Lady Luck sticks with Cox, Panthers

Lady Luck sticks with Cox, Panthers

PAXTON – The game was as sloppy as the conditions, but to Paxton-Buckley-Loda coach Greg Wood, all was sunny.

PBL knocked off Iroquois West/Crescent-Iroquois 8-6 on Friday night, escaping tacklers, muddy conditions and reason all along the way.

"Can you believe the ball bounced our way?" Wood asked rhetorically. "Twice!"

On third and 1 deep in Raiders territory with the Panthers down 6-2 and less than five minutes to play, fullback Ricky Tester (26 carries, 115 yards) fumbled after being stuffed at the line of scrimmage, only to have the ball pop forward and allow T.J. Riggins the chance to recover it for a 5-yard gain.

Three plays later, PBL quarterback Kendall Cox scrambled before delivering a touchdown pass to tight end Austin Wood with 3:51 remaining.

"It was broken up," Cox said of the play. "I just rolled up there and he is able to make himself open. He's a good receiver."

Said the tight end and coach's son: "I went to the goal line and thought Kendall was going to get sacked; he was running for his life. It seems like it's been like that all year."

The go-ahead pass was Cox's second completion of the game – he finished 2 of 8 for 17 yards with one interception and the winning score, but Cox wasn't finished.

After the two teams exchanged possessions – the Raiders throwing incomplete passes and the Panthers attempting to run out the clock – the Raiders had the ball with 1:33 left near their own 30-yard line.

The game's final play was the Panthers' final lucky bounce.

With 22 seconds left, Raiders quarterback Matt Ulrichs completed a long pass to receiver Daniel Vega, who had gotten behind the last PBL defender.

Or so it seemed.

As Vega raced toward the goal line for the potential winning – and heart attack-inducing – touchdown, Cox came to the rescue for the Panthers and stripped the ball away. Riggins again pounced on the ball for the Panthers.

"Kendall made a great play," Wood said. "He covered an awful lot of ground and kind of had the touchdown-saving tackle and stripped it out and we were able to recover it.

"That's awesome. That's a win."

PBL also scored on a safety when the Raiders snapped the ball out the back of the end zone.

Sections (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports
Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County