Aynor completed its first undefeated regular season in modern history Friday night, outlasting Lake City 40-39.
The Panthers and Blue Jackets traded touchdowns throughout the evening, but Noah Jones’ third TD of the game with just over 5 minutes left gave Aynor enough of a cushion to withstand a late Lake City score.
The Blue Jackets (9-0, 5-0 region) clinched their first region title since 1989 last week, but Friday’s victory was historic in cementing a perfect regular season. They begin the 3A playoffs this month as a No. 1 seed.
In Friday’s game, Aynor surrendered an early touchdown to go down 7-0, but they responded with rushing scores from Jones and Drew Shelley.
After the Panthers narrowed the deficit to a point, Aynor responded with a TD from Deondre Ransom.
However, Lake City would find the end zone yet again and at halftime the Blue Jackets clung to a 24-23 lead.
Jones’ second touchdown extended Aynor’s lead to nine in the third quarter, but the Panthers again returned the favor with 10:29 left in the fourth.
After the third and final Jones TD, the Panthers scored with 2:49 left in the game, but the Blue Jackets’ one-point lead held.