Abbott quickly regained the lead when Xavier Casteneda returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.
The Panthers finally executed an extra-point kick as Christopher Lynn’s kick was true as Abbott took a 38-30 lead.
A lost fumble by the ‘Horns set up another Abbott TD. Russell carried in from 17 yards out, and Lynn added the PAT kick as the Panthers stretched their lead to 46-30.
The ‘Horns cut the lead to a touchdown on their next possession when Cherry passed to Emory for a one-yard score.
Jorgensen added the PAT kick as Gordon cut the lead to 46-38 with 1:56 left in the third quarter.
However, in the next few series, every time Gordon would cut the lead to a touchdown, Russell seemed to will his way to the end zone. Russell scored on a pitch after racing 69 yards for a 52-38 lead just before the third period ended.
Gordon got the score back on a 35-yard TD pass from Allen to Tristen Garmon. Garmon showed great focus on the play, as he initially bobbled the pass but kept his concentration, pulled the ball back into his body and sprinted 25 yards to the end zone to complete the TD play.
Jorgensen added the PAT kick to cut the Panthers’ lead to 52-46 early in the fourth quarter.
However, Russell came back and scored on a 37-yard sprint, and the PAT kick increased the Panthers’ lead to 60-46.
Gordon again got to within a touchdown on a four-yard TD pass from Cherry to Lopez, but Russell matched the score with a 45-yard run to the end zone as Abbott led 66-52 with 6:33 left to play.
Gordon set itself up to win the game after Cherry threw an 11-yard TD pass to Brandon Gonzales, who did a brilliant job of keeping his feet in bounds after making a sideline catch in the end zone.
Gordon stopped Abbott on four downs on the Panthers’ ensuing series to set up the drama of the game’s final minutes.