Laney scored 16 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, but missed chances ultimately doomed its hopes of hanging on to its lead against Bleckley County. The Wildcats lost 38-36.
After scoring on two consecutive possessions, the Wildcats started at the Royals’ 45 up a point with 5:01 remaining in the game.
But Laney went three-and-out to give Bleckley County plenty of time to drive into field-goal range.
On that drive, Bleckley County converted a third-and-14 from its 16 with a 19-yard pass.
The set up a game-winning field goal by kicker Blake Lucas.
“You got to make the plays,” Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said. “We had opportunities, we just didn’t make the plays.”
TIME FOR THE DEVILS: After its 44-14 win over Jeff Davis, Aquinas improved to 6-1. That’s the same record the Irish had last season before losing to Lincoln County, 49-6, at home. In that contest, Aquinas lost four fumbles, threw an interception, failed to recover an onside kick and also had a safety.
Despite all the miscues, the Irish gained 212 rushing yards. Irish running back Brendan Douglas posted 153 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown and two fumbles.
“They’ve got a great team,” Douglas said about Lincoln County, which is 7-0. “We’ve got to have a big week of practice this week, get after it and stay focused.”
Aquinas coach Matt LeZotte said nothing will change as far as preparations go for the contest against the Red Devils. The game will be one of the top matchups in the state and could decide the winner of Region 7-A — each team is atop the region standings at 3-0.
“We’re just going to stay the same,” he said. “We’re going to bring our players in and show them the game film, create a game plan and go from there.
“Our goal week in week out is to get a little bit better every single day. And we’ve had some really good practices as of late. So we’re excited about the opportunity to compete in our region to make a run toward the playoffs.”
MOVE THE CHAINS: Jarrett Troxler knew his Lakeside team had moved the ball effectively throughout the first half.
But when the head coach heard the Panthers had 16 first downs before halftime, he was surprised at the number.
“Wow, really?” Troxler said with a smile.
The Panthers outgained South Effingham 161-27 in total yardage in the first quarter alone, and they continued to move the ball in the second quarter.
It helped Lakeside to a 26-0 lead before the Rebels rallied.
Still, South Effingham never seriously threatened, and Lakeside earned a 33-14 victory to move to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in Region 2-AAAA North.
Staff writers Chris Gay and Justin Williams contributed to this story.