Junior quarterback Isaiah McIntyre could not hold back tears as he wandered aimlessly along the sideline following Bloomingdale’s 24-21 loss to Orlando Dr. Phillips in the opening round of the Class 8A region quarterfinals on Friday.
Bloomingdale was in the midst of a four-minute drive when McIntyre fumbled the football while pulling his right arm back to pass just 24 yards from the end zone with 57 seconds remaining. It was his second lost fumble of the half, each recovered by junior Tashaun Lindquist.
“On the final drive the ball just slipped out of my hands,” McIntyre said afterwards. “I wish we would’ve won this game because of our seniors. They really wanted it, but the ball slipped out of my hand.”
For the all the great things McIntyre did for the Bulls on Friday, and throughout the season, he’ll likely have a hard time forgetting what went wrong in the final two quarters after leading his team to a 14-3 advantage at halftime.
McIntyre’s athleticism was on full display in the loss as he passed for 166 yards and rushed for 50 more for Bloomingdale, a school out of Valrico that completed its best season to date with a 9-2 record.
On the final drive for the Bulls McIntyre completed his first three passes to Patrick Wiedrich, Jordan Kiers and Doug Sandberg, and ran 13 yards for a first down. On 3rd-and-16 from his own 49 he scrambled out of trouble and found Logan Crouse near the sticks for a first down with 2 minutes, 45 seconds remaining.
Four plays later the ball slide out of his hand and landed on the turf behind him, helping Dr. Phillips improve to 45-4 over the past four seasons.
McIntyre broke off a run of 15 yards in the first quarter during Bloomingdale’s first scoring drive of the night then connected with Sandberg for a 24-yard gain on 3rd-and-16 to keep the drive alive. The second scoring drive came in the second quarter as McIntyre broke loose for a 10-yard pickup and found Kiers in the back of the end zone six plays later for an 11-yard touchdown.
But the second half started with a three-and-out for Bloomingdale and a lost fumble by McIntyre on a mishandled snap. Dr. Phillips got touchdowns by junior Jaquarius Bargnare following each possession to take a 17-14 lead with less then three minutes left in the third quarter.
Bloomingdale scored for the final time with nearly nine minutes to play after a roughing-the-passer call against McIntyre overturned an interception on a poorly thrown ball along the sideline. The Bulls had already converted on two fourth down attempts before the penalty, but it was a 29-yard pass to Crouse that brought the ball down to the 2-yard line where Chris Wonsley ran it in for a touchdown the very next play.
Dr. Phillips answered with a touchdown four minutes later and finished the night rushing for 298 yards on 44 carries. They’ll move on to host Tampa Plant on Friday in the second round while Bloomingdale will likely remain wondering what might have been.