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Special Photo/Scott Lashley Alexander coach Matt Combs goes over some plays with quarterback Mason Wood during Friday's region loss to Langston Hughes.

As the game came to an end, tensions rose as Alexander and Langston Hughes went tic-for-tac with the Panthers ultimately getting the 26-20 three overtime Region 5-AAAAAA win on Friday.

Langston Hughes quarterback Elijah Watkins scored the deciding touchdown in the third over time for the Panthers third straight win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Langston Hughes improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 while Alexander dropped to 5-2 and 4-1 as they move out of a first place tie with Mays.

With just under eight minutes remaining, Watkins tied the game at 13-13 with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Alexander would have one last chance to win in regulation but a field goal attempt was missed with 35 seconds remaining sending the game into overtime.

Alexander quarterback Mason Wood Wood pushed his team on its last possession. He carried the ball from the 15 yards as the team began to push towards the end zone. With 50 seconds left,  Alexander found themselves 10 yards away from breaking the tie.

Unfortunately, Bryson Irby was stopped a yard short of the end zone, as the Cougars sent their field goal unit on the field.

Kade Austill’s first attempt was good but offsides was called on the Panthers. Austill’s second attempt missed with 35 seconds to go.

No team found any luck getting into the end zone in the first half of the game. However, Alexander still found a way to get onto the scoreboard.

In their first possession of the night, the Cougars had four plays before a pass to Ryan Shepherd resulted in a personal foul on the Panthers, sending the Cougars to the 14- yard line. And just as quick as Alexander got those extra yards, they lost them with a personal foul of their own sending the team back to the 20- yard line.

Alexander decided to use Austill for their fourth down, which resulted in a 3-0 score with 6:19 left in the opening frame.

Langston Hughes spent little time in their two possession thanks to Cougar defense. In the first half, Panthers relied heavily on running Christian Royalston down the middle.

Royalston finished the night with 150 yards on 24 carries to reach the 1,000-yard mark on the season. He has 1,113 yards heading into the Panthers next two regular-season games.

In the second quarter, Panthers attempted twice for a field goal with Zidane Bogie. The first attempt was a 36 yard field goal with 7:41 left in the half. The second attempt came just before halftime, when Langston Hughes  tried to press hard towards the end zone with 18 plays.

Alexander came into the second quarter with a very promising possession, starting at the 4-yard line on a third down the team had an incomplete pass. They followed it up with a Austill kick for a 6-0 lead.

Langston Hughes seemed to step its game up in the second half. On their second possession in the new half, T.J. Portress broke away from Cougar defense for the Panthers’ first touchdown of the night. Zidane Bogie put the new score at 7-6, putting Panthers in the lead for the first time in the night.

That didn’t sit well with the Alexander squad however, they quickly responded with a touchdown of their own at the 3:42 mark.  Jalen Morgan had an amazing 55 yard play as he regained the lead for the home team, Kade Austill secured the extra point for a 13-7 lead.

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