High School Football:
Saturday, Nov. 15, 1997
By Art Redd
Unbelievable game. If you left the game early against the Overbrook Rams and the Camden Panthers on Saturday, you missed a very good game. Coach Reggie Lawrence was very animated in telling his players that they had to win this game. He also told them to keep their heads in the game and don't give up. This was when his Panthers were down 24 - 0. Each time his team would struggle on offense, he continued to have faith in his team. Well, that faith got Camden (6-1) an overtime victory over Overbrook (4-3).
The momentum definitely started out on the Rams side when Imion Powell ran through a hole on the left side for a 67 yard touchdown on the first posession of the game. Powell was not finished with getting more points on the scoreboard. Rams quarterback Rich Wilson pitched the ball to Powell, who then tossed an option pass to a wide open Isaac Stahre for a 30 yard touchdown. The Rams then added a field goal with 24 seconds left in the half.
Down 17 - 0 at the start of the second half, Panthers quarterback Francis Brown had his work cut out for him. He was pressured by the defense for most of the game. The Rams Brent English intercepted a pass returned it inside the 10 yard line. Ken Medley scored and the Rams were up 24 points with 8:58 remaining in the game.
That's when the comeback began. On a third down and long, Brown completed a pass to Tyree Jackson to the Rams 27 yard line. The Panthers first score came on a 15 yard touchdown pass to tight end Kendalle Gibson. Brown then scored the two point conversion on a bootleg right. With 7:04 left in the game and down 16 points, the Rams recovered the on-side attempt.
The key moment in the game had to be when Coach Lawrence decided to use all his timeouts when the defense prevented Overbrook from getting a first down from their own 3 yard line. With 1:14 left in the game, the Rams decided to take a safety instead of risking a blocked punt from their endzone. Then Francis Brown began to find his favorite target. Kendale Gibson received a pass inside the 10 yard line with 52 seconds left in the game. Brown then completed a pass to Gene Robinson for a touchdown.
Now down 8 points after a missed 2 point conversion, the Panthers recovered an on-sides kick with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Rasheen Clark caught a touchdown pass when defensive back Imion Powell slipped on the play. The unbelievable comeback was completed with a successful 2 point bootleg option pass to tight end Ira Parker.
In overtime, the Rams field goal was unsuccessful and the Panthers won the game with a pass to Brown's favorite target of the day. Gibson's touchdown completed a string of 30 straight points to remain at the top of their division.
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