For just a moment, it looked like the PHS varsity football team would win the district title and advance to the Class 2 quarterfinals.
But then a yellow flag appeared on the field.
The Panthers were looking for a miracle play, and thought they got it.
Down 30-26 to Clark County with 56 seconds left and facing third and 10 from their own 47, the Panthers were down to probably two more chances when quarterback Corder Lehenbauer launched a long pass down the left side toward Cooper Hinkle, who was covered by one player, the speedy Caleb Lapsley.
The senior wide-out made a leaping grab and raced the final 23 yards into the end-zone setting off a short-lived, but wild celebration by Palmyra players and fans.
Unfortunately for Palmyra, Cooper was flagged for pushing off the defender--offensive pass interference--and the probable game winning play was erased.
The Panthers still had two more chances, but gave up the ball on downs.
The Indians ran out the clock and will play at Hallsville this Saturday for a chance to play in the semifinals.
“It was too bad,” said Coach Kevin Miles, still stunned by the outcome.
“I can’t say enough about Cooper and Corder both,” he said. “They are in the game to win it. It was a great throw and a great catch.”
Miles did not dispute the call, but acknowledged Cooper’s push off probably looked worse than it was.
“Maybe he could have been more discrete about it,” he said. “But, it is what it is. It was a great throw and catch.”
See entire story in this week's Palmyra Spectator.