The Miami Trace Panthers returned home for Week No. 8 of the high school football season to take on Wilmington after games at McClain and East Clinton the last two weeks.
The Panthers were hurt by five turnovers as the Hurricane took advantage on the way to a 38-14 victory.
Wilmington improves to 5-0 in the SCOL, 7-1 in the SCOL.
The Panthers fall to 2-3 in the SCOL, 2-6 overall.
Miami Trace held Wilmington to a quick three and out on the opening possession of the game for the Hurricane.
On their first possession, the Panthers moved the ball out to near midfield where the first turnover occurred. The fumble was recovered by Wilmington’s Austin Thompson on the Miami Trace 43-yard line.
Wilmington drove the ball down field and soon were knocking on the door.
Quarterback Matt Creditt carried the ball from the 4-yard line, but, he fumbled into the end zone. Brady McCune fell on the loose ball for the touchdown and Brady Henry’s kick made it 7-0 with 4:44 to play in the initial period.
One of the highlights of the first quarter for the Panthers came when junior punter Blake Pittser faked a punt and completed a pass to keep the drive alive. The play went for a very long gain, but much of that yardage was taken away on a Panther penalty.
Later in the possession, Austin Lovett’s pass was blocked by a Wilmington player and intercepted by Porter Pagett at the Wilmington 47-yard line.
This set up Wilmington’s second score of the night, coming with 9:56 to play in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by Marlyn Frisco. Henry’s kick made it 14-0, Hurricane.
The Panthers had their third turnover in as many possessions, a fumble recovered by Wilmington at the Miami Trace 37-yard line.
On the very next play, Matt Creditt completed a 37-yard pass to Dylan Beaugard for a touchdown to make it 21-0.
Later on the half, Beaugard fielded a Miami Trace punt inside his own 5-yard line and broke several attempted tackles on his way to what appeared to be a 95-yard touchdown.
That scored was negated by an illegal block by Wilmington.
Wilmington did not score on this possession leaving the score 21-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Creditt scored on a 23-yard run. Henry’s kick made it 28-0.
There was a nice run by Miami Trace’s Baley Allen, good for 58 yards, but soon the Panthers suffered their fourth turnover of the game.
Later in the third quarter, Henry converted a 40-yard field goal to give Wilmington a 31-0 lead.
The Panthers responded with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by sophomore Brady Wallace. Pittser’s kick made it 31-7 with two minutes to play in the third quarter.
Wilmington had the answer for that score with a touchdown pass from Creditt to Tony Merritt, capping a 7-play, 46-yard drive late in the third.
Miami Trace suffered its fifth turnover of the game on a lost fumble in the fourth quarter.
The only score of the fourth quarter, however, was a 72-yard pass from Lovett to Wallace with 1:30 to play in the game. With Pittser’s kick, that made what would be the final score, 38-14.
Wilmington will host Clinton-Massie next week in a battle for first place in the SCOL. The Falcons rolled over Chillicothe Friday, 42-21. Massie is now 5-0 in the SCOL, 7-1 overall. Chillicothe falls to 4-1 in the SCOL, 5-3 overall.
Miami Trace will play its final road game of the season at Hillsboro next Friday.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1