Things seemed to go against Southside for the third straight week when the Mavericks fell behind early at Russellville last Friday.
This time, though, the Mavericks stayed the course and eventually fought their way back to take the lead. And this time, they came away with the first win under coach Kim Dameron.
Southside erased a 10-0 first-half deficit and a 17-7 deficit entering the fourth quarter to rally for a 21-17 win.
"The kids, they kept playing and we preach that all the time; the game's not over until it's over and the breaks finally went our way," Dameron said. "We caught a couple of deep balls, we made some plays on defense, we got some turnovers. ... It was a fun fourth quarter."
Sophomore quarterback David Sorg threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, a 22-yarder to Luke Wyatt. Then with more than two minutes left and Southside trailing 17-14, Sorg fired a 68-yard strike to Connor Austin for the go-ahead TD.
Sorg, making his first start for the Mavs, finished with 255 yards passing on 12-of-26 completions. He also overcame an early interception which Russellville returned for a TD.
"He made some mistakes obviously, and he made one that was a pick-six," Dameron said of Sorg. "The thing with him is he put that behind him and he went on and didn't just (hurt) him you know. ... I think it was good that he had played a little bit in the first couple of games, which is why you always play a backup.
"But now he's the guy and I really think going forward that he's just going to get better and better every week."
Wyatt, who started the Mavs' first two games as quarterback before being shifted to receiver, caught three passes for 107 yards and two TDs. He and Sorg connected on a 75-yard pass for Southside's opening TD.
"Luke's a heck of an athlete, and it really helped us to be able to get his abilities out on the edge," Dameron said. "Then Connor made the big (touchdown); it was a nice throw and a good catch, and Connor can run a little bit.
"It's good to get that type of athleticism out on the edge where (Sorg) can throw it up and a guy can go get it."
Southside's defense then made that lead stand with some big stops late.
That included an interception from Davon Solomon, one of three turnovers forced by the Mavs, who overcame allowing 352 yards passing.
"I thought defensively, we played extremely well against the run," Dameron said. "We gave up a few passing yards, which happens. If you're going to make sure that people don't run the football, you're going to give up a few passing yards.
"But I don't really care about the yards; yards don't mean anything to me right now. What means a lot to me is takeaways; we got three takeaways, we got red zone stops. It was a huge deal and we made a big deal out of it."
Southside totaled exactly 400 yards of offense, 145 of those on the ground. Jackson Riddle rushed for 131 yards on 25 carries.
Defensively, Eli Lyles registered 12 total tackles and Landen Chaffey had 11, with both Lyles and Chaffey each recording five solo stops. Russell Key had an interception and Shawn Rogers made a fumble recovery for the other turnovers the Mavs forced.
Southside (1-2) is off this week before starting up 7A-West play on Sept. 25 with a game at Rogers.
Southside's tennis team had several wins Monday as the Mavs hosted Rogers Heritage at Creekmore Park.
Southside's top two girls singles players, Cate Cole and Annie Nelligan, both won, as did its top two girls doubles teams of Ashlyn Roffine and Kate Coleman along with Callie Shannon and Lilli Bartsch.
Then, the top two boys singles players for the Mavs, Robinson Wright and Daniel Kiss, got wins as well, though Heritage did win both boys doubles matches.
"It's been an adjustment so far (playing in the 6A-West), as I believe overall the competition has gotten tougher week in and week out, but that just means we have to work twice as hard in preparation," Southside coach Braden Eads said. "There are no matches we can take off and we have to show up ready to play."
Last Thursday in a conference match at Fayetteville, both Cole and Nelligan got wins in girls singles.
Southside will travel to Bentonville West next Monday.
As for Northside, a scheduled match against Little Rock Catholic was postponed due to rain. Northside hasn't played since Sept. 8 against Little Rock Central.
Northside played at Conway Tuesday and will be at Creekmore Park on Thursday against North Little Rock, which will also be Senior Night.
The Lady Bears are still undefeated on the season thus far despite dealing with issues related to COVID-19.
"Kate (Files) has dominated as we have grown to expect, and her little sister, Liz (Files), has been a tremendous addition to the team," Northside coach Martin Hyatt said. "This whole team of girls is an outstanding, fun group of caring tennis players.
"Losing two of the top doubles players due to quarantine created a next-girl-up opportunity for Payton Leding and Falina Rajsombath, who were ready to go on a moment's notice. When veteran players returned, there was no damaging tension between the girls, who all just want to win as a team."
Southside's golfers played in a tournament Monday at Fayetteville involving several schools.
On the boys side, the Mavericks shot a team total of 348. Landon Gregory finished with a 71 and tied for second place in the individual standings, while Dalton Smith carded an 83.
Southside had just two girls compete, with Haley Cline shooting a 102 and Isabella Vann a 122.
Thursday, Southside will play Greenwood in the final match of the Mavs/Bulldog Ryder Cup, starting at 1 p.m. at Ben Geren Park. Currently, Greenwood leads the event, 6-4, entering the Thursday round of singles matches.