Rebels stand up Panthers

Video highlights from the first half of the Lakeside at Hephzibah prep football game.
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After spending the previous two days between the bathroom and the bedroom with flulike symptoms, Hephzibah's Bobby Liggins said he felt worn out Friday night.

The senior linebacker wouldn't have had it any other way.

The Rebels celebrated their biggest win of the season after lineman Lavorious Beasley stuffed Chris Hartfield's two-point conversion run in overtime to secure Hephzibah's 14-13 win over No. 10 Lakeside.

"The victory makes you feel great," Liggins said.

At 4-1 overall, the Rebels are off to their best start under fifth-year coach John Bowen. Hephzibah remained tied with Richmond Academy atop the Region 3-AAAA standings at 4-0.

"We know that we beat a good team, and we have several good teams still left on the schedule that we're going to have to beat," Bowen said. "None of them are going to roll over for Hephzibah. But 4-0 in the region is nice."

In a game pitting a pair of defensive juggernauts, offense was hard to find. Lakeside totaled 123 yards and Hephzibah had 121 -- including Liggins' 2-yard scoring run in the first half, the first touchdown the Panthers' defense had allowed all season.

Lakeside rushed for minus-23 yards in the first half before a late-game surge. Hartfield gained 52 yards on eight second-half carries. Mark Weidenaar rushed once on a 50-yard bootleg that knotted the game at 7 with 10:26 remaining.

After committing five turnovers, four in the first half, Lakeside (4-1, 3-1) looked like it would save itself and keep its perfect season alive. Late in regulation, the Panthers drove from their own 22 to the Hephzibah 30.

On second and 6, Liggins blew through the line and hit Hartfield for a 4-yard loss. Then, with 53 seconds remaining, Lakeside followed with a delay-of-game penalty which pushed the ball back to the 39 and out of field-goal range.

"You had two great defenses playing hard," Bowen said.

In overtime, Hephzibah got the ball first and took the lead on Terry Robinson's 12-yard scoring pass to Shaquille Wheeler in the back of the end zone. Dustin Dekert added the extra point.

Lakeside responded with Weidenaar's 15-yard touchdown pass to Ricky McMurtrey on the Panthers' first play. Lakeside lined up for the tying extra point, but Hephzibah jumped offside. After a timeout, Lakeside lined up just outside the 1 for the two-point conversion try. Rebels lineman Kwame Collins blew through the right side of the line and hit Hartfield, and Beasley wrapped him up at the 2, sending Hephzibah fans into euphoria.

"The kids wanted to go for it and we felt like we could get a yard," Lakeside coach Jody Grooms said. "They made a great play. They got some penetration. The one thing we couldn't let them do, they did."

"We showed what we really have," Collins said. "That play was a heart-stopper."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or


PLAY OF THE GAME: Hephzibah's Kwame Collins and Lavorious Beasley broke through the right side of the line and stuffed Lakeside's Chris Hartfield on a two-point conversion in overtime.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Terry Robinson . The sophomore quarterback went 8 for 14 passing for 70 yards, including the game-winning pass to Shaq Wheeler in overtime.

WHY HEPHZIBAH WON: Defense. The Rebels held Lakeside to 123 total yards.

WHY LAKESIDE LOST: Turnovers. The Panthers did all they could to overcome five turnovers, but one of them set up Hephzibah's lone touchdown in regulation.

WHAT'S NEXT: Lakeside (4-1) at Richmond Academy, 7:30 p.m. Friday; Hephzibah (4-1) at Glenn Hills, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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Points 10/03/09 - 06:03 am
Happy for HHS.

Happy for HHS.

Riverman1 10/03/09 - 10:06 am
Great game. Congrats to both

Great game. Congrats to both schools. They will both be heard from come play-off time.

TheChairman 10/03/09 - 02:16 pm
Congrats to HHS, but why does

Congrats to HHS, but why does Coach Grooms always blame his players when he screws up? When he cheated a few years ago, he said the kids wanted to do it.. then last night, "the kids wanted to go for it." Be a man and admit you should've kicked and kept playing...

Murder 10/03/09 - 05:56 pm
That whole columbia county is

That whole columbia county is better than richmond county thang is out the window. They barely beat hephzibah last year and we finally came out on top this year. Now everybody needs to show hephzibah the respect they deserve. GO HEPHZIBAH!!!!!!

Ralph Mason
Ralph Mason 10/03/09 - 11:07 pm
Enough is enough "the

Enough is enough "the chairman." When you are the visiting team you go for the win; no doubt about it when the other team jumps offsides and you have the ball half the distance. It was the right call!!!!!!!The man made a mistake a couple of years ago! Let it go..........He is one of the best coaches, if not the best coach in the CSRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!Congrats to Hephzibah and Coach Bowen on a well played game.

vbrawley 10/04/09 - 02:40 pm
the center for lakeside is

the center for lakeside is horrible. Do they not have a JV center they could put in? Also, when the center did make a good snap, #7 for LHS could not hold on to the ball.. Mr. "Tebow" I thought???

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