Cavaliers Fall to Palmetto Panthers in a Spirited Match-Up


Patrick Ales, Staff Writer

The much anticipated fifth game of the season for the Coral Gables Cavaliers Football team pitted them against the  Palmetto Panthers. The Cavaliers were 3-1 coming into the game, having just beat Miami High and looking to build on the impressive 35-0 win against their long time adversary. Palmetto was also coming off of a strong outing, having beat Ferguson 42-0 in their last game and sporting a 3-0 record. The match-up between Gables and Palmetto was sure to be a pivotal point for both teams’ seasons.

The Cavaliers came out of the gates strong, taking an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. They would soon extend this lead through a field goal late in the second quarter. In a system predicated on a strong defense, Coach Pollard’s team held Palmetto scoreless through the first three quarters of the game. By the end of quarter three, the Cavaliers were up 13-0 and looked to be in firm control of the game.

The fourth and final quarter would prove to be decisive, as Palmetto scored their first touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game, making the score 13-6 due to a missed extra point. Possession would then switch between the teams with no real scoring threat, until Palmetto completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to level the score at 13. The Cavaliers would have one last chance to drive down the field and score, but fumbled the ball on their own 30-yard line. The Panthers would take over possession already in field goal position, and a spectacular catch by their wide receiver would put them two yards from the end zone. With little time remaining, a field goal would give Palmetto the victory. With such close proximity to the goal posts, many thought the game was over. A well-coordinated special teams unit was able to block the field goal and send the game into overtime, leaving the game tied at 13-13.

“Everyone in the stands thought the game was over when Palmetto lined up to take the field goal, but the block brought new life to all the fans,” senior Max Rego said.

After the miraculous blocked kick, Gables had all the momentum going into overtime. Their defense was able to hold Palmetto to a field goal in their first drive of the period, and now the offense could win the game with a touchdown, or send it into double overtime with a field goal. Determined to prove that they could recapture the ability they had shown earlier in the game, the offense was ready to take the field. Unfortunately, they fumbled the ball and were forced back to the 25-yard line. This would set up a crucial 42-yard field goal to keep the Cavaliers alive. The kick fell short, and Gables was forced to surrender their 13-point lead and lose the game. Despite the loss, team morale had been fairly high coming into the game, and surprisingly stayed at the same level even after the game.

“As a team we were very confident going into the game, we understood that we were going up against a very tough opponent, but that did not deter us from playing our hardest,” senior Kade Marriott said. Marriott is the team’s punter and is in his first year on the football roster. “We have been striving to let that loss motivate us because we know we can play with the best of the best,” Marriott added.

The Coral Gables Cavaliers Football team continues their season on Sep. 28 against Miami Beach Senior High. A roster full of talented players will surely be looking to prove that they are able to compete with some of the best teams in the state. As they embark upon what has already been an impressive and successful season, be sure to wish your Cavaliers luck as they try to  continue their winning ways!