Panthers control the line in 63-31 win at Western Brown


MT. ORAB — The Miami Trace Panthers traveled into southwestern Ohio for a non-conference varsity football game against the Western Brown Broncos Friday, Sept. 15.

Miami Trace entered the game 2-2. Western Brown was 1-3, having dropped three straight.

The Panthers were coming off a 34-20 win at Bethel-Tate, while the Broncos lost last week to Jackson, 56-48.

Miami Trace simply rolled on this night, with a very convincing 63-31 victory.

The Panthers are now 3-2 as they prepare for the Frontier Athletic Conference portion of the season.

Miami Trace was off to the races from the beginning.

Freshman Julian Baker scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night to finish the Panthers’ first drive. The scoring play covered 28 yards.

Miami Trace would finish a lot of drives in the end zone on this night.

Western Brown gave the Panthers a short field when they fumbled on their first play of the game. It would not be the last time the Panthers would take advantage of a short-field opportunity.

Miami Trace junior Malachi Jones recovered the ball at the Broncos’ 27-yard line.

It was just moments later that senior Asher LeBeau scored on a 5-yard run for the first of his three touchdowns on this very offensive night for the Panthers.

It was a match-up of two teams determined to play the game in two distinct ways.

Miami Trace ran the ball all night and ran it very effectively. The Panthers had 191 rushing yards on 31 carries in the first half.

Junior quarterback Trey Robinette was 3 of 3 passing for 91 yards and one touchdown, that to senior Garrett Guess for 36 yards.

It was the fourth touchdown of the half by the Panthers to put the score at 28-7 at the 9:49 mark of the second quarter.

Junior Ian Mavis had a career night by converting 9 of 9 extra-point kicks. That would certainly rank high in the Panther record books.

Western Brown scored its second touchdown, but the extra-point was blocked. It was 28-13 with 7:24 remaining in the half.

On their fifth possession, Miami Trace appeared to stall for the first time offensively.

Not to worry.

The Panthers set up to go for it on fourth and three at their own 24-yard line.

The ploy worked as the Broncos jumped offside, giving Miami Trace a fresh set of downs.

From there it was run and run some more, the Panthers moving downfield seemingly at will. There was another pass to Guess during this series.

The Panthers had an edge in this game as they ran the ball successfully all night long.

Baker had a gain of 10 down to the five.

As the clock continued, Baker, behind an offensive line that won the battle up front, carried again, down to the 1.

The Panthers had a second and goal from the 1 with just three seconds remaining.

On the last play of the half, Baker scored, leaving no time on the clock.

Mavis’ kick gave the Panthers a 35-13 lead.

At the half, Baker had 122 yards rushing on 15 carries with two touchdowns.

LeBeau had 12 carries for 65 yards and two scores.

Miami Trace ran 34 offensive plays in the first half to 16 for Western Brown.

The Broncos’ junior quarterback Brady Sutton completed 9 of 14 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Western Brown had two carries for 10 yards at the half.

The Broncos got the ball to start the third quarter and ran four minutes off the clock before Sutton hit senior Isaiah Smith with a 24-yard scoring strike.

The pass for two was incomplete.

Western Brown then attempted an onside kick, but that proved costly as Miami Trace junior Jayden Jones recovered and returned the ball to the Broncos’ 15-yard line.

LeBeau took it in for a 10-yard score and it was now 42-19 with 6:32 left in the third quarter.

Just a couple of plays into Western Brown’s next possession and sophomore Cooper Enochs intercepted a pass.

Baker soon scored on a 54-yard run at the 4:55 mark.

With the score now in favor of the Panthers, 49-19, the running clock was in effect.

Western Brown had several pass attempts that followed, many of them incomplete, but continuing to shorten the game.

Early in the fourth quarter, Western Brown scored on another connection from Sutton to Smith, this covering 27 yards.

The conversion pass failed as the Panthers held a 49-25 lead.

Western Brown then recovered an onside kick at the Miami Trace 45.

At this point a somewhat rare sideline interference call was made against Miami Trace.

That put the ball at the Panthers’ 30-yard line for the Broncos.

A couple of plays later and Jayden Jones sacked the quarterback. That both preceded and was followed by a penalty on Western Brown and soon the ball went back to Miami Trace on downs.

There followed another lengthy run by LeBeau and then a sideline warning call against Western Brown.

Miami Trace had the ball at the 1-yard line and it was Baker again bursting through the line and scoring his fourth touchdown on the night.

Mavis continued his streak of successful extra-point kicks and the Panthers were in front, 56-25 with 4:20 to play.

The 31-point margin re-started the running clock.

And the Panthers were not finished. Not just yet.

The Broncos set up at their own 25-yard line.

On the first play, the pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Cooper Enochs.

Mavis put the cap on Miami Trace’s scoring with PAT No. 9.

With the continuation of the running clock and the game very far out of reach, Smith gave just a tremendous effort, running nearly the width of the field, as well as 68 yards down the field, for a touchdown and a final score of 63-31.

It was the best game yet this season for Miami Trace, bringing them into FAC play with plenty of momentum.

The Panthers play at McClain High School next week. The Tigers are now 4-1 after a 27-25 win at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Friday night.

“Both sides of the ball played very well,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “It was fun to be able to put a game plan together this week. We saw what we wanted to do and we were able to pull it off tonight.”

For the virtually unstoppable, certainly on this night, running game, Williams lauded the Panthers’ play on both sides of the line.

“Our offensive line and our defensive line dominated this game and it’s nice to see those guys step up and (I’ll) give them some recognition,” Williams said. “Nick Farrens, Brady Sheets, Adam Guthrie, Cam Morton, Conor Harrison. The interior line just did a fantastic job.

“We just did what we needed to do tonight,” Williams said.

In other games involving FAC teams Friday, Jackson improved to 4-1 with a 44-14 win over Hamilton Ross.

The Washington Blue Lions dipped to 3-2 with a 48-21 loss to Monroe.

Hillsboro (2-3) stopped a two-game skid with a 32-12 win at East Clinton.

The Cavaliers of Chillicothe High School snapped a four-game losing steak to start the season with a 17-14 win at home over Logan.

Chillicothe hosts Hillsboro, and the Blue Lions host Jackson next week.

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