BRADENTON — It won't show up in any box score, and it won't generate oohs and ahs like a long touchdown run. But Peyton Spencer's lunging, shoelace-grabbing trip-up of Canterbury's PJ Franklin stopped the Crusaders tailback from a certain touchdown.
It also kept Bradenton Christian up by two scores. That helped the Panthers earn a pivotal Class 2A, District 5 victory on Friday, 28-14
Spencer, a sophomore, added an interception in the closing minutes that allowed BCS (3-2 overall, 3-1 district) to put itself near the top of the district standings.
The Panthers, though, weren't always in control.
BCS sputtered in the first half, failing to convert two field goals and trailing 14-0 with Franklin (80-yard touchdown run) and Sammy Faucette (41-yard touchdown run) gouging the Panthers' early.
Franklin finished with 166 rushing yards on 18 attempts, but the intermission allowed BCS to adjust its defensive alignment and limit Canterbury to only two offensive plays longer than 10 yards in the second half.
A big key to the Panthers defense was John Giardina's 73-yard interception return off a Canterbury pitch where he timed the snap precisely.