MABANK — After Korey Roberts’ 40-yard field goal struck the cross bar and bounced over, giving Mabank a 31-27 lead over visiting Palestine with three minutes to play Friday, the Panthers appeared to be in business.
But, Palestine took the ball 76 yards on the ensuing drive and capped it with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Brian Gummelt to Nico Barnard to cap a 35-31 comeback win.
The touchdown throw was Gummelt’s only completion of the second half. The linebacker-turned-quarterback finished the night 7-for-15 for 61 yards. Darrius Stephens carried the bulk of the Palestine offensive load, carrying the ball 23 times for 179 yards, including a big chunk of the Wildcats' yards on the final drive.
Jarrell Owens had 81 yards on the ground for Palestine on only nine carries, while Gummelt ran for 44.
The late touchdown sullied a big night for the Panthers offense, a night in which Austin Craig threw for 244 yards on only four completions, all touchdowns.
Three of those passes went to Ryan Walker, while the fourth found the hands of Chans Hall.
Mabank trailed early in the game 21-7, but tied the game just before halftime on a 69-yard hookup from Craig to Hall.
The Panthers then scored the second half’s first points when no one covered Walker and he rumbled 97 yards for a score.
Korey Givens ran for 139 yards in the loss for Mabank.
Palestine (2-2) entertains Athens (3-1) at 7:30 p.m. in the final non-district game, while Mabank (2-2) plays host to Brownsboro (0-4).