GREENFIELD — The Miami Trace Panthers traveled south on SR 41 to Greenfield to take on the McClain Tigers in a Frontier Athletic Conference match-up Friday night.
On Sept. 28 of 2018, the Tigers visited Miami Trace and won that game, 47-40.
Twelve months and a couple of weeks later and the Panthers were able to avenge that set back, posting a 21-7 win at McClain.
Miami Trace continues its resurgence, improving to 5-2 on the season. The Panthers are now 2-0 in the FAC, tied for first place in the conference with the Jackson Ironmen. Jackson defeated the Washington Blue Lions Friday, 34-7.
Jayden LeBeau got the scoring underway for Miami Trace with a 31-yard run. Justin Shoemaker’s kick gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigers answered with 4:44 to play in the initial period, a one-yard run by Braden Wright. Braeden Bergstrom converted the point-after kick to tie the score.
However, that would prove to be the only score of the night for the Tigers.
A bit later in the first quarter, LeBeau scored again, this time on a 43-yard run. Shoemaker’s kick gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish, 14-7.
The score remained 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was scoreless, with the Panthers heading into the visitor’s locker room with a seven-point lead.
Austin Carpenter scored for the Panthers on a 22-yard run with 3:19 to play in the third quarter. Shoemaker’s kick was the final point of the game.
The fourth quarter was scoreless as the Panthers prevailed, 21-7.
Miami Trace had 350 yards of offense to 216 for the Tigers.
For the Panthers, Dalton Mayer completed 4 of 8 passes for 82 yards.
For the Tigers, Wright was 9 of 20 for 64 yards.
LeBeau continued to break big runs for the Panthers, carrying 14 times for 212 yards (a 15.1 yards per carry average).
The sophomore now has 1,158 yards rushing on 109 carries (10.6 yards per carry average) and 13 rushing touchdowns.
“First, Jayden LeBeau is certainly a special player,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “And our offensive line is playing extremely well. He is a special runner and he has great guys in front of him that just refuse to lose.
“Overall, we didn’t play extremely well,” Williams said. “What Coach (Jacob) Orr-Zody did with his game plan was very good and it kept our offense off the field. We only had 38 plays to their 68. He had a great game plan.
“At the same time, our defense did a great job,” Williams said. “They gave up seven points on the first drive and from that point on, they possessed the ball but they didn’t get in the end zone.”
Wright led the Tigers with 76 yards on 22 carries.
Joshua Gilmore had two receptions for 55 yards and Brayden Cooper-Smith had two for 27 yards for the Panthers.
Landen Eubanks and Nate Terrell each caught three passes, each for 23 yards for McClain.
Defensively, the leading tackler for Miami Trace was Luke Henry with 12.
Carpenter had two quarterback sacks and Luke Anders and Andrew Amore both had one sack.
Gabe Martinez had one sack for McClain.
The Panthers were penalized 11 times for 105 yards while the Tigers were flagged twice for 25 yards.
Miami Trace returns home next week to take on the 7-0 Jackson Ironmen. It will be a battle for first place in the FAC.