The Martin Luther King High Cougars football team fell to 0-2 on the season after a 20-16 loss to Mastery Charter on Friday night.
The Cougars started slow on offense, and a few big plays by Mastery gave the Panthers a 14-point halftime lead.
At the start of the third quarter, the reinvigorated Cougars drove up the field and quarterback Joseph Walker slipped into the end zone on a quick draw from the one-yard line. A successful two-point conversion put cut the lead to 14-8.
Mastery answered back with another big run down field resulting in a touchdown but an incomplete extra point kept the score at 20-8.
With three minutes left in the game, Walker led another successful drive and connected with Delane Hart in the end zone. Another successful two-point conversion left the score 20-16 with 1:12 left.
Seconds later, after an onside kick, King had the ball back inside the Panther’s territory. A few plays later and the Cougars were within Mastery’s 20-yard line with under 15 seconds remaining.
Walker scrambled with Mastery players in pursuit and was brought down just short of the sideline while the final seconds ticked off of the clock.
Walker was visibly upset over not making it to the sideline to stop the clock.
Coach Edward Dunn could be heard screaming from midfield as players from both sides lined up to shake hands.
Dunn approached Walker and told the young quarterback, “I [still] love you no matter what happens.”
After the game, Dunn told his players they would get “right back to it.”
“The only way you can get from here to there is humility, hard work and hunger, he said. “We are out here to grow. It’s time to get on a roll.”
The Cougars travel to Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia for a 3 p.m. game on Friday.