For the first time — perhaps not ever — but certainly for many, many years, the Miami Trace Panthers began conference play in just the second week of the season Friday night as they hosted the Hillsboro Indians in a Frontier Athletic Conference game.
Last night, Miami Trace defeated Hillsboro, 28-13.
Last year, Miami Trace beat Hillsboro, 35-27.
The Indians went on to finish 4-6 in 2019.
In 2018, the Indians beat Miami Trace, 47-13.
Last week, Hillsboro was drubbed at Western Brown, 62-6.
Both teams seemed out of sync for much of the first half.
The Panthers were able to breakthrough when Hillsboro was backed up deep in their own territory and were forced to punt.
Senior Josh Gilmore returned the punt 35 yards for a touchdown with 2:58 to play in the first half.
Sophomore Zach Warnock’s extra-point kick gave Miami Trace a 7-0 lead.
With 19 seconds left in the first half, junior quarterback Westin Melvin connected with Gilmore for a 24-yard pass for a touchdown.
Warnock’s kick gave the Panthers a 14-0 halftime lead.
Early in the third quarter, Melvin found Gilmore again, this time for a 34-yard touchdown pass play. Warnock’s kick was good, putting Miami Trace in front, 21-0.
With 7:08 to play in the third quarter, Melvin ran for a 10-yard touchdown. Warnock’s boot gave the Panthers 28-0 lead.
Hillsboro avoided the shutout when Bryce Parsons plunged over the line from 1-yard out.
The extra-point kick by Nick Turner put the score at 28-7.
In the fourth quarter, Hillsboro’s Travis Ross had a three-yard touchdown run with 5:38 to play. Hillsboro’s try for two points was no good.
Miami Trace (2-0 overall, 1-0 FAC) will be back at home next week to take on the McClain Tigers (0-2, 0-1).
McClain lost to Jackson Friday night, 53-0.