By Bob Grotz
Three times Strath Haven senior Charlie Shankweiler visualized how his 31-yard field goal attempt could bring redemption Friday night.
Once after a Panthers timeout to set up the kick with the game tied and three seconds left, again after a timeout by Springfield and finally after another timeout to ice him. In the back of Shankweiler’s mind was the PAT attempt blocked after the first Panthers touchdown.
Moments after quarterback and placeholder Sam Milligan told him, “You got this, you do this every day in practice,” Shankweiler split the uprights as time expired to give the Panthers a walk-off 17-14 Central League victory over Springfield. Shankweiler disappeared in a sea of bodies, a miss earlier this season against Haverford forgiven.
“We couldn’t let it happen again,” Shankweiler said. “You’ve just got to stay focused, take deep breaths. It’s simple stuff. I play goalkeeper for the soccer team. I know how to handle pressure. It’s simple stuff.”
Milligan did a solid job of grabbing the high snap and planting the ball for Shankweiler. Except for missing a deep throw, Milligan was flawless and gritty on the last possession of the game, converting a huge fourth-and-one at the 41-yard line of the Cougars with a sneak up the middle. A misfire there and the Cougars’ Luke Coary, who also has a big leg, could have been a few pass completions from ending it.
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