Panthers pull upset, give Clancy milestone win
Tonight at Jack Mancini field on the campus of Bishop Shanahan High School, the Panthers from Strath Haven upset the Bishop Shanahan Eagles, 24-21. The game was an instant classic, that was decided by Emmett Young’s 24-yard field goal at 7.7 seconds left.
Not only does the win assure the Panthers a second District 1, 5A playoff game next week at Unionville, but it was legendary coach Kevin Clancy’s 300th win at the helm of the Panthers.
The Eagles got off to a slow start and had a difficult time on offense and defense. The Panthers opened the game on a six-minute touchdown drive, capped off by a Sean Daly one-yard run.
Shanahan got within 7-6 when Connor Whalen scored on a two-yard touchdown run and a badly missed extra point. Ethan Belville scooped up a fumbled Shanahan QB/RB exchange, and rumbled 17 yards for a 14-6 halftime lead for the Panthers from Wallingford.
The only score of the third quarter, came when Shanahan quarterback Andrew Smyth scored from two yards out and completed a two point conversion pass to Steve Sweeney to tie the game at 14-14. Following a short Panther punt, Danny DiBenedetto took a handoff 50 yards to pay dirt and a 21-14 lead. Strath Haven drove down the field to tie the game on a 30-yard pass to a fallen down Thomas Foster.
The touchdown pass set up the stage for Young’s heroics. Smyth threw a tip drill interception, giving the Panthers the ball in plus territory. Haven ground out the clock to 7.7 seconds, Young kicked a 24 yard field goal, and stopped Shanahan’s last gasp.
On the milestone win, Kevin Clancy stated, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was a gutsy win. All our defense making plays. It wasn’t easy, we ground it away. A sophomore LB made the interception to put us in a position to win.”
Shanahan boss Paul Meyers said, “Give them credit, we made mistakes, and the fumble return was the difference in the game.”
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