Panthers survive 64-62 shootout against Gloucester South Raiders
By Fred Sherwin
Panthers running back Tyrone Pierre scored five touchdowns in a wild 64-62
win over the Gloucester South Raiders on Wednesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
nuts, insane, outrageous, unbelievable, ridiculous, stupid, off the charts
-- those are just some of words that would describe the Cumberland Panthers
last second Hail Mary win over the Gloucester South Raiders on Wednesday
night in one of the highest scoring football games ever played at Millennium
How else would
you describe a game in which the two teams scored a combined 126 points,
including a pair of touchdowns in the final minute, and the TSN Turning
Point was provided by the sprinkler system? I thought so.
In most situations,
when a team scores 58 points in a game, they can pretty much count on getting
the win. Not so for the Panthers against the Raiders. Despite leading for
most of the contest, the Panthers found themselves trailing 62-58 late in
the fourth quarter after the Raiders capped a long drive with a go ahead
Trailing by four
points, the Panthers had enough time for two cracks at the end zone. On
the first play, Cumberland quarterback Jake Molinski just missed connecting
with Jaylen King on the dead run for what would have been the winning touchdown.
With the minute
flag flying on the ground, the Panthers decided to go with the half back
option on their last play. As Molinski flipped the ball to King, Tyrone
Pierre sprinted down field past his cover man. King then hit him with a
perfect pass over his outside shoulder which allowed him to elude coverage
and run into the end zone for the winning score with no time left on the
It was an improbable
ending to an improbable game. but if not for the premature activation of
the sprinkler system several plays before it would never have happened.
The Raiders were two plays into their go-ahead drive when the sprinkler
system came on in the end zone, forcing the referees to call a timeout which
temporarily stopped the clock.
The extra time
would be critical in allowing the Panthers to run two plays at the end of
the game. The other important factor was a timeout called by the Panthers
coaching staff just prior to the Raiders touchdown. Without it they wouldn't
have been able to run the last play.
in the game led up to the final 60 seconds. The game itself was a defensive
coordinator's nightmare. The Panthers scored a touchdown on each of their
first five posessions, while the Raiders got into the end zone on four of
their first five touches.
At halftime the
score was 42-28 in favour of the Panthers who made good on three of four
two point conversion attempts.
got off to a rocky start in the second half, coughing up the ball not once
but twice. The second turnover set up a 50-yard touchdown drive which narrowed
the score to 42-35.
right back with a 56 yard drive capped by a 41 yard option pass from King
to Pierre which was a foreshadowing of the game winning play.
The Raiders then
scored twice to make it a one point game. The first touchdown came on a
50 yard pass down the middle from Justin Poitras to Joey Wrinn.
After the Panthers
fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders did their bets to shoot themselves
in the foot when they took an objectionable conduct penalty on top of a
holding call. Facing a second and 40 situation, Poitras cooly stepped back
and hit Dimitri Vaillantcourt for a short outlet pass which the speedy slotback
turned into a 70 yard touchdown reception.
rose to the challenge yet again with a 33 yard touchdown run by Pierre to
reestablish a seven point cushion. They would go up by nine after successfully
scoring their fifth two point conversion.
A holding penalty
on the initial two point attempt, however, would result in the Raiders getting
excellent field position on the ensuing kickoff which set up a 30 yard touchdown
pass from Poitras to Wrinn.
up their third touchdown pass in three series, the Panthers came up big
on the two point conversion attempt stopping Matt Wilson-Damiano dead in
his tracks to keep the score at 58-55.
When the Panthers
failed to pick up a first down on their next possession, the Raiders put
together their go-ahead touchdown drive, moving the ball 77 yards on 11
plays, including a pair of third down conversions. But unfortunately it
would not be enough, as the Panthers managed to pull off the improbable
After the game
Panthers head coach Chris Molinski tried to put into words what had just
transpired on the field.
in football for 25 years and I've never seen anything like that. That's
the craziest game I've ever been involved in," said Molinski.
the game with five touchdowns including runs of 68, 63 and 33 yards. He
also had a pair of two point conversions for a total of 34 points.
Jaylen King ran
for three touchdowns and completed passes of 41 and 65 yards to Pierre for
two more. He also scored three two-point conversions for a total of 24 points.
other touchdown was scored by Rajat Nayar on an 18 yard run in the first
On the other
side of the ball, Poitras had a banner night at quarterback throwing five
touchdown passes of 41, 53, 50, 70 and 33 yards. Matt Forest and Joey Wrinn
caught two each, while Vaillancourt had the other TD reception. Forest also
ran the ball for a touchdown and Wilson-Damiano scored three times.
will have to regroup defensively before they take on the Bel-Air Lions on
view more photos of the game click here
a.m., Sept. 10)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page