“One big play!” a fan chanted from near the stands Friday night with minutes left in the game.
But though they fought in the fourth quarter, Loris couldn’t put together a final touchdown. The Lions fell to Lake City 21-14 in a hard-fought match on their home turf, making their record 1-5 (0-1 region).
Loris had an opportunity to even the score late in the game, but an incomplete fourth down pass from quarterback Gage Conner intended for wideout Brice Faircloth virtually sealed the Panthers’ victory.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” Loris coach Jamie Snider said. “They drove it all the way down the field and had a chance right there. … That’s two games we’ve lost this year [where] we’ve had a chance to tie and just didn’t come up with it.”
Loris couldn’t get much going in the first quarter, being forced to punt multiple times. In that same period, Lake City quarterback Hilton Bailey tossed a dime to receiver Shamontae Burgess for a 76-yard touchdown.
The Lions responded with a quality drive in the second quarter, capped off with a scoring 12-yard pass from Conner to Faircloth that tied things up.
Minutes later, a monster 50-year run by Quan Soles put Loris up 14-7.
A 14-yard scoring pass was thrown to K.J. Rose — with the Panthers tying it up — after a Lake City defender picked off a pass late in the first half, one of a few plays Snider wishes he had back.
“But that’s part of football,” he said. “Part of football is it don’t come easy. You've got to go earn it and you've got to play clean, error-free football to win games and we didn't do enough tonight with that.”
Following a scoreless third quarter that saw Loris recover a Lake City fumble, the Panthers’ Avery Harrison punched a one-yard run into the end zone to start the fourth and give his team the lead.
Conner threw his second interception of the night, and the Lions were unable to put any points up on the board in the game’s final quarter.
“I thought our effort was excellent,” Snider said. “I thought we played really good in spurts for periods of time and then we’d make mistakes here or there. Those mistakes were costly at the wrong times.”
He praised the team’s opponent, adding his squad will look for consistency and to cut out mistakes going forward.
“We’re going to tell who we are by how we come to practice on Monday,” Snider said. “You can’t be half-way in and you can't just be in when you’re winning. You have to be in when you’re losing. We’re in the process of learning how to win again.”
The Lions will head to Dillon next week for an away game.