The Miami Trace Panthers welcomed back the Carlisle Indians for a varsity football game Saturday, just 22 hours after the game was postponed prior to the start on Friday.
The game was one of at least 80 high school football games in the southern part of Ohio postponed Friday night due to lightning.
The Indians won the game, 34-16.
Carlisle is now 1-1 overall. Miami Trace falls to 0-2.
On just the second play from scrimmage, Carlisle scored on a 56-yard run by Ridge Reed. Reed’s number would be called often on this hot and muggy Labor Day weekend.
Brad Harrison’s kick made it 7-0 at the 11:04 mark of the opening quarter.
Miami Trace had a quick three and out on its first possession.
A high snap on the punt attempt was recovered by Carlisle at the Miami Trace 32-yard line.
The Panthers held on defense and had the ball back less than one minute later.
Miami Trace engineered an 11-play drive, with junior Blake Pittser kicking a field goal from 27-yards for a 7-3 tally with 2:31 to play in the first quarter.
Carlisle responded with a 10-play drive with Reed scoring on a one-yard run. The kick was good to make it 14-3, Indians with 38.3 seconds to play in the quarter.
As the second quarter unfolded, Carlisle took over on its own 47-yard line.
A six-play drive ended when senior quarterback Daulton Butler connected with Reed on a 25-yard touchdown pass.
The kick made it 21-3 with 9:23 to play until the half.
The Panthers constructed another 11-play drive, with senior Devin Bainter scoring on a 22-yard run. Pittser’s kick cut the margin to 21-10 with 4:16 to play in the half.
After an exchange of possessions, Carlisle set up the offense on their own 21-yard line with 1:46 remaining.
The Panthers were surely thinking that they would hold the Indians at bay and take an 11-point deficit into the locker room.
Unfortunately for Miami Trace, the Indians executed a screen pass play from Butler to D.J. Chambers for 56 yards and a touchdown with 55 seconds left to play in the half. The extra-point kick was no good, leaving the visitors with a 27-10 halftime lead.
A look at the halftime statistics (provided by Tom ‘Chatter’ Harris) showed Miami Trace with 10 first downs to 11 for Carlisle.
Senior quarterback Austin Lovett was 4 of 7 passing for 85 yards for the Panthers.
Miami Trace rushed the ball 26 times in the half for 97 yards and a total of 182 yards of offense.
Butler of the Indians completed 8 of 13 first half pass attempts for 147 yards.
On the ground, Carlisle had 14 carries for 133 yards, a total offensive output of 280 yards.
Carlisle’s Caleb Boy had an interception on just the second play of the second half.
Just two minutes later, Butler hooked up with senior Dominic Sallee for a four-yard scoring pass.
The PAT made it 34-10 with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter.
The Miami Trace defense seemed to coalesce from this point forward, as the Indians would not score again on the night.
The Panthers fumbled a punt return attempt with 10:45 remaining in the game.
Miami Trace junior Drake Litteral, running across the middle of the field, came up with an interception, Carlisle’s only turnover of the game, at the 9:36 mark of the fourth quarter. Litteral had a return of five yards on the pick, giving the Panthers the ball at their own 34-yard line.
The Panthers moved the ball down the field, coming up with their third 11-play scoring drive of the evening, the finishing touch a seven-yard pass from Lovett to Litteral.
A bad snap on the extra-point attempt left the score 34-16, which proved to be the final.
Each team had one final possession before the game ended.
“We knew they had good team speed coming in,” Miami Trace head coach Steve Bartlett said. “No. 3 (Chambers) placed at State (he was eighth) in the 100-meter dash as a freshman.
“We knew they were a nice ball club,” Bartlett said.
“I think we had kids really, really trying to make plays in the first half,” Bartlett said. “What happens sometimes is, you try so hard, you kind of forget your fundamentals. And, you have to get back to those. The fundamentals are going to get you into position to make plays a lot better than just desire and effort.
“You have to have the desire and the effort, there’s no doubt,” Bartlett said. “But, it’s got to be in a disciplined manner.”
Miami Trace will strive to get on the winning side next week when they host the Logan Elm Braves Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Logan Elm is 1-1 on the season. They defeated Westfall Saturday, 54-12 after beginning the season with a 34-28 overtime loss at home against Zane Trace.
“We know with our schedule, there is no place to hide,” Bartlett said. “We’ve got to get ready to come out and play football every Friday night.”
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1