Kingwood Park’s 22-15 defeat of the Barbers Hill Eagles capped off what had otherwise been a frustrating season with a thrilling come from behind victory for the Panthers. Trailing 15-9 with 4:48 left in the third quarter, the Panthers scored 13 unanswered points to pull off out the win in the season finale for each team.. Both teams entered Saturday’s mid-afternoon match looking to end impressively. For the Eagles, a win would mean the difference between a winning season overall and a sub .500 campaign. For Kingwood Park, it was a game that could set the momentum for next season.
Tied 9-9 at the half on a rain soaked Turner Stadium field in Humble, Texas, it appeared that the Eagles had withstood all the Panthers had to offer. Kingwood quarterback Zach Purcell playing in his final high school game played pitch and catch with Matthew Reyna for an eight yard scoring play and a 6-0 lead. The Eagles blocked the extra point and Hunter Blystone returned it for a a two point conversion and a 6-2 game.
Matthew Flaherty, Kingwood’s placekicker, connected from 28 yards out as the first quarter came to close putting the Panthers up 9-2.
The Eagles missed a field goal of their own from 39 yards out to open the second quarter. They would not lose out on points on their next opportunity. An errant punt from K-Park gave Barbers Hill the ball first and ten at the Kingwood 20 yard line. Seven plays later, quarterback Skylar Langelier called his own number taking it in ffrom three yards out. The extra point was good and the game was knotted at 9-9.
With 4:49 to play in the third quarter, Langelier scored for the second time in the game from two yards out but the extra point failed leaving the Eagles up 15-6.
Kingwood answered back going 83 yards in two plays to answer back. Reyna caught his second scoring reception of the game from Purcell and after another missed extra point, the game was even at 15-15. Reyna finished his final high school game with 11 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Neither team had much going in the fourth until with 3:17 left in the game, Kingwood put together one final drive. Starting at their own 34 yard line, Purcell engineered an game winning eight play 66 yard march. Zach Mills 16 yard touchdown reception from Purcell capped the scoring drive. The Panthers senior signal caller finished his high school career completing 18 of 24 for 270 and three touchdowns.
Barbers Hill last chance was snuffed out by sophomore strong safety Chase Ferem’s third interception of the season to preserve the win.
The Eagles attack was led by fullback Hunter Gobert who capped a 15 touchdown season rushing for 49 yards on 15 carries in the loss.