Aug 16

VIDEO: Panthers edge Henderson County in 2011 overtime thriller #TraditionTuesday


Austin Schapker runs for a 47-yard touchdown pass that put the Panthers on the scoreboard and tied up the game, 7-7. © Almanac Sports, LLC

It was the stuff of legends. Earlier in the evening, the playing surface of Reitz Bowl was officially named Herman Byers Field, in honor of the late-great hall of fame coach. Many of the coach’s family members and former players were in attendance for the opening of the 2011 season.

But the Panthers got tripped up, and went into halftime trailing Henderson County, 14-7.

No more scoring occurred until late in the game, when, with 3:04 remaining, Reitz quarterback Nate Tidwell found Austin Schapker in the open, completing a 46-yard touchdown pass. Izaac Robinson’s kick tied it up and the teams headed into overtime.

The Panthers would strike first, with a 3-yard run from Tidwell to give them a 21-14 lead.

Reitz would hold the Colonels, but on fourth down, quarterback Hunter Comer ran in from the one.

Down by a point, would Henderson go for the tie and send the game into a second overtime period, or would they risk it all and go for two? The Colonels called timeout, and as they broke from the huddle, it became obvious what their intentions were.

The ball was snapped and Comer, who had just scored a touchdown, was trying to win the game for his team….

Watch the final play:

“It was a miracle,” according to Kameron Harris’ recount of the play as told to the Courier & Press. Harris, along with several other determined Panthers, stopped Comer.

They didn’t quit. Quitters never win and winners never quit, Coach Byers would say. And because of that, they won. It was a fitting ending to the official unveiling of Herman Byers Field.

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