The Glades Central Raiders' undefeated streak came to an end on Dec. 11 as they fell to the Dillard Panthers 33-6 in the tri-county semifinal.
The Panthers took a 6-0 lead on their opening drive, but the Raider offense nearly had a response on their own opening drive.
Glades Central marched all the way down to the Dillard 1-yard line. On third down Glades Central quarterback Zo'Marion Harper attempted to cross the goal line on a quarterback sneak but the play was stuffed. On fourth down the Raiders tried a play action but the pass attempt sailed high out of the endzone and Glades Central turned the ball over on downs.
The two teams traded punts until, midway through the second quarter Dillard senior Leonard Shoultz punched the ball into the endzone on a two-yard run to make the score 12-0 after the two point attempt was no good.
Glades Central's offense turned the ball over again on a failed fourth down with less than a minute left in the half. The Panthers took advantage of that opportunity and added another touchdown to go up 18-0 after the extra point missed.
The Raider's only score of the game would come with only one second remaining in the first half.
With their offense at around mid-field Zo’Marion threw a Hail Mary into the endzone. The pass was picked off by a Panther defender who then tried to run down field. But Glades Central's An’Tavious Traver stripped the defender and recovered the ball for a touchdown.
Both teams went into halftime with the Panthers up 18-6
The Raiders and Panthers were scoreless in the third quarter, though Glades Central had a chance with a field goal that went wide.
The Glades Central offense would commit two more turnovers, both interceptions, in the fourth quarter. Those turnovers would eventually lead to two more Panther touchdowns.
"I'm proud of the kids," said Raiders coach Rashad Jackson to New Era Prep after the game. "As you know we couldn't practice this week. Long story short is the boys fought hard. We got down to the 1-yard line and couldn't score. That kind of put us in a hole. That hurt us. We were in the game. Got down to within the 10-yard line three time but couldn't score."