Lead slips away as Panthers lose a 49-43 thriller to Trumbull

Shane Walker hauls in a 7 yard touchdown pass from Dylan Jackson to pull Masuk within 42-41 late in the fourth quarter against Trumbull. Photo by Steve Minnick

MONROE, CT — Last fall, Masuk High’s football team thrived on pulling last-minute, sometimes final seconds, wins out of a hat.

It was almost a continuation of that trend in this year’s season opener, but a late go-ahead touchdown and two-point conversion did not stand thanks to visiting Trumbull scoring in the waning seconds. The Eagles beat Masuk 49-43 in a wild opener, in Monroe Friday.

The Panthers trailed 27-7 at the half and battled back to take two leads, including one in the final half minute when Masuk trailed by a point and went for two. Gavin Walker’s two-point conversion run made it 43-42 Masuk after Gavin Walker’s seven yard touchdown reception pulled the Panthers to within a point. The Eagles got the ball back with only 26 seconds left and punched in the go-ahead score with three seconds to go.

In addition to his seven-yard TD catch, Shane Walker scored on 45 and 35 yard passing plays from quarterback Dylan Jackson. Jason Champagne scored on a one yard run and a 45 yard TD reception. Gavin Walker scored on a 40 yard run.

Masuk compiled 506 yards of offense. Jackson completed 18 of 27 passes for 275 yards and four TDs. Champagne carried the ball 16 times for 122 yards. Gavin Walker had seven carries for 90 yards. Shane Walker had seven catches for 109.

Masuk will host Notre Dame-Fairfield Friday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m.

Photographer Steve Minnick shared his work for a gallery of Panthers’ highlights:

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