The matchup between North Augusta and Lakeside has become an annual tradition between two respected programs to open the area’s football season.
This year’s meeting, to be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lakeside, marks the fourth consecutive year they will open their seasons against each other. It’s also again The Augusta Chronicle’s season-opening Game of the Week.
North Augusta went 7-5 last season en route to a second-round appearance in the Class AAAA playoffs. Expectations are greater for this year with senior quarterback Landon Washington leading a host of skill players that includes running back Derius Gibson and receiver/defensive back DeJuan Bell.
Lakeside went 3-8 last year but reached the Class AAAAAA playoffs for the first time since 2013 and first time under coach Steve Hibbitts. The Panthers’ three wins came at an important stretch against region opponents to earn the fourth seed out of Region 3-AAAAAA.
They lost a strong group of seniors from a year ago, making this season a challenge for Hibbitts and his staff. The first game will be one of their biggest tasks.
North Augusta is 6-1 in seven meetings with Lakeside since 2000. The last thriller came in 2014 when the Yellow Jackets won 12-10, while last season produced a 41-16 rout for North Augusta. Lakeside’s lone victory came in 2000 by one point.
– David Lee, staff writer