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October 19, 2013
VENICE -- The Largo Packers used a last-second touchdown and two-point conversion to stun Venice 22-21 Friday night.
With time expiring in the fourth quarter and trailing 21-14, Largo quarterback Donovan Hale dropped back in the pocket and heaved up a 36 yard hail Mary pass to the right corner of the end zone. Collectively, the people in the stands at Venice High School held their breath as the ball spiraled through the air directly towards Largo receiver Reggie Campbell. Campbell created just enough space to safely catch the ball for a touchdown and the Largo sideline erupted in joy.
With emotions running high after the last second Hail Mary, Largo was able to make Venice jump early and they were called for encroachment on the extra point attempt. Now with a short distance to go, Largo elected to go for a two point conversion and the win.
Venice almost certainly knew the ball was going to Largo running back Jarvis Stewart, who had been carrying the offense all night. Regardless, Stewart took the handoff and raced toward the pylon.
With the Venice defenders closing the gap to Stewart, he dove in desperation with the ball extended and knocked the pylon over just before sailing out of bounds. The players looked to the sideline referee who thrusted his arms up in the air proclaiming the two point conversion was successful.
The Largo stands cheered in disbelief at the turn of circumstances. Venice had led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter and it seemed as though they were in total control of the game.
Led by Stewart (committed to USF, who recorded 74 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, Largo was able to mount a comeback. Hale scored on a quarterback keeper roughly halfway through the fourth to make it interesting, but Largo was unable to get closer than that until the last second of the game.
Venice only scored one offensive touchdown of the game and missed both of their field goal attempts. Two of their scores came on punt plays. One was a strip on a punt return by Largo and the other was a 60 yard return of a blocked punt.
Largo on the other hand had three offensive touchdowns, two on the ground and one in the air. Venice now sits at 7-2 on the year and Largo improves to 6-1.