There's no doubt that Samir Ramic's 35-yard game-winning field goal in the third overtime period sent ripples across Parkview Nation Friday night.
Ramic's kick, his third of the game and second in overtime, led the Black Knights to a 30-27 upset of sixth-ranked Parkview, sending their Homecoming Night fans streaming onto the field and leaving the visitors from Lilburn stunned in disbelief.
The loss for Parkview (6-2 overall) snapped its five-game winning streak — during which it handled the region's elite teams —and dropped the Panthers into a four-team tie for first place in Region 8-AAAAAA with Grayson, Brookwood and South Gwinnett, all with 5-1 region records.
It was a difficult-to-watch game for the Panthers and their fans.
They saw a potential game-winning field goal get blocked in the second overtime period. They watched Central quarterback Evan Westmoreland complete 34 of 48 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns, including a 17-yarder with 1:02 that sent the game into OT. They struggled with injured star running back Chris Carson on the sideline, and rushed for only 122 yards on 51 carries. And it certainly doesn't sit well that the loss came against a Central Gwinnett team (4-4, 2-4), that despite its talent was on a four-game losing streak and already out of the playoff picture.
But as difficult as Friday was, breath easy Panther fans. Look ahead, and not behind, and see that you still have your destiny in your own hands.
Archer's loss to South Gwinnett Friday clinched a playoff berth for Parkview. And with wins over Berkmar next week and South Gwinnett the following week, the Panthers can win the region title because they would hold all of the tiebreakers.
Central may have played as well as it can in Friday's win, and its talent at the offensive skill postion made the Black Knights that much more dangerous. Ramir's winning kick came after Parkview turned the ball over on downs in its final possession of overtime.
The score was 24-24 after regulation and the teams traded field goals in the first overtime period.
Parkview had an opportunity to win it in the second OT after holding Central on downs. But Tyler Stephenson's field goal try from 32 yards on first down was blocked. That set up Ramic's kick.
Parkview trailed 17-7 at one point, but stormed back late. The Panthers took a 24-17 lead on Justis Rosser's 16-yard run — a score set up by Rosser's brilliant interception at the Parkview 1 and long return well into Central territory. That came after a 20-yard interception return for a TD by Parkview's Kyle Williams earlier in the fourth quarter that tied the score at 17-17.
But after Rosser's TD, Westmoreland took Central on a 54-yard drive on four straight completions to tie the score with 1:02 left. He threw 17 yards to Adam Riley for the touchdown to force OT.
Justis Rosser scored two rushing touchdowns for Parkview. His 4-yard run in the first quarter gave Parkview a 7-0. Rosser led the Panthers with 43 rushing yards. Stephenson added two field goals, one which came in OT.