Palmetto Football Advances to State Semi-Finals

Defensive+tackle+Leonard+Taylor+%28%2356%29+played+a+big+role+in+Palmetto%27s+victory+over+Vero+Beach.+

Jack Meyer

Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor (#56) played a big role in Palmetto’s victory over Vero Beach.

Jack Meyer, Online Editor-in-Chief

After another nail-biting game, the Palmetto Panthers are going to the Class 8A State Semi-Finals. 

This season has been historic for the Panthers, who have now made it farther in the playoffs than ever before in school history. It has not been an easy road for Palmetto, with many of their games coming right down to the wire. Only one of Palmetto’s wins this season has been by a double-digit margin, and multiple games have come down to the final play. 

The key for Palmetto’s success this year has been their staunch defense. Led by highly touted defensive linemen Leonard Taylor and Savion Collins, as well as star defensive backs Jason Marshall and Corey Collier, the defense has only allowed more than 10 points once this season in an overtime thriller against Treasure Coast High School that saw Palmetto winning 22-21 following a successful two-point conversion. 

Friday’s Regional Final was no different for the Panthers, who only gave up seven points against Vero Beach High School. The game came down to the final drive, with Palmetto recovering a key fumble in the final minutes to seal their victory. 

Palmetto has also had to adapt on offense as the season has progressed. After quarterback Kevin Smith went down with a season-ending injury, wide receiver Brashard Smith has stepped up in his absence to help lead the offense. The Panthers have also seen key contributions from many other offensive players, including wide receiver Mike Jackson and running back Marlon Hanna. 

Palmetto will now go up against Osceola High School on Dec. 11 at 7:30 PM, where they will look to continue their historic season and clinch a berth in the Class 8A State Championship. 

It has not been an easy season for Palmetto by any means, who had to play a shortened schedule and have faced numerous injuries. However, despite all of these obstacles, the Panthers have not only prevailed this year, but they have flourished.