Longtime rivals Killian and Palmetto matched everything Friday night at Southridge Park: touchdowns from special teams, response touchdown drives, missed extra points and fourth quarter field goals, overtime touchdowns.
Everything except one last extra point.
A dropped snap on the extra point after Killian’s overtime touchdown gave Palmetto a 20-19 win that sends the Panthers (7-1, 3-1 in District 16-8A) to the playoffs.
In overtime, Palmetto’s Ivan Thomas snagged a 10-yard fade to put the Panthers ahead 20-13. Killian’s Willie Houseal scored on fourth down from the Panthers 2. Celebration swung from the Killian sideline to Palmetto’s when the holder dropped the extra-point snap and got overrun before he could do anything with it.
A postgame scuffle got broken up before anyone got hurt.
Palmetto gave the ball to running back Trey Flowers 33 times for 115 yards. Thomas’ eight catches for 77 yards included two touchdowns. In a game dominated by defense most of the way, Killian’s Kewan Smith had an interception and a fumble recovery while Palmetto’s Eddie Williams recovered a fumble, wrecked several running plays and recovered the game opening onside kick.
Special teams set up the first score. Killian (3-6, 2-2) jumped on a fumbled punt snap at the Palmetto 4. On the next play, Cougars running back Delano Morgan plowed the necessary yards to put Killian up 7-0.
Palmetto answered with a 68-yard, late-half drive, 48 of them by the legs of running back Trey Flowers. Flowers’ 27-yard run got Palmetto to the Killian 8. On third-and-goal from the 6, Thomas took Hugh Lowson’s fade off the defensive back’s helmet and landed just inside the back right corner.
The 7-7 tie got broken by the game’s wildest play, Joe Hardy’s 64-yard punt return. Hardy’s decision to field the punt seemed questionable as Killian’s coverage convened almost on top of him. Hardy got out of that mess by dipping back about 15 yards to circumnavigate the coverage, avoided the fire via a borderline block that Killian thought was a block-in-the-back and shot up the left sideline for the touchdown.
Down 13-7, Killian’s reply was similar to Palmetto’s earlier — an 80-yard, ground-based drive with Morgan running for 50 of them and Houseal getting the 5-yard touchdown. A chop block on the successful extra point made it a 35-yard kick, which went wide right.