-yard touchdown run by Devonte Young.
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