There were times Laney was holding itself back.
Fourteen penalties — and there could have been more if some weren’t declined — pushed back the Wildcats’ offense in the 21-20 loss to Screven County.
Laney amassed more than 100 yards in penalties, a total that was enough to offset the 83-yard offensive advantage it had in the box score.
Early holds ruined two drives in the first half and they almost destroyed hopes when the Wildcats were driving late in the game down 21-14.
George Myers and Co. did overcome the setbacks to score, but a penalty on what was planned as a two-point conversion attempt forced the Wildcats to kick.
The kick wasn’t close and Laney lost by a point.
RIVALRY GAME: Aquinas can quit looking ahead. The big game against Lincoln County has finally arrived.
The Irish and Red Devils meet Thursday night, and Aquinas hopes to break a 31-game losing streak to its Region 7-A foe.
Aquinas struggled in the first half before defeating Hancock Central 31-6 on Friday night.
“We started off really slow and coach got onto us at halftime,” said Brendan Douglas, who rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns. “We came out in second half and played pretty well.”
Aquinas coach Matt LeZotte said he wasn’t surprised that his team came out sluggish against the Bulldogs.
“We had a poor week of preparation,” he said. “This was a big trap game for us. Our guys were looking ahead. But now we’re ready to go.”
The 5-0 Irish will begin their preparations Sunday for Lincoln County, which is 4-1.
“We’ll just bump up everything a day, and try to get these guys in there working,” LeZotte said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to where we need to be. I’m counting on these guys to come in with a workmanlike attitude on Sunday. No excuse to be tired from being in school all day. It’s going to be time to go.”
TRIO ATTACK: Though Lakeside needed a late touchdown through the air to pull out a 21-17 win over Grovetown, the Panthers dominated the line of scrimmage. Lakeside’s three running backs (Josh Jones, Javeon Brigham and Jalen Harrison) combined to rush 46 times for 226 yards, with 27 carries for four yards or more. Their efforts were lost in the shuffle because of three lost fumbles committed by the Panthers.
“We’d get ourselves going and then shoot ourselves in the foot, either with a penalty or losing the ball,” Lakeside coach Jarrett Troxler said. “We’ve got to correct that.”