Paxton-Buckley-Loda scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and intercepted a Joey Sprinkle pass from the 1-yard line with under a minute to play and upset the third-ranked Monticello Sages 16-15 in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action Friday in Paxton.
Monticello opened the scoring with a 15-yard strike when Sprinkle hit Triston Foran on in the end zone on the opening drive.
After Monticello stalled on its second possession, the Sages pinned the Panthers inside the five-yard line in the shadow of their own end zone and picked up a safety to lead 9-0.
That score stood until Jacob Tackett raced 52-yards on a hook-and-lateral feed on a 2nd-and-44 to make the score 15-0 that was set up by Luke Teschke’s interception of Mason Bruns.
The Panthers responded when Bruns snuck in the first touchdown from the 1-yard line and converted the two-point conversion to make it 15-8.
On the next possession, Tyler Smith scored on a 60-yard run and PBL took the lead when 6-foot-3 tight end Kayden Snelling rumbled in for the 16-15 lead.
With just over three-minutes left, Monticello drove the football to the one-yard line and on a fake jet-sweep option, Sprinkle’s pass to the back of the end zone was picked off to seal the victory for PBL with 58-seconds left.
Sprinkle finished 21-for-37 with 178 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Foran was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game with nine catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Jacob Tacket finished with 72 yards through the air and a touchdown but was limited to just 11 yards on the ground on five carries.
With the loss, the Sages drop to 6-1 overall and PBL improves to 5-2.
Monticello hits the road again next Friday night at Prairie Central.