Imagine Prep-Superstition is headed to the CAA 8-man football playoffs.
The Panthers eked out a 44-38 overtime win over El Dorado on Oct. 26 in Chandler. IPS (5-2) is seeded fifth when the playoffs start this weekend. Pairings have yet to be announced.
"I got emotional at the end of the game with the players. I love these guys,” Panthers Coach Jeremy Brigham said. “It was like watching a heavyweight slugfest go back and forth all the way to the very final bell.
“Our players were exhausted but dug deeper and found a way to finish El Dorado in overtime. That showed me a lot and the future is bright."
Senior quarterback Seth Highstreet passed for one touchdown and two 2-point conversions, and had a touchdown run of 20 yards and a 14-yard game-winning score in overtime.
Coach Brigham gave much of the credit for the win to the Panther defense. ‘Coach (Lance) Uehling’s defense had a key stop in overtime when it counted with many great group tackles from Shane Watson, Jeremy Brigham, Nick Miller and Khristian Davis.
Sophomore Aiden Bridge had touchdown runs of 6 and 20 yards. Junior Kasen Fish rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, Freshman Stephen Shinberg caught a 20-yard TD pass from Highstreet, and Jason Morgan had a 20-yard touchdown run.
Also, late in the game, Highstreet made a key interception, and Shinberg had a fumble recovery on a kickoff.
“The guys showed how much they were prepared on that last stand. They could have caved in, but they showed the heart of a lion.
It was good to see no quit in their eyes.”
The Panthers’ 5-2 finish is what Coach Brigham called “a really satisfying moment for me as a coach. We reached the big goal of making the playoffs, while working all season to change the culture.
“It’s a great feeling for a coach, especially to look at where we are from where we started.
“My hat goes off to the Panther football coaches, players and faculty for making the playoffs, and I personally want to thank my assistant coaches for all their hard work and dedication to rebuilding this football program on and off the field.
“The playoffs are next, and the Imagine Prep Panther Nation is very excited to be part of the postseason.’
El Dorado finished its season at 1-7.