Dr. Phillips Panthers out of Florida defeated a tough Brick City Lions team from New Jersey here in the opening round of the Unlimited division at the 58th Annual Pop Warner Super Bowl 22-18.
When the game started coming to an end, it wasn’t looking good for Dr. Phillips. They never counted themselves out and found a way to finish with the win with a couple big plays in the final two minutes of the game!
The first half was a defensive slugfest! Brick City opened the game in the scoring column with a 2 yard run from Aziz Wilson to put Brick City up 6-0. Dr. Phillips wouldn’t go away though as they tie the score with a 30 yard touchdown pass from Thomas Furry to Devon Buckhanon.
Defense was a huge part of the game, especially in the first half. Darren Fields intercepted the ball for Brick City with 54 seconds looking to score before half but on the ensuing play, Parker Mara intercepted Maasai Maynor to get the ball back for the Panthers. The Panthers were unable to capitalize and at halftime, the score was tied 6-6!
The second half had a lot of excitement. Brick City opened the second half with a great start. The Lions quarterback Maasai Maynor threw a screen pass to Zamir Mickens who made a terrific juke move to get free and gain 40 yards. That play set up an 8 yard touchdown run from Aziz Wilson, his second of the game, to put the Lions up 12-6. The Lions would then get another big play from Maynor and Mickens after they connect for a perfectly thrown pass to get the ball to the Panthers 5 yard line. Two plays later, Maynor scores on a sneak up the middle to up the lead to 18-6.
Down 12 going into the final quarter, the Panthers never gave up! Jaquarri Powell broke two big tackles to go 38 yards for the touchdown and with the extra point kicked through the upright, the score was 18-14 halfway through the fourth quarter. After a big defensive stop by the Panthers, they got the ball back with 4:30 remaining in the game. On fourth down and 2, Caleb McMillan came up huge and wouldn’t be denied to get the first down!
After having another fourth down, this time from 10 yards out, Panthers quarterback Thomas Furry connected with Wide Receiver Derrick Mays for a 20 yard first down catch to extend the drive. Caleb McMillan delivered with 22 seconds remaining to score from 5 yards out to give the Panthers a 22-18 lead. That would prove to be the final score as the Panthers come from behind to win and advance.
The Panthers advance to play the Everett Crimson Tide (MA) on December 10th at 11 am on Field 28.