Panthers Three-Peat in Overtime [VIDEO]
Powell comes from down 7-0 at half to beat Douglas in Overtime to win their third straight 3A Title.
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The 3A championship game pitted the top two teams in most statistical categories against each and when this one finally ended it was evident why.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the game with Powell going three and out and Douglas turning it over on downs near midfield.
Powell was finally able to get something going on their third drive as they had the ball down to the Bearcat 36 when Cory Heny put the ball on the ground.
Logan Barker scooped it up and returned it down the sideline 46 yards to 28 yard line of the Panthers.
On the very next play Austyn Matthews hit Barker on a post route and Barker was able to finish what he started on the fumble recovery as caught it and ran it in from about the ten yard line, the extra point was good and Douglas lead 7-0 with 3:27 left in the 1st Quarter.
Douglas would not pick up another first down until 50 seconds left in the half. Powell had 3 first downs in the first quarter and would not pick up a single first down in the 2nd.
Powell’s best scoring opportunity would come early in the second quarter as Powell forced the Bearcats to punt from their own end zone, the punt would go off the side of Blake Sanderson’s foot and out of bounds at the 17 yard line of the Bearcats giving Powell a very short field.
Hayden Cragoe fumbled on first down, the Panthers would recover but it did back them up to the twenty five, they would get the ball to the nine yard line before having to go for it on fourth down where Cragoe’s pass would fall incomplete in the end zone.
Douglas would have one last scoring chance late in the half as Logan Barker again would make a big play this time it was a 47 yard run to get the ball down to the Powell ten yard line.
That stingy Panther defense would hold as they sacked Matthews with 17 seconds left, but the Bearcats were out of timeouts and time expired before Douglas could get the field goal unit on the field and set making it a 7-0 Douglas halftime lead.
Douglas would take the opening kick of the second half and promptly go three and out.
After the punt, Powell would mount their first real drive of the game as they would get deep into Bearcat territory before two penalties and an interception on 4th down would give it back to Douglas at the Panther seventeen.
Powell’s defense would hold yet again and the Panthers would take over after a punt just inside Bearcat territory.
It would take only two plays for Powell to get their first big play of the ball game and one that severely needed as Cragoe would hit Kalei Smith up the seam for a 49 yard touchdown, and with 1:49 left in the 3rd quarter the ball game was tied at 7-7.
On Douglas’s ensuing drive Carter Baxter comes up with a big time interception of Austyn Matthews at the Bearcat 35 yard line.
The fourth quarter would start a game of its own or so it seemed Powell with ball off the Baxter interception would see Cragoe float a pass into the end zone that would bounce off of not one but two Bearcat defenders before falling into the hands of Brendon Phister for a seventeen yard Panther touchdown.
The point after attempt would however hit the right upright and be no good making the score 13-7 Powell.
After a Powell interception followed by a three and out Douglas would get the ball back at their own 22 and take it 78 yards on 7 plays capped by a Austyn Matthews 20 yard pass to Chance Miller, but the Bearcat point after attempt would be blocked by Powell’s Riley Stringer and with 5:51 left the score was tied at 13. Both teams would trade interceptions before regulation would expire.
Douglas would have the ball first in overtime and the Panther defense would hold yet again this time it was a Austyn Matthews sneak on fourth down from about the two foot line.
Powell would get the ball down to 2 before Cragoe would run it in and give the Panthers their 3rd consecutive title.
If they ever bring back the play “Cats” to Broadway…I know of a couple actors and/or makeup artists, that could easily get a job.
Douglas vs. Powell..a matchup of undefeated teams in the 3A State Championship Game…first quarter…Powell wearing the white and on defense…they have Austyn Matthews on the run…Zach Thompson kept his prey in sight and the senior would move in the for the kill…a 10 yard loss…and the tone of this game was set early.
In a game like this…it just a matter of waiting to see which team made the first mistake…Cory Heny is going to get stripped by Blake Sanderson…Logan Barker scoops up the loose ball and he’s going to get himself a pretty good return on this play…credit to Hayden Cragoe…he was able to shake off a blocker…and make the touchdown saving tackle…but not before Barker picked up 46 yards down to the Panther 28 yards line…and Douglas had themselves an opportunity.
On the next play…they would cash in quickly…Matthews is looking over the middle…and it was only fitting that Barker would finish the job that he started…he was open behind 2 defenders…a perfect throw and catch…touchdown Bearcats, and they led 7-to-nothing after the first 12 minutes.
Second quarter…a really bad punt allowed the 2-time defending state champs to start a drive inside the red zone…they went for it on 4th down at the 12, but Lane George will deny access into the end zone. This was a matchup of the top 2 overall defenses in the state Class 3A…and the 2nd and 3rd best overall defenses in the state in all classes.
…and for a while…it was the D for the boys in blue that was starting to dominate…Dalton Burgener busts through the line and gets his hands on Cragoe first…Garrett Boner gets the assist…you could tell who had the momentum at this point in the game.
On the offensive side…Douglas also had a dangerous weapon in Barker…the second best rusher in the state Class 3A…and the third best rusher in the state in all classes…this run was good for 47 yards, down to the 10 yard line…he had 121 yards on the ground in this game, and he has his team in striking distance once again.
The Panther defense needed to wake up quickly…Thompson is going to push aside a blocker and introduce Matthews into the ground…the Bearcats tried to rush the field goal unit out, but the clock expired on them…and they had 1 timeout left…too late…the score would stay at 7-nothing going into halftime.
3rd quarter…more defense…it was the theme of this game…Cragoe had pretty good protection to start with…until Bay Parks was able to break through and chase him down for the sack…as long as there are a number of defensive highlights…most fans and teams don’t mind a low scoring game.
Powell needed to get the offense going though…but this was not one of the better plays…Cragoe put way too much air on that pass…and Tyler Picard was just waiting for that interception…he got a decent return, but a holding call nullified the yardage he gained…but at least his team had the ball.
Now the boys in blue had to something with it…Matthews was looking down-field for a receiver…no one is open yet…and stepping up into the pocket was a bad idea…Thompson with the initial hit and Riley Stringer will finish the play…Douglas went 3 and out on the possession and had to punt the ball away.
It took 2 plays and the Panther offense finally showed up…Cragoe threw a number of long bombs…and this is one of the few that eventually worked…he has Kalei Smith on the run for 49 yards…dives and he makes it in for the touchdown…they needed that one…PAT good…now we have ourselves a ball game, tied up at 7.
The Bearcats knew they had to respond because the momentum was shifting the other way…Matthews had a target, but it was Carter Baxter with a great snag and takeaway…he’ll bring the ball back to the 23 to give his team great field position…heading into the final 12 minutes.
4th quarter…first play…this was one for the highlight reel, because it was not drawn out to go the way it did…Cragoe would roll the dice and lady luck was on his side…this pass will get knocked around…and Brendon Phister was in the right place at the right time to catch the deflection…
Let’s slow it down and take another look at it…it’s hard to tell who bobbled it first…then again, if I’m Douglas…I don’t want to know…PAT no good…Powell now leads, 13-to-7.
Things were not getting any better for the boys in blue…that screen was too high…Ryan Ferro has himself an interception…but his team could not do anything with the turnover…3 and out and punt, so the Bearcats had another chance.
They would make the most of it…and it was not easy…Matthews wanted Chance Miller the entire time and he’s got him for a 25 yard pickup. Miller took quite a shot at the end of the play, but he was all right and business would continue.
Douglas was showing why they had the #1 passing offense in the state Class 3A…Matthews wants Miller again…the 2 seniors hook up for the equalizer…20 yards and a score…PAT blocked however…this game is deadlocked again at 13-all.
The Panthers tried to open up the play book and tried a trick, but the boys in blue did not fall for it…halfback option…Heny will throw into triple coverage…that usually results in a pick and Tanner Gamble will come up with the ball…there’s still 2 minutes on the clock…that is plenty of time.
If this game was not tense before…it is now…Matthews was trying to make something happen…he has 2 receivers deep, but Cragoe was standing in between them for an interception of his own…48 minutes was not enough for these teams…they wanted more and they would get it in overtime.
As for the snow…it was not bothering anybody…fans were dancing and cheering, because they know what championship football is about.
Douglas would get the ball first…4th and goal at the 1…Matthews tries to sneak it in…hard to tell with all the bodies in the way, but the line judge said no…the line would hold.
Now it’s Powell’s turn…3rd and goal at the 2…Cragoe with his own sneak…he’s behind #99…no signal yet…once the line judge found the ball, he was quick to raise his hands…touchdown…and ball game.
It was a hard fought battle on both sides throughout…and that’s how a good championship game needs to play out…final score…Panthers win 19-13. Powell would 3-peat as state champs, to cap off an 11-and-oh season…and have now won 28 straight games.