The calendar hadn't even turned to September yet, but we witnessed a high school football classic August 29th at Chester Fritz Stadium as the storied Hermitage Panthers began yet another quest for an elusive state title, welcoming in Meadowbrook on opening night.
Late in the game, the Monarchs had seized the moment and looked to be on their way to victory. But there was a miracle just around the corner for the Panthers.
This is how we reported the crazy finish to this instant classic on our website that night in a game heard live on RVA Sports Network:
Rashad Robinson scored on an improbable 18-yard touchdown run with four seconds remaining tonight to give the Hermitage Panthers a stunning 25-21 win over Meadowbrook in the season opener for both teams.
Meadowbrook's Justin Miller, who gained 229 yards, scored his second touchdown of the night with 90 seconds left to give the Monarchs a 21-18 lead. The Panthers turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, giving the Monarchs the ball with 54 seconds left, Hermitage holding three timeouts.
Rather than give it to Miller to try to burn Panther timeouts, get a first down, and seal the win, Meadowbrook went into victory formation on each down, including on fourth down deep in their own territory, when quarterback D'Angelo Amos ran the ball into his own end zone for an apparent safety. But that play, after a long delay, was negated due to an inadvertent whistle. The Monarchs punted and Hermitage took over on the Meadowbrook 41 with 27.5 seconds left.
One incompletion, two complete passes and an offside penalty on Meadowbrook later, Hermitage was at the Meadowbrook 18. With 14 seconds left, Robinson escaped the pocket, took off up the middle, danced to his right, got inside the five, then dove toward the goal line. The far official signaled touchdown after the ball came losse when Robinson hit the ground with four seconds to go.
Hermitage now has won their last 14 season openers, dating back to 2001.
To listen to the entire Hermitage win, CLICK HERE.