LECANTO — While their season ended with an eight-game losing streak Friday night, the Lecanto Panthers looked nothing like that sort of football team, mounting an incredible comeback against visiting Land O’ Lakes before falling just short in overtime.
Lecanto (2-8) rallied from 35-6 late in the second quarter and even had a chance for the win at the end of regulation.
But the field goal attempt sailed wide right to end the fourth quarter, and Land O’ Lakes (8-2) scored on their first possession of overtime (a 21-yard field goal from Andy Dowler) before shutting down the Lecanto running game on its attempt to find the end zone, sealing the win.
Gators quarterback James Pensyl started off by throwing touchdowns on his first two plays from scrimmage, of 54 and 63 yards. He found Liam Heaney for a four-yard screen pass to the end zone late in the first quarter to make it 21-0, then Shaheed Salmon intercepted a pass from Lecanto’s Travis McGee and returned it for a score from the Panther 5-yard line.
The Panthers defense held Land O’ Lakes scoreless in the second half, aided by seven sacks.
Lecanto put 21 more points on the board to tie the game, capped by Jonah Nightegale’s one-yard power run midway through the fourth quarter after a Gators turnover deep in their own territory, tying it at 35 and setting up the end-game dramatics.
Citrus County Chronicle