With its playoff dreams already shattered, Dillard came back from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to upset previously unbeaten Monarch 22-16 in a thrilling nondistrict matchup at Deerfield Beach.
The winning play came in the third round of the Kansas tiebreaker when sophomore receiver Jordan Merrell caught a 10-yard score from Jason Collins to draw a wild celebration.
“This means a lot to us,” Merrell said before getting doused with ice water by his teammates. “We have a lot to look forward to next season. Before the game, I kept saying we’d be playing five quarters, and we did that.”
After the Knights (9-1) took a 16-7 lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Michael Harris to Shawn Burgess-Becker with 5:30 left, the Panthers (5-4) roared back. Basil Spencer hit an 18-yard field goal to make it 16-10.
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Trailing 16-10, the Panthers (5-4) marched 64 yards on six plays, capped by Jordan’s 52-yard TD pass to Deonta Nelson with 40 seconds remaining. A Dillard excessive celebration penalty forced extra-point kick to be longer and was missed, thus keeping the game tied at 16-16 to force the overtime.