For the first time in school history, Lakeside is heading the championship of the Forsyth County middle school playoffs after knocking off Liberty 14-0 in the semifinals at home on Tuesday night.
The Lions will face Vickery Creek, a 42-0 winner over South Forsyth, on Tuesday at West Forsyth High School.
“That’s what happens when a good group of kids works hard, does what’s asked of them, comes out every day and puts in the work,” Lakeside head coach Dewayne Pickens said.
The Lions’ big second quarter surge led them to victory.
Early in the quarter, Lakeside quarterback Camden Payne hit Gavin Morris for a 25-yard touchdown pass, putting the Lions up 7-0.
Late in the second quarter, the Patriots responded with a drive of their own. After getting deep in Lions’ territory, Kohl Harris came up with an interception and returned it 50 yards to the Patriots’ 30-yard line.
On the very next play, Payne threw another touchdown pass, this time hooking up with Mitchell Thompson from 30 yards out, putting the Lions up 14-0 with just under 2 minutes left in the half.
The Lions’ defense got some big stops in the second half to put the game away. On fourth-and-long early in the fourth quarter, Devin McGlockton went untouched around the edge to pick up a big sack, forcing the turnover on downs.
But McGlockton wasn’t done there.
With Liberty backed up in their own territory, they faced another fourth-and-long. McGlockton made a diving interception at the 43-yard line to seal the win with 30 seconds left to play, giving the Lakeside defense its third takeaway of the night.
While it was a tough loss, Liberty head coach Scott Williams was still proud of his team’s performance this season.
“We improved every game, but unfortunately this game we just didn’t play our best,” Williams said. “Lakeside’s a great team, a well-coached team and they deserved to win and we just gotta learn to get better and we’ll do that in the offseason.”
Pickens thinks if his team can keep playing their game, they have what it takes to win the championship
“We just gotta stay the course, keep working hard, and keep doing what we do,” Pickens said.