Down by 18 with less than five minutes remaining Strawberry Crest thought it had the game won, only to have a flag wipe out a touchdown.
Austin Carswell, who entered at quarterback when starter Tristan Hyde was hurt, completed two touchdown passes in the closing minutes and with 15 seconds left struck for a third. But it was wiped out by illegal motion.
“Bogus” is how coach John Kelly described the call. Worse yet the Chargers — who were without timeouts — scrambled to spike the ball and run another play, but an inadvertent whistle blew with three seconds left. As Carswell looked to see what the whistle was about, the clock continued to run and the game ended.
“We battled. We played the oldest high school in Florida and we’re in our fifth year, and that’s the demeanor we have to take out of this game,” Kelly said.
After the Chargers led 14-7, Leon ran off the next 25 points. A safety was followed by a free-kick return touchdown, and it became 32-14 with 6:48 remaining.
But Carswell went to work and the Chargers (1-2) cut the deficit to six at the two-minute mark.
The defense got the ball back, with Leon fumbling inside its 20 before but recovering before a punt had Strawberry Crest at the Leon 41 with 50 seconds remaining.