Friday, Oct. 27 was a day that started out sunny and quite mild.
However, over the course of the afternoon and into the early evening, a cold front moved through Fayette County and brought with it a drastic dip in the temperature as the Washington Blue Lions visited Miami Trace High School to take on the Panthers in the season-finale of the 2017 season.
The Blue Lions won the game, 43-12 to finish the season with a record of 5-5 overall, 2-3 in the Frontier Athletic Conference.
Miami Trace ends its season with a record of 1-9 overall, 1-4 in the FAC.
The Blue Lions got on the board first with a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Jacob Rice. The point-after kick, into a strong, northerly wind, was no good.
That score came with 4:01 to play in the first quarter.
With 2:24 to play in the first quarter, Dillon Steward completed a pass to Eli Ruth for a 32-yard touchdown.
The Blue Lions converted a two-point pass from Steward to Ruth.
Washington scored early in the second quarter on a 40-yard run by Jacob Rice.
Jordan Behm kicked the point after to make it 21-0 Blue Lions with 11:51 to play in the first half.
Miami Trace senior Brady Wallace returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point kick was no good, leaving the Blue Lions with a 21-6 lead.
Steward then completed an 11-yard pass to Eli Lynch for a touchdown and the with extra-point by Behm, it was 28-6, Blue Lions. That score came with 9:10 to play in the first half.
There was no further scoring in the second quarter.
The Blue Lions scored twice in the second half, the first score coming with 8:59 to play in the third, a 16-yard run by Steward. Washington went for two and got it on a pass from Steward to Lynch.
This gave Washington a 36-6 lead and started the continuous clock.
With 2:38 to play in the game, Jacob Rice scored on a 7-yard run. Senior Jaelyn Mason made the extra-point kick to boost the Blue Lions’ lead to 43-6.
Miami Trace senior Malik Jackson returned the following kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers’ try for two was no good.
“We knew Miami Trace would come out and give us their best shot,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “Which, they did. But, our kids, they’ve worked hard all year and they just came out and put it all together and played well tonight.
“Our goal this season was to make the playoffs,” Williamson said. “That’s going to continue t0 be our goal for next year. That’s our goal to see week 11 next year.”
“Our kids played their hearts out,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “We rely upon good decisions and we didn’t make those good decisions tonight. I tell you what, our kids played to the end and played their hearts out. It’s just unfortunate that it has to end this way, but, we got beat by a better team tonight.
“We’ll work hard during the off-season to get better for next year,” Williams said.
Taking a look at some of the statistics from the game, Washington had 512 yards of total offense on 64 plays.
Dillon Steward was 22 of 32 passing for 277 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
Washington gained 235 yards rushing on 31 attempts, led by Jacob Rice’s 188 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.
Eli Ruth caught nine passes for 154 yards and one touchdown for Washington.
Richard Burns had five receptions for 85 yards and Eli Lynch had five receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown.
Steward carried seven times for 41 yards for a season-ending total of 1,062 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on 85 attempts.
The Panthers had 169 yards of total offense on 43 plays.
Miami Trace had 61 yards passing and 108 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
Brady Wallace had 83 yards rushing on 15 carries for the Panthers to bring him to a total of 1,246 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns on 176 attempts.
Tyler Taylor completed 4 of 17 passes for Miami Trace for 50 yards. He was intercepted twice.
Coby Hughes caught four passes for the Panthers for 40 yards.
Washington had 27 first downs in the game, 12 by rushing, 11 by passing and four by penalty.
Miami Trace had eight first downs; four by rushing and four by passing.
Washington converted five of 10 third downs and were 0 of 3 on fourth down.
Miami Trace was 1 of 10 on third downs and 2 of 3 when going for it on fourth down.
Washington had no turnovers in the game to three for Miami Trace.
Washington was penalized eight times for 75 yards and Miami Trace was flagged six times for 90 yards.
Chillicothe won the first-ever Frontier Athletic Conference football championship with a 31-17 win over Jackson Friday night.
The Cavs complete the 2017 regular season at 8-2 overall, 5-0 in the FAC.
Jackson finishes in second place in the conference at 4-1, 8-2 overall.
Hillsboro defeated McClain Friday, 61-13 to finish in third place in the conference at 3-2 (7-3 overall).
Washington places fourth in the FAC at 2-3 (5-5 overall).
Miami Trace was fifth at 1-4 and McClain went 0-10 this season.