It was a match-up of the last two remaining unbeaten teams in the Frontier Athletic Conference when the Jackson Ironmen visited Miami Trace High School to take on the Panthers Friday night.
Jackson came into the game at 7-0 overall, 2-0 in the FAC.
Miami Trace put its record of 5-2 overall, 2-0 in the conference on the line.
In the end, Jackson showed why pretty much everyone picked them to win the conference as they posted a 48-19 win over the Panthers.
After the Panthers went three and out on the game’s first possession, Jackson went down and scored on a 2-yard run by Jayden Spires.
Isaac Kuhn’s kick gave the Ironmen a 7-0 lead with 8:22 to play in the first quarter.
Jackson moved the ball deep into Miami Trace territory on their second possession.
A quarterback sack and a penalty helped move the ball back and then Jackson fumbled the ball, recovered by the Panthers’ Ashton Curtis to keep the score at 7-0. Jackson led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers soon had to punt again and on their next possession, Jackson scored with Spires taking it in on a 3-yard run. The extra-point kick gave the Ironmen a 14-0 lead with 5:47 to play in the first half.
Jackson soon made it 21-0 on a 49-yard run by quarterback Jared Icenhower. Kuhn tacked on the extra point with 2:44 remaining in the half.
Jackson gave the ball back to Miami Trace on another fumble, this one recovered by Andrew Amore at the Jackson 12-yard line.
The Panthers attempted three consecutive passes, which were turned away by Jackson.
The final play of the half was a run by the Panthers that was stopped in the backfield, keeping the visitors in front, 21-0.
Unofficially, Jackson had 271 yards of offense in the first half to 12 for the Panthers.
Things quickly began to look up for the Panthers on this cool, windless night as the second half got underway.
Jackson, having won the coin toss but deferring, had the ball to start the third quarter.
The Ironmen soon lost their third fumble of the game, this one recovered by the Panthers’ Mason Snow.
On the first play of this posssession, Jayden LeBeau raced into the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown with 11:05 to play in the third.
The extra-point kick was no good.
The Panthers held Jackson and before long they scored again, this time on a 6-yard run by LeBeau at the 4:15 mark of the third quarter.
The Panthers tried to run for two, but it was no good, leaving the score at 21-12.
No sooner had the Panthers battled their way back into the game than Jackson had a very long kick off return that set up a 6-yard run by Spires. The point-after kick gave Jackson a 28-12 lead with 3:57 to play in the third.
Jackson soon scored again with Icenhower hooking up with Brice Parks for a 30-yard pass play. The extra-point kick was good, lifting the Ironmen to a 35-12 lead with 1:12 to play in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jackson’s Jacob Winters had an interception. Icenhower connected with Tristan Prater for a 40-yard gain and Winters ran for the touchdown of five yards. Kuhn’s kick gave Jackson a 48-12 lead. That score came with 9:50 to play in the game.
With 3:32 to play in the game, Dalton Mayer hit Joshua Gilmore for an 8-yard touchdown. Justin Shoemaker’s kick was the final point of the game, setting the score at 48-19.
In other FAC games Friday night, the Washington Blue Lions improved to 5-3 overall, 2-1 in the FAC with a 27-21 win at Hillsboro (3-5 overall, 0-3 FAC).
Chillicothe won at home over McClain, 44-14.
Chillicothe improves to 3-5 overall, 2-1 in the FAC, while the Tigers fall to 2-6 overall, 0-3 in the FAC.
Next week, the penultimate week of the 2019 regular season, Chillicothe is at Miami Trace, Washington is at McClain and Hillsboro hosts Jackson.