OKEECHOBEE The Panthers almost held on.
Okeechobee High School rallied in the final minute to beat Heritage on Friday night, 7-6, at Brahmans Stadium in a key District 14-6A game.
Demetrius Clark caught the game-tying touchdown on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Bubba Fludd, just several plays after dropping a pass that could have got him into the end zone. Jarrett Mills’ extra point proved to be the game winner.
Even with the drop, Okeechobee head coach Chris Branham called Clark’s number again.
“(Clark) looked at me. I winked at him and told him, ‘I know you got it, don’t worry.’” Branham said.
Heritage scored on its first drive of the game on Nathan Etienne’s 32-yard touchdown off a pass from Matt Allaire.
Following that touchdown, both teams combined for 11 punts until Okeechobee’s touchdown pass in the final minute of the game.
Heritage made a pivotal decision late in the fourth quarter. Looking at a fourth and goal, the Panthers opted to go for the touchdown instead of kicking a field goal that could have made it a two-possession game.
“There are four evenly-matched teams in our district, and you saw that tonight with two of them,” said Branham. “This was a district win we had to have.”
OKEECHOBEE 7, HERITAGE 6
Heritage 6 0 0 0 – 6
Okeechobee 0 0 0 7 – 7
HOW THEY SCORED
H: Nathan Etienne 32 pass from matt Allaire (kick blocked) 4:25
O: Demetrius Clark 20 pass from Bubba Fludd (Jarrett Mills kick) :58
At Okeechobee High School, Okeechobee
Top performers: Heritage: Nathan Etienne caught a 32-yard pass from Matt Allaire for the only Panthers score; Okeechobee Demetrius Clark caught a 20-yard pass from Bubba Fludd with 58 seconds to play in the game. Jarrett Mills’ extra point proved to be the game winner.
Key play: Heritage’s extra point try got blocked after the first-quarter TD, and it proved to do the Panthers in. They lost by that one point.
Record: Heritage (3-2, 1-1 District 14-6A); Okeechobee (2-2, 1-1 14-6A)
Next week: Heritage at Melbourne, 7 p.m.; Okeechobee at Westwood 7 p.m.