Lakeside coach Jody Grooms walked around the field slapping every hand or back he could find Friday night.
After last week's overtime defeat at Hephzibah, the Panthers bounced back with a key Region 3-AAAA win over Richmond Academy, 16-6.
Lakeside (5-1, 4-1) needed little motivation in practice during the week. The Panthers 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."
"Offensively, we didn't have a good plan last week," Grooms said. "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."
After rushing 31 times for 78 yards against Hephzibah, Lakeside regained its form on the ground. 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.
The Panthers took the opening kickoff of the second half and focused on their ground game. Lakeside ran the ball nine times during a 12-play, 56-yard 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. The mistakes in addition to the offensive woes for most of 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."
Lakeside posted three turnovers as well but saved itself thanks to two big plays by Mark Weidenaar. In the first quarter, the sophomore quarterback heaved a 53-yard play-action bomb to Ben Brooks down the middle for the game's first score. Weidenaar saved his best for last, though.
With Lakeside facing a third-and-goal from the 10 midway through the fourth quarter, Weidenaar darted right, dodged a tackler at the 6, hurdled a defender at the 4 and dove into the end zone. The Panthers went up 16-0.
"We said everyone go deep and let me find a place to run," Weidenaar said. "I didn't plan on doing that. It just happened."
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAKESIDE 16, RICHMOND ACADEMY 6
PLAY OF THE GAME: Lakeside quarterback Mark Weidenaar dodged two tacklers on a 10-yard scoring run to stake the Panthers to a 16-point lead with 6:21 remaining.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lakeside's defense has been the star of every game it's played this season and the Panthers shut down Richmond Academy's rushing game, allowing just 60 yards on the ground.
WHY LAKESIDE WON: Lakeside rushed for 161 of its 193 yards in the second half.
WHY RICHMOND ACADEMY LOST: The Musketeers lost three turnovers and got nothing going on offense until late in the game.
WHAT'S NEXT: Cross Creek at Lakeside (5-1), 7:30 p.m., Friday. Glenn Hills at Richmond Academy (4-2), 7:30 p.m., Friday.