Panthers unable to outlast Jackets in shootout


The Nease football team found themselves in a shootout on the road against St. Augustine and were just not quite able to keep the pace and suffered a 58-41 defeat Oct. 7.

Both offenses went back and forth throughout the game and made highlight-reel plays left and right.

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-10 lead early in the second quarter after senior Davon Patterson took a handoff and appeared to be shot out of a cannon as he burst into the secondary en route to an 83-yard touchdown run.

“The space just opened and then I just used my speed and do what I do,” Patterson said. “We have established being a run team first, and that has really allowed us to open up the passing game.”

Patterson’s speed has been a dangerous weapon for the Panthers’ offense the past couple of years, and he was able to showcase that on the play.

“It’s been a ride this year to really step up and not just be a leader but one of the major guys that makes our offense run,” Patterson said.

However, the theme of the night would be that every time the Panthers scored, the Yellow Jackets answered with a touchdown of their own.

At one point, both teams scored one one-play drives on consecutive possessions, as the third quarter reached the height of the back-and-forth affair.

There was a stretch of plays in the third quarter where senior quarterback Marcus Stokes called his own number on fourth and 6 and broke free for a 34-yard touchdown, Maddox Spencer outran the defense for an 80-yard touchdown, Joe Miracle intercepted a pass on defense and Stokes connected with Gavin Gmeiner for a deep pass down the left sideline.

That high-octane run of plays allowed the Panthers to cut the deficit to three, 44-41 with 5:24 to play in the third quarter.

However, they could never quite close the deficit completely and the Yellow Jackets eventually pulled away with a couple of scores down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

“They did great getting that interception and had a couple of timely stops on defense that were good to see, but we’ve just got to continue to put the pieces together,” Nease head coach Collin Drafts said. “We’ve got to be more bend, but don’t break. There are still too many big plays given up. If we can limit that and really make teams earn it, we’re going to have a chance to win some football games.”

The slate is wiped clean starting next week when the Panthers go back on the road to face Flagler Palm Coast in their district opener at 7 p.m. Oct. 14.

“We’re going into the next week with the mindset that it’s 0-0,” Patterson said. “We have a real opportunity to really put ourselves in playoff contention with a win.”


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