New England Football League PANTHERS WIN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP | New England Football League


New England Football League


GLENS FALLS, NY – In an epic battle between champions, the CT Panthers last second winning touchdown gives them a 20-16 victory over the Syracuse Shock. The win will give the Panthers a chance to compete for a National Championship in January.

The Northeast Regional Championships matched up the Panthers against the league champion from the Empire Football League, the Syracuse Shock. &ldquot;We knew they were a quality organization on a great run this year&rdquot; said Derek Bortz, &ldquot;it took every bit of four quarters to win this game.&rdquot; The Panthers opened up scoring in the first quarter with a 58 yard punt return from Shonte Wynn for a touchdown. Although the Panthers controlled the ball most of the half, untimely penalties and two turnovers inside the ten yard line left the NEFL Championships frustrated. A juggling 42 yard catch by receiver Tyrone Burke with just over two minutes to play in the second quarter tied the game and gave the Shock momentum heading into the half.

Limited to less than 50 yards of offense in the first half, the Panthers inserted Jamie &ldquot;Rocket&rdquot; Bryant in at quarterback to start the third quarter. Keeping the ball mostly on the ground, the Panthers mount a 67 yard drive culminating in a 2 yard scoring run by Tyrone Kelly. The score put the Panthers up 14-8 and in control of the game.

The Panthers defense was led by Dustin Linden who finished the game with three tackles and three sacks of quarterback TJ Sheard. &ldquot;We put a lot of pressure on TJ all night&rdquot; said Bortz, &ldquot;we truly wanted to see if he could beat us as we worked to take away their running game.&rdquot; Controlled most of the game, 220 pound runner Justyn Hardwick started to make an impact on the game in the final quarter. Pounding the middle of the offensive line, Hardwick's hard running set up change of pace speedster Dewayne Gordon for a 65 yard sprint around the right edge giving the Shock the lead with just over ten minutes to play in regulation.

After a few changes of possession, a fumble recovery by Wynn set the Panthers up at the 50 yard line with three minutes to play. &ldquot;We knew we had to score this drive or our season would be over&rdquot; said Bryant. Mostly with his legs, Bryant led the offense inside the 3 yard line with less than a minute to play. A stiffed Shock defense stopped a run by Kelly and a few attempts by Bryant to bring up a 4th and goal situation on the six inch line with less than 30 seconds left in the Panthers season. &ldquot;All that we've gone through this season came down to one final play&rdquot; said Bryant, &ldquot;I refused to let us come up short.&rdquot; A well-timed surge by Syracuse linebacker EJ Maeweather stopped Bryant's original leap towards the end zone. As the Panthers offensive line continued to fight, Bryant reached out the ball and broke the goal line which sent the officials hands up to signal the game's final touchdown. &ldquot;A great effort by the entire team&rdquot; said Bortz, &ldquot;it was a win like no other we had this season; to be down like that on the road and to come back and get a win as time expired says a lot about these guys.&rdquot;

The win gives the Panthers a ticket to Florida in January to compete for a National Championship. &ldquot;This is a great year of football for the Panthers organization&rdquot; said a NEFL representative, &ldquot;they are a great representative for our league; we wish them the best of luck in Florida.&rdquot;





















PASSING Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Rich Snowden 4 13 23 0 2
Jamie Bryant 1 2 11 0 0


RECEIVING Catch Yards TD's   Catch Yards TD's
Shonte Wynn 1 11 0 Jamie Bryant 3 21 0
Taurean Gaston 1 2 0        


RUSHING Rush Yards TD's   Rush Yards TD's
Jamie Bryant 13 94 1 Shonte Wynn 3 16 0
Taurean Gaston 8 25 0 Tyrone Kelly 4 16 1
Ozzie Hill 1 2 0        



Gerald Patrick 5      
Tylee Flowers 4      
Dustin Linden 3 3    
Sam Saylor 2 1    
Corey Johnson 2 1    
Andrew Pratt 2 1 1 26 yard return
Antwan Carr 1     Pass Deflection
Shonte Wynn 3     Fumble Recovery


Shonte Wynn 58 yard punt return- TD

Panthers offense against the Syracuse Shock

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