Sophomore kicker Nathan Garcia booted a 27-yard field goal as time expired Friday night to lift Lecanto High to a 15-13 homecoming victory over Clearwater Central Catholic.
Panthers quarterback Todd Bandhauer steered his team from the 50 to the Marauder 9 before throwing an incompletion out of bounds to stop the clock with 4 seconds left and Clearwater Central Catholic clinging to a 13-12 lead. Holder Dusty Seager got down the pivotal snap at the 17 and Garcia split the uprights as the buzzer sounded to set off a wild celebration.
"It was the most pressure I've had on me, but I had to pull through for the team," Garcia said. "I have a good holder and good snapper, though."
Central Catholic (0-8) had taken the lead with 1:02 remaining in the game when junior quarterback Chris Defant scampered 22 yards for a touchdown to cap a 76-yard, seven-play march. Ethan Sevilla delivered the point-after and the Marauders led 13-12.
But Bandhauer brought the Panthers (2-6) right back with four pass completions to junior wideout Tyler Hunsinger, plus a 15-yarder to James Costa at the Marauder 9 that preceded Garcia's heroics.
Lecanto held a 6-0 advantage as the fourth period began. But Central Catholic scored on a 37-yard touchdown run by Greg Sabra to tie the game.
Terrance Joyner returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards to the Marauder 1 for Lecanto. Costa ran the ball in on the first play from scrimmage for his second touchdown of the night, but a two-point conversion attempt failed and Defant countered with his touchdown run.
Bandhauer finished with 131 passing yards to give him 1,170 and thus set a new season record for the Panthers. Robert O'Steen held the old mark of 1,151 yards set in 1987.