Panthers rally in second half to shock Lexington

The Carolina Forest High football team captured its first-ever playoff victory at the Class 5A level, and the Panthers (6-5) did so in dramatic comeback fashion.

Carolina Forest scored five unanswered touchdowns to upset host Lexington 34-21, erasing an early 14-0 deficit and overcoming an apparent early injury to senior quarterback Matt Beale. He returned to throw three second-half touchdowns to take down the Wildcats.

Lexington went up 14-0 until Panthers backup quarterback Mason Garcia entered to cap a touchdown drive that cut the deficit in half at intermission. But Beale came back and connected with Shawn Mallo to even the score. Beale later hooked up with Jackson Weatherwax, and again with Mallo in the fourth quarter to jump out to a 34-14 lead.

Lexington scored a late TD and were threatening to add another before the Carolina Forest defense rose to the occasion and close out the historic win.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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