It was a gamble but one that paid off for the Cabot Panthers.
Cabot fullback Zach Launius scored the game-winning two-point conversion in the second overtime as the Panthers beat North Little Rock 43-42 in the Class 7A state semifinals Friday night at Panther Stadium.
With the win, Cabot will play Bentonville in the Class 7A state championship game this Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Launius scored a touchdown to cut North Little Rock’s lead to 1 point. Cabot coach Mike Malham originally sent kicker Trevor Reed onto the field for the game-tying extra point but had second thoughts and called a timeout.
That’s when he went the offense back onto the field. Cabot quarterback Kason Kimbrell checked out of the called play and handed to Launius, who managed to get across the goal line for the game-winning points.
Launius rushed for 241 yards and 5 touchdowns on 46 carries. Cabot’s other touchdown came on a 10-yard pass from Kimbrell to Chris Henry.
North Little Rock’s Deion Tidwell rushed for 196 yards and 4 touchdowns on 28 carries.