Fletcher Aude ran for three touchdowns, including the 2-yard touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter that made it 35-28 and proved to be the difference as second-seeded Paola edged visiting Chanute, the No. 3 seed, 42-34 in a Class 3A Sectional on Friday.
In a game that saw four ties and five lead changes, both teams always seemed to have an answer and neither could extend a lead beyond a touchdown, until Jovanni Blackie’s 1-yard touchdown with about five minutes left gave the Panthers (11-0) the 14-point lead at 42-28.
Chanute (9-2) went ahead 7-0 less than three minutes into the game on Tyler Davis’ fumble return. But the Blue Comets never took the lead again.
Instead, running back Evan Phillips answered with a 7-yard touchdown as the first quarter came to an end.
From there, the teams traded scores until Aude’s third touchdown broke the 28-all tie.
Just before halftime, Layton Moore’s 27-yard completion to Bo Robison made it 28-21 in favor of Paola.
Aude’s first-half touchdowns gave Paola -- which will host fourth-seeded and five-time defending state champions Bishop Miege (9-2) in next week’s Class 4A semifinal -- 14-7 and 21-14 leads.
It will be the Panthers’ first semifinal appearance since 2013.