A furious fourth-period rally by visiting Old Mill came up short last night as No. 6 Annapolis held on for a 41-34 victory in a wild game at Al Laramore Field that lasted more than three hours.
The Panthers took a 34-7 lead into the final 12 minutes, only to have the Patriots erupt for 24 points to seven by the hosts. Senior Jason Galloway, who was all over the field offensively and defensively, in addition to running back kicks, led the surge by Old Mill.
Galloway finished with 13 pass receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown while making a host of tackles as a defensive back. He also nearly broke a punt return in the waning seconds.
A 27-yard touchdown run by Aaron Copeland with 5: 15 left in the game gave Annapolis a 41-21 lead and proved to be the game-winner. Despite 198 yards rushing by Rayvon Johnson, the Panthers were gasping at the end.
Kelvin Collins, who ran for 128 of his 146 yards and three touchdowns (final period) in the second half, scored from 31 and 14 yards to cut the deficit to 41-34 with 1: 25 remaining.
After a 48-yard touchdown run by Johnson (27-for-198) was called back for holding with 52 seconds left, the Panthers punted to Galloway, who nearly broke it on a 22-yard return to the Old Mill 47.
Brandon Gulley broke up his third pass of the night, but Patriots quarterback Brian Williams, who completed 16 of 32 passes for 242 yards, hit Galloway for the 13th time of the game for a 9-yard gain to the Annapolis 44 with 11 seconds showing.
Williams "Hail-Mary" pass deep downfield was swatted away by the Panthers.
Johnson, an All-Metro running back last season, ignited the Annapolis ground attack and quarterback Mike Phaneuf debuted with a pair of touchdown passes to Marvin Charles.
Johnson who also sparkled defensively with an interception, several tackles and two pass break-ups, ran for 138 of his 198 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, which saw the Panthers build a 21-7 lead.
Annapolis rolled up 331 yards rushing, 172 coming in the first half.
Also making his first varsity start, the senior Phaneuf completed touchdown passes to Charles, a returning All-County end, in the second (21 yards) and third periods (35 yards).
The Panthers capitalized on two Old Mill miscues late in the second period to score a pair of touchdowns within two minutes.
Annapolis built on its halftime lead by going 67 yards in seven plays capped by the 35-yard Phaneuf to Charles touchdown pass on the first possession of the third period for a 27-7 lead.
Old Mill punted on the ensuing offensive possession and Annapolis improved its lead to 34-7 on a nine-yard touchdown run by junior Kevan Simms and a Jagman Chahal extra-point kick. A 49-yard run by Copeland set p the Simms score.
After a scoreless first period in which the Panthers rushed for 63 yards while the Patriots passed for 40 (all to Galloway), the host team broke the ice with Johnson's first touchdown.