The cup is headed back to Perryville.
The Panthers outlasted host Havre de Grace Friday night for a 21-14 Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference win in overtime in the annual rivalry clash known as the Susquehanna Bowl.
The Panthers (4-4) won the last meeting, 7-6, in 2019, so the trophy has been across the Susquehanna River for awhile.
Meanwhile, other week eight winners were Harford Tech, Edgewood, Bel Air, Fallston and C. Milton Wright.
In Havre de Grace, Panthers junior quarterback Zack Clarke rushed for two scores, passed for the winning score and he also kicked three extra-points.
“We knew rivalry games are always going to be close, so I mean, we just knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Clarke said. “That’s not how we planned to win the game, but hey, it happened, so, can’t be happier.”
It was Clarke’s two touchdown runs that pulled the Panthers even right after the Warriors (6-2) had taken a lead on two occasions.
Max James ran 25 yards for the game’s first score with 3:11 still to play in the first quarter. Isaiah Robinson’s extra-point kick made it 7-0, but the lead lasted exactly 63 seconds.
From their own 47, the Panthers’ Jamiere Guy (16 carries, 114 yards) raced 37 yards on first down and Clarke ran 16 yards for the touchdown. His extra-point tied the score at 7-7.
Havre de Grace did score in the final minute of the half, but when quarterback Chase Hunt was crossing the goal line, teammates were flagged for illegally aiding the runner. Two incomplete passes followed and the drive was over.
“The whole time we thought we could win, it didn’t matter whatever the score was, we knew we could win,” Clarke said. “We just kept with it and won the game in the end.”
Havre de Grace went back ahead in the third quarter. Hunt passed 14 yards to Amir Austin on third and 10 to get the ball to the Panthers’ 45.
James (nine carries, 99 yards) ran 45 yards on the next play to push his team back ahead. Robinson added another extra-point kick for a 14-7 lead.
Perryville didn’t respond so quickly this time, but the Panthers did score on the ensuing kickoff. A series of nine running plays covered 71 yards. Clarke (13 carries, 58 yards) ran the last 31 yards and added the kick to retie the game 14-14 with 4:14 left in quarter three.
Havre de Grace picked off Clarke twice in the fourth quarter. Braydyn Malloy intercepted the first at his own 10 and Dominic Hyman took his interception back some 65 yards for a touchdown, but an illegal blindside block went against the Warriors and, instead of leading, they had to start a drive at their own 12.
“We had a pretty flat week of practice and this game is a rivalry game,” Warriors coach Brian Eberhardt said. “Hats off to Perryville, they came ready to play hard and we were just flat. Too many mistakes and that’s really the ballgame right there. I just feel like we were flat, going through the motions and not ready to compete and Perryville was. They came to play, so congratulations to them.”
In the overtime while starting from the 10-yard line, Guy ran three yards on first down, but a bad snap on second down set the Panthers back 10 yards to the 17.
Clarke bobbled the next snap, too, but he collected the ball, scrambled to his left, and threw toward the end zone, where teammate Zack Ayers made the catch.
”I just saw him [Ayers] and Daniel Tserkis in the back of the end zone and threw it up, one of them will catch it and that’s what they did. We’ll win it next year, too.”
Clarke added his final extra-point and the Panthers turned to their defense.
On first down, Hunt’s (9-16, 101 yards) pass intended for Austin was short and picked off, setting off a wild celebration on the Panthers’ sideline and in the stands.
“That’s our mentality, we always expect to win,” Panthers coach Sean Sandora said. “We just kind of got healthy at the right time, kids came back and we just had a great week of practice and a lot of confidence in our game plan and we executed it well.”
Edgewood 28, Aberdeen 0
The Rams (5-3) beat the host Eagles (2-5) in UCBAC play.
Timi Oyekunle (11 rushes, 73 yards) ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Antoine Jackson added a 78-yard punt return touchdown and Lavar Banks (6 receptions, 96 yards) caught a 55-yard scoring pass.
Obinna Uwalor had 11 tackles (three for loss) for the Rams.
Harford Tech 48, North Harford 8
The Cobras (7-1) had no trouble getting past the visiting Hawks (4-4) in UCBAC play.
The Mendez brothers, Kelvin and Kevin, combined for 378 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Kelvin Mendez finished with 324 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries. Senior Kevin Mendez added 52 yards and three touchdowns on five carries.
Tech quarterback Parker Milton was 8-14 for 120 yards and Travis Wall caught two passes for 55 yards.
Hawks quarterback Owen Smith was 9-26 for 78 yards and one touchdown. Brian Hauer (3 receptions, 44 yards) caught the scoring pass.
Marquise Porter led the Hawks’ defense with nine tackles (one for loss), while Garrett Reinecke, Josh Garrett and Kent Holcombe had eight tackles each.
Bel Air 21, Elkton 20
The Bobcats (4-4) squeaked past the visiting Elks (5-3) in UCBAC play.
Ashton Grewe had a one-yard run and 60-yard pass to Tre Dennis for two of the scores, while Nate Furrow (32-yard run) had the other touchdown. Kicker Jack Henry was 3-for-3 on extra points.
Fallston 63, Bo Manor 31
The Cougars (8-0) remain Harford’s lone unbeaten team with another lopsided win over the visiting Eagles (4-4) in UCBAC play.
Quarterback Aiden Dixon was 17-for-26 for 227 yards and three touchdowns through the air and he added 17 carries for 168 yards and three more scores on the ground.
Dylan Wheeler had seven catches for 115 yards and one touchdown and he added a 82-yard kick return for another score.
Evan Bradley rushed for 62 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.
C. Milton Wright 66, Richard Wright PC 6
The Mustangs (3-5) took a break from UCBAC play to beat the visiting Spartans.
Mike Takusi led the win with 138 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries. Dallas Marchand (4 carries, 40 yards), Carter Goscinski (4 carries, 35 yards) and Omari Pace (2 carries, 4 yards) all rushed for a touchdown each.
Goscinski also completed 12-16 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Smith (3 catches, 24 yards) and Ryan Childress (5 catches, 43 yards) caught a touchdown each.
North East 14, Patterson Mill 13
The Huskies (2-6) come up short at the previously winless Indians (1-7) in UCBAC play.
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Quarterback Thomas Rohal was 7-17 for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The picked off pass was returned for a pick six.
Rohal also rushed for 77 yards and one touchdown, while Ethan Pridgen had six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Rising Sun 41, Joppatowne 20
The Mariners (3-4) dropped the UCBAC game to the host Tigers (2-6).
Loyola 38, John Carroll 3
The Patriots (0-8) are still looking for their first win after a loss to the visiting Dons (6-2) in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference play.
Alex Mullin’s fourth quarter, 41-yard field goal was all the Patriots scored, after falling behind 38-0.
Kevin Montague rushed for 47 yards on 11 carries and Trevor Amrein added 30 yards on four carries.
Defensively, Alfred Johnson had 10 tackles (one for loss) and Kilo Mack, Jr. had eight tackles (one for loss).