The ball has not bounced in favor of the Putnam City North Panthers much this year, but their good bounce could not have come at a better time as the Panthers won in overtime Thursday night against the No. 9 Midwest City Bombers, 21-20 at Putnam City Stadium.
Trailing 20-14, Chase Sparks dropped back and looked for his favorite receiver, Kaedyn Fuller, but as the ball came out it was tipped. Fuller never lost sight of it and came down with the ball in end zone to tie the game at 20. Chace Campbell then stepped in to deliver the game winning extra point for the Panthers (2-4).
“It was a well-thrown ball from Chase and I knew I didn’t want to come down without the ball,” Fuller said.
The Panthers were ahead most of the game taking a 7-0 lead into halftime, the touchdown coming from Fuller to Riley Sterling on a double-pass in the first quarter.
“As soon as I caught that first pass the only thing I could think about was finding the receiver downfield,” Fuller said. “Riley made a great catch and I was just hoping the defenders didn’t get there in time to make a play.”
The Bombers made a comeback though. Early in the third, Bomber running back R.J. Goodman found the end zone on a 19-yard run. Following the two-point conversion, Midwest City led 8-7. They struck once again, this time on a 14-yard run by Tre’jon Sherffield. They missed on the two-point conversion and led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Panthers put together an 87-yard drive and were able to come away with a touchdown. This time Sparks took in himself from 3 yards out and the game was tied at 14 with 7:24 left.
PC North made one last run late in regulation, having the ball at midfield with 13 seconds left following a pass interference call against the Bombers. The next play Sparks almost got one to Logan Price, but Price could not stay in bounds and the game headed to overtime.
Midwest City made quick work in their first drive as Goodman took it 10 yards for the score on the first play of the overtime.
PC North then took over and Sparks made the play to Fuller for the tie.
“I knew I just had to make a good throw and (Fuller) would catch it,” Sparks said of the tying score. “I just put it up there and he caught it. Kaedyn is such a good receiver.”
Midwest City drops to 4-2 with this overtime loss. Both games the Bombers have lost have been on the final play of the game. They next play Lawton Eisenhower at home Oct. 18.
Wins have been hard to come by for PC North. They started the year of 0-4 and won their first game of the year last week against Moore, making it two straight with this win. They next play winless US Grant Oct. 17.
“This win really sets the tone for the team. I think we are finally playing as a team,” linebacker and captain Michael Wofford said. “Winning this one means so much to us.”
Despite their record, head coach Bob Wilson says that won’t change anything about preparation for their next game.
“We have to use this win to build onto next week,” Wilson said. “You can never take any win for granted, we’ll take this one just like any other one and go in and try to get another win.”
NOTE: Evan O’Brien is a student blogger from Putnam City North High School, working in conjunction with the NewsOK Varsity staff. We’re currently looking for student bloggers from other high schools around the Oklahoma City metro area. If you’d like information about becoming a student blogger for your school, please contact high school sports writer Scott Wright at email@example.com.