Cabot North held on at the end to take down Cabot South 20-16 in the final battle of the Panthers as two separate junior highs.
The South Panthers led 16-14 at halftime, but couldn’t solve the North defense in the second half.
“Our guys up front have done a good job all year,” said North coach Danny Spencer. “They did a better job wrapping up and handling their assignments in the second half.”
South used its big-play ability to score twice in the first half. North showed off their power running game with big Eric Seidl shouldering the load one more time.
The South Panthers got on the board first when Jarrod Barnes hit Tristan Williams for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Barnes used his legs next on the conversion to give South an 8-0 lead.
North’s answer was to feed the ball to Seidl and let the big fullback go to work. Seidl had a 40-yard run that helped set up his seven-yard touchdown run to make the score 8-6.
A defensive stop gave the ball back to North, and they gave the ball back to Seidl, who carried eight straight times at one point. Seidl’s one-yard plunge through the line gave the North Panthers a 14-8 lead following the two-point conversion from Kaleb Schmidt.
That lead lasted less than 30 seconds, however. Barnes had been the most dangerous player on the field for many of South’s games this season, and he showed why on a 54-yard touchdown run up the middle. The conversion run by Austin Morse gave South a 16-14 lead heading into halftime.
The second half was more of a defensive struggle, with the only score coming late in the third quarter. That score was also by Seidl with just over two minutes left in the quarter. Seidl finished with 175 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries.
North had to hold off a South offense that wasn’t ready to give up in the final minute. South’s defense was able to stop North on downs, then move down within striking distance for one final play. A desperate heave into the end zone by Barnes was brought down by Micah Hudson for the interception to end the game.
The win for North gave the Panthers a 7-3 record for season, while South finished the year 6-4.