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Eagles stun Mulberry in 5A-10

Posted on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

By Rick Pedone
Sports Editor

Poinciana rallied from a 16-point deficit with less than a minute left in regulation to stun Mulberry, 36-30, in overtime Friday at the Phosphate Bowl.

It was perhaps the most improbable football win of the school’s 22-year history. The Eagles, 4-4 and 2-1, will host Auburndale Friday at 7 p.m. in 5A District 10 with a playoff berth at stake. The winner of the game will advance to the regional playoffs as the district runner-up.

Poinciana trailed, 30-14, with a minute to play when quarterback Jonathan Lindstrom, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more, found Gabrial  Loyola for a 45-yard touchdown play with 58 seconds left. Lindstrom then hit Darian Dickson for two points to pull the Eagles within eight points, 30-22.

The Panthers recovered the ensuing kickoff and and seemed to have the game wrapped up, but a fumble at the Poinciana 40 gave the Eagles a chance.

Lindstrom struck again with a 60-yard TD pass to Josh Lopez with just seven seconds to play. The game hinged on the next play, a two-point conversion, that was successful when Lopez scored from the 3 to tie the score at 30.

The Eagles defense held on Mulberry’s overtime possession, then Lindstrom, who scored twice in the second quarter on 1-yard runs, scored from the 3 for the game winner.

Ryan Calmont caught a two-point conversion pass from Lindstrom in the second quarter.

The Eagles led 14-10 at the half, but the Panthers, 2-7 and 1-3, scored 20 unanswered points and seemed to have the game under control.

Poinciana last reached the playoffs in 2000 as a regional wild card, a format no longer employed by the Florida High School Athletics Association. This marks the first time since 2000 (6-5) that the Eagles have won four games in a season.