If you missed the matchup between previously unbeaten UMAC Conference opponents Greenville and Eureka, then you missed yet another dramatic finish for the Panthers.  A hard fought game with an active 4th quarter will go down in everybody’s memory.

The Greenville College Panthers came into Eureka expecting a hard-hitting game, as Eureka has always been a tough opponent while this year also having home field advantage. The Panthers started the game down 13-0 but never gave in. Setting up their offense and finding their groove on defense, the Panthers went up 14-13. Transfer running back Zibeon Washington scored twice with a bruising 29-yard touchdown run and another 26-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. As the Panthers scored, the Red Devils were shutout for two consecutive quarters by the Panther defense. Brendan Chambers, senior quarterback for the Panthers, opened the 2nd half up with an explosive 63 yard touchdown run and the Panthers were up 21-13. The Red Devils battled backed and scored two of their own touchdowns but their missed extra point from the 1st quarter only put them up by 6. With 5:36 left in the game, the Panthers looked to be floundering in their own mistakes with a personal foul that set up 2nd and 23 deep in their own territory.  After an incomplete pass, quarterback Brendan Chambers had to scramble out of the pocket on 3rd down to connect with running back Shawn McKnight for a 29-yard catch that moved the chains for a 1st down! The drive continued as the clock slowly counted down the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. The Panthers needed a score to “close the gap” on Eureka’s 6-point lead. Faced with a 4th and 1 on the 50 yard line, the Panthers once again overcame adversity on this “must score” drive and converted the 4th down with a 5-yard run by sophomore running back Jacob Stull. The very next play tested the Panthers once again as an illegal motion penalty was charged against Greenville and pushed them back 5yards.  After an unsuccessful run on 1st down, the Panthers faced a 2nd and 17, but once again, with the will to never quit, the Panthers captured the first down with an 11yard run on 2nd down and a 15 yard pass on 3rd down. With 42 seconds left on the clock, the Panthers found themselves in Eureka’s end zone from a 1-yard touchdown rush by Jacob Stull. This heroic 4th quarter drive put the Panthers up 28-27 with 30 seconds left on the clock but Eureka was not going down without a fight. With the home crowd on their side and a quarterback who threw for 329 yards on the day, the Eureka Red Devils had hopes to win this game. Completing 3 quick passes to get the ball to the Greenville 42, the Red Devils had 1 second left on the clock to launch a Hail Mary pass into the end zone. The ball floated through the air toward both Panther and Red Devil players and was picked off by the Greenville College Panthers Defense! But wait … a pass interference penalty on the Panthers would keep the game going.  The referees moved the ball up 15 yards, putting Eureka on Greenville’s 28.  With their untimed down, the Red Devils decided to send kicker Tyler Winders onto the field to win the game.  Following suit of their sideline chant: “So what!” the Panthers prepared to pin their ears back and rush the kick.  Finding a hole in Eureka’s field goal unit, Ralph Regalado blew through and blocked the 45-yard attempt.  Recovering the loose ball, the Panthers secured their third win of the season.

Next week, the Panthers face Martin Luther College here in Greenville Illinois. Be sure to come watch these Greenville College Panthers play at 1 o’clock on Saturday, September 28th.  GO PANTHERS!

Greenville College Football © 2009 by Jered Schneider.