ORLANDO — Bloomingdale turned the ball over twice in the second half and blew an 11-point lead in a Class 8A region quarterfinal Friday, falling 24-21 to Orlando Dr. Phillips.
The final turnover proved most heartbreaking for the Bulls.
On the 11th play of Bloomingdale's final drive, the ball slipped from the grasp of junior quarterback Isaiah McIntyre as he pulled his arm back to pass. Tashaun Lindquist recovered for Dr. Phillips at its own 32-yard line with 57 seconds left, and the Panthers drained the remainder of the clock.
"When I went to throw it, it just fell out," an emotional McIntyre said afterward. "We played our best and played our hearts out, but didn't come out on top."
Bloomingdale led 14-3 entering the second half but could not slow down the Panthers' running game in the final two quarters.
Dr. Phillips rushed 10 times for 64 yards to cut the lead to 14-10 when Jaquarius Bargnare reached the end zone from 6 yards out. McIntyre lost a fumble on the next possession and the Panthers rushed for 85 more yards on eight plays, resulting in another touchdown by Bargnare from 3 yards out, with less than three minutes left in the third.
But the Bulls rallied by converting on fourth down twice on their next possession and capitalizing on a roughing-the-passer call that overturned an interception with 10 minutes remaining.
McIntyre then connected with Logan Crouse, who broke through tackles and reached the 2-yard line on a 29-yard gain. Chris Wonsley scored with nine minutes left to put Bloomingdale on top.
The Panthers responded with big gains on the ground to take the lead for good when Emare Hogan leaped into the end zone for a 3-yard score.
"When you're in a playoff atmosphere, every play matters," Bloomingdale coach Brian Surcy said. "I know my quarterback is hurting right now, but there's other plays that we could have made earlier in the game and maybe we wouldn't have been in that situation. It's a team effort and every play matters."
McIntyre finished with 166 yards passing on 17 of 29 attempts with a touchdown. Fred McCoy led Bloomingdale with 64 rushing yards and a touchdown in the first quarter.