With one quarter to play the Panthers faced a 23 point deficit. The situation looked bleak and it seemed that this 2011 Senior Day would end in defeat. Unfortunately for the Northwestern Eagles (6-4, 6-3 UMAC) 23 points was not enough to slay the mighty Panthers. Greenville College (6-3, 6-2 UMAC) scored all of their points in the 4th quarter to defeate the Eagles 27-23.
It was the visiting Eagles who struck first on Senior Day. Northwestern scored 16 points on four Panther turnovers in the 1st quarter. This included a muffed punt that led to a safety. The Panther offense continued to be silent in the second quarter. The Eagles managed the only score in the 2nd quarter after a 96 yard drive. It would be the last time a Eagle landed in the end zone.
The Panther defense rallied in the third quarter shuting out Northwestern. Unforuntuently the Eagles kept pace and kept the Panthers from changing the scoreboard. At the end of the 3rd quarter Greenville was looking down the barrel of a 23 point gun.
The historic Panther comeback began with a 21 play 98 yard drive that ended with a 3 yard touchdown run by JR RB Anthony Moore (Troup, TX). The next touchdown drive was shorter but just as important. SO QB Brendan Chambers (San Clemente, CA) capped a 4 play 42 yard drive with a 30 yard touchdown scamper, making the score 23-13
After the Panther defense forced the eighth Eagles punt of the game, Greenville took over at their own 37 yard line. On the 9th play of the drive Chambers hit FR WR Tre Lewis (Belleville, IL) for a 24 yard touchdown. That cut the Eagles lead to 3 with 5:04 left to play.
One first down and 82 seconds later the Greenville defense forced another Northwestern punt. Chambers and the Greenville offense took over at their own 24 yard line, down 3 with 3:42 left. The Panthers looked confident as they drove the 76 yards, ending in a SO RB Immannuel Gamble (St. Louis, MO) 5 yard touchdown run. Greenville took their first lead of the day, 27-23 with 1:04 left.
The Eagles took one more shot at the win only to be intercepted by SO CB Anthony Everett (Chicago, IL). The Panthers took a knee and celebrated their sixth win of the season.
Chambers finished the day 19 of 31 passing for 251 and 1 touchdown. He also rushed for 50 yards on 15 attempts and 1 touchdown. SR WR Ryan Boezeman (Dmott, IN) had a carear day pulling down 12 receptions for 160 yards. Gamble led the team in rushing with 108 yards.
The Panther defense was led by SO LB Cody Lopez (Bonita, CA) who had 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a half a sack. In addition to his INT Everett had 5.5 tackles
Next week is the final regular season game for the Panthers. They will travel to Aberdeen, South Dakota to take on first year program Presentation College (3-6, 3-5 UMAC). Kickoff is at 7PM.