A playoff appearance is not in the cards for the Bowie Jackrabbits as any hope of grabbing the fourth seed got dashed on Friday as they lost to Paradise in their final home game.
The Jackrabbits dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of. Though their valiant effort gave them a chance to win, it came up short 42-35.
The Panther’s fast and powerful quarterback Jace Essig got Paradise going out of the gate as he scored three touchdowns on the ground to give the Panthers a 21-0 lead. They were able to capitalize on two Jackrabbit turnovers and turn them into points.
Bowie’s offense was able to respond with a touchdown drive of their own as Ty Harris scored from six yards out to cut the lead to 21-7.
It did not take long for Paradise to go back up by 21 as Jack Ishmael took the kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers led 28-7 heading into the second quarter.
The Jackrabbits offense was able to cut the lead to 14 as slot receiver Joey Crawford scored on a five-yard jet sweep run to make it 28-14.
Bowie and Paradise traded touchdowns as Essig scored again on the ground and Jackrabbit quarterback Payton Price scored on diving 12-yard run to make the score 35-21.
Bowie could not keep Essig out of the end zone one last time before the half as Paradise led 42-21.
The Jackrabbits defense came out as a different animal in the second half while the good momentum the offense had pored over to start the second half.
They received the opening kickoff and drove down the field. A pass interference call against the Panthers set up Price scoring on an 11-yard run to cut the lead to 42-28.
Bowie’s defense was able to stall Paradise’s offense on the Jackrabbit’s 21 yard line, their first official stop of the day and a sign of things to come in the half.
Unfortunately, the Jackrabbits offense came up just short on fourth down deep in Panther’s territory and came away with no points as the game went into the fourth quarter.
After forcing Paradise to punt deep in their territory, Bowie moved the ball down the field with Price scoring his third touchdown of the game on a two yard run to cut the lead to 42-35.
With more than seven minutes to go and all of the momentum, it looked like the Jackrabbits might complete the comeback.
Bowie next got the ball near midfield with more than six minutes to go. Everything was poised for them to go tie the game and potentially get the ball back for a game winning drive if they scored fast enough.
Unfortunately, the Jackrabbits threw an interception at Paradise’s own 25 yard line.
Still with a little more than five minutes to go and all of their timeouts, if Bowie stopped the Panthers it would leave plenty of time for them to score.
Paradise’s offense would not be denied as they steadily made the plays to earn first downs and keep the clock moving as they ran the clock out. The Panthers won 42-35
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.