JACKSON — The Miami Trace Panthers made the long trip to Jackson for a battle of unbeaten FAC teams Friday night.
The Panthers and the Ironmen entered the game both at 3-0.
After a promising start for Miami Trace, who led at one point, 14-7, Jackson scored 41 unanswered points to post a 48-14 victory.
Jackson scored on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead. That was a 16-yard pass from Jacob Winters to Tristan Prater.
Isaac Kuhn’s kick was good. He would go on to make 6 of 7 extra-point attempts.
The Panthers responded on their second possession, when junior quarterback, Westin Melvin, connected with senior Gage Miller for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Zach Warnock made his first of two extra-point kicks to tie the game, 7-7. That came with 6:56 to play in the first quarter.
In a flash, the Panthers had the ball back after a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.
While the iron was hot, Melvin reached junior Josh Gilmore for a touchdown pass good for 30 yards at the 6:44 mark.
The Panthers could scarcely have asked for a better start, on the road, taking on the defending Frontier Athletic Conference champions.
It remained 14-7 in favor of Miami Trace until Evan Spires passed to Prater and a 33-yard hook-up for six, tying the game with 49 seconds to go in the first quarter.
Spires put the Ironmen into the lead with a 24-yard pass to Treylan Davis. After PAT miss, it was 20-14, Jackson with 5:25 to play in the half.
The second half really went the way of the Ironmen, with two touchdown passes and a score on the ground to drive the margin up to 41-14.
Spires had two touchdown passes in the third quarter; 39 yards to Holden Blankenship and 15 yards to Prater.
Sandwiched in between was a 2-yard scoring run from Hunter Webb.
Webb scored the final touchdown with a 24-yard run, with 10:02 left in the game.
Taking a look at some of the statistics, Jackson had 396 yards of offense to 160 for Miami Trace.
The Ironmen’s two quarterbacks combined for 11 of 17 passing for 235 yards and five touchdowns.
For the Panthers, Melvin was 5 of 12 for 77 yards. He had two touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Jackson had 161 yards rushing on 39 carries and two touchdowns.
The Panthers rushed 33 times for 83 yards.
Miami Trace had three turnovers to two for Jackson.
The Panthers had 9 penalties for 80 yards. Jackson had 7 penaltes for 65 yards.
Jackson had 18 first downs; 10 by rush and 8 by passing.
Miami Trace had 9 first downs; 5 by rushing, three from passing and one by penalty.
Jayden LeBeau carried 19 times for 64 yards and Matthew Haddox had six carries for 42 yards.
Spires had 67 rushing yards on 14 carries and Webb carried 6 times, scoring twice, for 58 total yards.
Gilmore had two receptions for 61 yards and a 30-yard touchdown.
Miller had one touchdown reception for 11 yards.
Defensively, Luke Henry had 9 tackles, Miller had 6.5, Hunter McBee had 5, Austin Boedeker had 4.5, Jaydenn Terry had 4 and Luke Anders had 3.5.
Melvin had 5 punts for a 27.6-yard average.
Landon Cope had two kickoff returns for the Panthers for 31 yards. Miller returned two for 22 yards.
Miami Trace (3-1, 2-1) will be back on the road Friday, Sept. 25, taking on Chillicothe.
The Cavaliers defeated the McClain Tigers, 35-7 to improve to 3-1 overall, 3-0 in the FAC.