PLYMOUTH — Coach Scott Fry calls the play “Hollywood,’’ but never thought he’d ever use it.
With his team trailing by 5 points and just less than 20 seconds left, he figured it was the perfect time.
On third and 6, Plymouth South quarterback Jason Lamb dropped back and hit receiver Robert Moss on a hook route. Moss then flipped the ball to senior running back Dylan Oxsen.
The hook-and-ladder executed swiftly, Oxsen broke up the sideline for a 62-yard score to lift Plymouth South to an electrifying 13-12 victory as the Panthers clinched the Atlantic Coast title for the first time.
“It’s just one of those plays we mess around with [in practice] and never plan on using it,” Fry said. “I kind of drew it up in the sand and we got the ball to our best player, Dylan Oxsen, and he made a play out of it.”
A possession earlier, the Panthers’ season nearly came to an abrupt ending.
No. 18 Nauset (9-1, 4-1) used a 13-play, 50-yard drive to march into the end zone, capped by Connor Martin’s 2-yard score that put the Warriors up, 12-7, with 40 seconds left. Jimmy Sullivan’s 2-point conversion pass to Martin was incomplete.
“The emotion just dropped,” Oxsen said. “Everyone just thought the game was over.’’
Plymouth South (7-3, 5-0) started the winning drive from its 34, and Lamb rushed for 4 yards on first down.
His first pass of the drive, a long floater to Oxsen, was nearly intercepted by Frank DeStefano. The Panthers got another shot at the end zone, and the improbable play unfolded.
“It was in the back of the playbook, but Coach [Fry] has full faith in us,” Oxsen said. “I didn’t think [Moss] was going to catch it — I saw a guy right in his face. [Moss] caught it and pitched it to me, and I saw green grass and took it.”
Both teams relied on a run-heavy attack, combining for just eight pass attempts.
Senior Colby Frodel, who finished with 125 yards on 26 carries, put Nauset ahead first on a 1-yard score with 7:16 left in the first half. However, Zach Altneu’s extra-point attempt sailed wide left.
Plymouth South bounced back on the ensuing possession when Oxsen (15 carries, 104 yards) punched in a 4-yard score, and Katy Buker’s point-after gave Plymouth South a 7-6 halftime lead.
“When you play games like this and teams are evenly matched, it comes down to who makes the most mistakes,” Nauset coach Keith Kenyon said. “You just can’t leave points on the field, you have to get them on the board and we didn’t do that.”