It was a beautiful evening for junior high football on Wednesday, Aug. 31 as the Washington Blue Lions and Miami Trace Panthers squared off in the battle of Fayette County. The 7th grade game started at 5 p.m., with the 8th grade following at around 7 p.m.
The Panthers didn’t waste any time getting in the scoring column, as Hayden Cornell took the hand-off on the first play from scrimmage and raced 65 yards for a touchdown. The two-point attempt was good, making it 8-0 Panthers early.
The score remained the same for the rest of the quarter and most of the second quarter, before Matthew Barnard scooped up a Washington fumble and took it into the end zone with 2:46 remaining in the half. The two-point try was successful again, making the score 16-0 MT. This was also the halftime score.
Cornell started the second half similarly to the first half as he broke off another 65-yard touchdown, just over one minute into the third quarter. This time, the two-point try was no good, making the score 22-0.
Washington countered with a big play of their own, a 55-yard touchdown run by Jackson Everhart. The two-point try was no good, making it 22-6 midway through the third quarter.
Everhart would find the end zone two more times in the second half, the final one coming with two seconds remaining in the contest. Washington was unable to convert either of their two-point attempts, leaving the final score: Miami Trace 22, Washington 18.
The 8th grade game proved to be another tightly-contested battle between the black and blue. Miami Trace started the scoring off with a 12-yard touchdown run by Evan Parsley. The two-point try was good, making it 8-0 MT midway through the first quarter. Washington answered with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Quinton Marine to Aden Osborne. Marine ran in the two-point attempt, making it 16-8 Panthers.
Washington scored again on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Marine to Kiontae Tyree. Marine ran in the two-point conversion, giving the Blue Lions a 16-8 lead midway through the second quarter.
Miami Trace then put together a drive, capped off with a four-yard touchdown run by Alex Utera late in the second quarter. The two-point attempt was good, tying the game at 16. Washington tried to score on their last drive of the second quarter, but a Marine pass was intercepted and returned to the Blue Lions 30-yard line. With one second remaining in the first half, the Panthers called a timeout to come up with a final play before halftime. That play ended up being a 30-yard touchdown pass from Gage Henry to Parsley. The two-point try was successful, giving the Panthers a 24-16 lead at the intermission.
Washington scored the lone touchdown of the second half, a three-yard rush by Wesley Gibbs. The two-point try was no good, leaving the score at 24-22 with the Panthers ahead. The Blue Lions were able to regain possession late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game, but were unsuccessful, making the final score: Miami Trace 24, Washington 22.
Miami Trace 7th and 8th grade both improved to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the FAC.
Washington 7th and 8th grade both fell to 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in the FAC.
The Panthers will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 7 on the road against West Jefferson. The 7th grade game is set to start at 5:30 p.m.
Washington looks to bounce back on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at home against Logan. The 7th grade game is set to begin at 5 p.m.