Both teams can roll off all the political reasons for not playing the non-region game again. But that each team has an open date next week raises an eyebrow.
The teams could have played Saturday afternoon like Lincoln County and Washington-Wilkes did. There is not much of a distance factor involved. The teams only needed to play about 16 minutes of football.
With the open date, it would be logical to slide the game to next Friday night.
Coach J.B. Arnold said the right things but the decision was a hard sell to his players.
"They were all pretty upset," he said. "They wanted to play it out whenever they could."
None seemed any more upset than prospect A.J. Harmon.
"Both teams fought hard," Harmon said. "Both teams worked hard all week but we had them. We were on our way to beating them but Mother Nature said that was enough football."
Jefferson held almost a 3-to-1 edge in first downs and total yards. The Warriors (1-1-1) had played a very clean game with just two penalties to that point.
Thomson (2-0-1) had lost two fumbles and was not moving the ball. The only Bulldogs' score was set up by a special teams miscue by the Warriors.
"It hurts a lot," Harmon said. We wanted to stay out there and prove Jefferson County football was for real. We could've had a win against one of the best teams around. We worked too hard to come out of this with just a tie."
AIR MAIL: Any mail carrier would have been proud of the philosophy Evans and Lakeside held to on Friday. Neither wind, nor rain, nor lightning, nor gloom of night could keep these teams from throwing the ball.
"The weather hit both teams," Evans coach Marty Jackson said. "It hurt them because they like to throw, but we like to throw too."
The poor conditions didn't stop either team from taking to the air. There was a 30-minute lightning delay and rain that varied from light to heavy most of the night. The rain even blew sideways.
But the air show remained despite all that and a soggy field. The teams combined for 19 completions and 38 attempts.
Evans senior Kevin Millward completed his five passes for 182 yards and three scores.
"The weather definitely helped out the defenses more," he said. "It limits your plays and sometimes we couldn't cut as well on the wet field, but our guys did well on offense tonight all-around."
STANDING PAT: Westside's offense looked lethargic against Cross Creek in its 19-0 loss. The Patriots gained just 56 yards of offense after the half.
All senior playmaker Sanders Commings could do was watch from the sidelines propped up on his crutches in a rain poncho. He missed his second consecutive game with a left leg fracture.
LATE SURGE: Call it the Miracle at the Stomping Grounds.
It came when it looked like South Aiken was going to waste another fine effort by its defense. The Thoroughbreds trailed Strom Thurmond 16-6 before the big plays came in bunches to key a 18-16 comeback victory. South Aiken (3-2) scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 1:40 to secure the non-region win.
Senior quarterback Bucky Washington ran for one score and passed for the other.
"I guess it shows we're growing up," he said.
A year ago, South Aiken lost several close calls. Not this year.
Staff writers John Boyette, Billy Byler and Chris Gay contributed to this story.
The top individual performances from all reported totals from around the area
Player, school Comp.-Att.-Int. Yds. TD
Kevin Millward, Evans 5-12-3 182 3
Player, school Att. Yds. Avg. TD
Patrick Province, Cross Creek 16 158 9.9 2
Player, school Rec. Yds. Avg. TD
Jamal Davis, South Aiken 10 160 16.0 1