Friday night’s high school football game between rival schools Pace and Milton was one to remember, with each team’s star players making big plays when they were needed and keeping the ball game close until the very end. However, it was a last second 40-yard field goal kick from Ben Coulter that sealed the 30-27 victory for the Panthers while playing on PHS turf.
Milton was the first team to score on their opening possession on a running play from E.J. Hurst. Patriots Running Back Anthony Johnson Jr., who had another successful night of rushing, tied the ball game in the second quarter. The Panthers then responded with a Shemar Henderson touchdown with 3:15 left before halftime. However, the Patriots continued to move the ball on offense thanks to a couple of key receptions from receiver Ty Oxford, who tied the game at the half on a long touchdown pass from Quarterback Ashton Stephens.
In the third quarter, Pace took the lead in the ball game on another Anthony Johnson Jr. touchdown run. The extra point attempt was no good, as was the same for the following touchdown reception from MHS receiver Kobi Floyd with 6:26 left in the third quarter, which tied the ball game at 20.
The Panthers also found success in using a punt fake on fourth down in order to keep the moving on offense. The trick play led to another E.J Hurst rushing touchdown, giving the Panthers the lead 27-20. However, another Anthony Johnson Jr. running touchdown tied the ball game at 27 with more than six minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Patriots were unable to capitalize on a recovered fumble towards the end of game, giving the Panthers the ball back with enough time to pull off the last second win.
Following the game, MHS Head Coach Chafan Marsh anticipated the rivalry match up would come down to the fourth quarter.
“Pace is going to play hard, they are a well coached team,” Marsh said. “We (just) kept fighting, fighting, fighting and we were able to pull out the victory,”
In addition to big plays on offense from Running Back Desmone Knight, Wide Receiver Marquise McRoy and Quarterback Aubrey Williams, The Panthers defense also recorded a interception.