Boyd Anderson 6, Dwyer 3: One late mistake on defense costs Panthers
Friday, November 23, 2012
by Steve Dorsey
Dwyer played near-flawless defense for all but one play Friday night, and it cost the Panthers dearly.
Richard Lopez took advantage of blown coverage by Dwyer's secondary and snagged the game-winning touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter and then made a game-ending interception Friday night to preserve Boyd Anderson's 6-3 victory over state power Dwyer in the Class 7A regional semifinals.
The win advances the Cobras (9-2) to a regional finals showdown against St. Thomas Aquinas or Plantation next week.
"One thing we talked about all week was mental toughness," Boyd Anderson coach Wayne Blair said after the Cobras recorded their second consecutive playoff victory against a Palm Beach County team. "I'm so proud of everything they've done."
Dwyer's defense was stellar for most of the game and consistently pressure Boyd Anderson quarterback Greg Hankerson, sacking him or tackling him for a loss nine times. But one mistake cost the Panthers.
Lopez sneaked behind the Dwyer secondary and Hankerson connected with him for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 5:33 remaining to give Boyd Anderson a 6-3 lead.
"Miscommunication," Dwyer defensive coordinator Bobby Sifrit said of the play that effectively ended the Panthers' season. "I really feel for the seniors. We just gave them the ball too many times, too many three-and-outs."
Neither team generated much offense, and Dwyer held Hankerson and the Cobras' offense in check for most of the game, limiting Boyd Anderson to 73 yards of offense. But that one miscue by the Panthers' secondary allowed Hankerson to deliver the game-winning pass.
Dwyer had a chance to tie or win the game when the Panthers got the ball back with 2:56 remaining. But Lopez intercepted a desperation pass by Dwyer sophomore quarterback Daniel Parr on the final play of the game to secure the victory and a berth in the regional finals for Boyd Anderson. It was the fourth interception thrown by Dwyer.
Dwyer's smothering defense completely shut down Hankerson in the first half. Hankerson, who entered with more than 2,200 yards passing and 25 touchdowns this season, completed only one pass for no gain and threw an interception in the first half as Dwyer sacked the Cobras quarterback five times.
Boyd Anderson was held to minus-13 yards total offense in the first half and had only two first downs.
Dwyer's offense also struggled for most of the first half, but a 33-yard pass completion from sophomore quarterback Daniel Parr to junior Ezra Saffold set up a 32-yard field goal by Peyton Shapiro. The only score of the first half was set up by an interception by Dwyer junior Johnnie Dixon on Boyd Anderson's second possession.
Dwyer's Clinton Stephens is tackled by the Boyd Anderson defense during the first half of the Panthers' 6-3 loss on Friday night (Photo by Scott Fisher)