Last-second loss for Panthers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They were one stop away.
After Caleb Speir’s touchdown pass to Marcus Campbell with 1:08 to play, the LaGrange College Panthers had a 34-31 lead over Brevard on Saturday afternoon in a USA South game.
If LaGrange College’s defense could make one last stop, it would walk away with the USA South victory.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it was the home-standing Tornados who came up with some last-minute magic.
Brevard drove 61 yards for the touchdown to take the lead with 19 seconds to play, sending LaGrange College to a heart-breaking 38-34 loss.
LaGrange College (2-6 overall), which fell to 1-4 in the USA South, will host the Methodist Monarchs on Saturday at 1 p.m. on senior day before closing the season at Huntingdon on Nov. 10.
The Panthers were trailing when they went 51 yards in six plays to seize the lead with a little more than a minute remaining.
Speir capped the drive with a 7-yard scoring pass to Campbell, and Alex Rivera’s extra point gave the Panthers a three-point lead.
The Tornados answered with a touchdown drive of their own, with Dalton Cole finding Bubba Craven for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds to play.
The Panthers took over at midfield following a short kickoff, but their hopes ended on a lost fumble with three seconds left.
Brevard ran one kneel-down play, and the clock ran out.
The Panthers did most of their scoring in the first half as they surged to a 27-17 lead.
Speir threw touchdown passes of four yards to Tyler Benjamin and 45 yards to Campbell, and Brendon Scott had scoring runs of one and 10 yards.
Brevard took the lead with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns before LaGrange College went back on top with its late touchdown.
Speir completed 21-of-34 passes for 212 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Campbell, one of the most productive wide receivers in the history of the program, caught eight passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and Benjamin had five receptions for 67 yards and a score.
Scott had his best rushing effort of the season with 116 yards on 14 attempts with two touchdowns, and Lewiski ran for 48 yards on five attempts.
Bryan Oliver and Elijah Robertson led the defensive effort with eight tackles apiece.