GREENFIELD — The Miami Trace Panthers visited McClain High School in Greenfield for the eighth week of the 2021 football season.
It was the third of five weeks of play in the Frontier Athletic Conference.
In what might be the highest combined point total of any varsity game between the Panthers and Tigers, Miami Trace outlasted McClain, 56-54.
McClain scored late and went for two, bidding to send the game into overtime. However, when the Panthers needed a defensive stop the most, they got it, denying the conversion and holding on for the victory.
With the win, Miami Trace improves to 6-2 overall, 3-0 in the FAC.
The Panthers will host Jackson next week in a battle of the Frontier Athletic Conference’s two remaining unbeaten teams.
Jackson improved to 6-2 overall, 3-0 in the FAC with a 62-27 win over the Washington Blue Lions Friday night.
It was a back and forth battle from the outset, according to Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams.
“It was,” Williams said. “It was.”
The prodigious offensive display by the Panthers was countered by the Tigers and their output when they had possession of the ball.
“Offensively, we did alright,” Williams said. “We were able to move the ball and do really what we wanted to do. It was typical Weston Melvin and typical Jayden LeBeau having great games, with the other guys really complimenting their play. There was some good play out there, offensively. Our offensive line played fantastic again this week. We had a couple of guys out before this game that hurt us in key situations. The bottom line is, as a whole, defensively, we have to play better. We had them third and long many times and they made plays. We couldn’t make (defensive) plays when we need to and they capitalized.
“We were able there at the end, when they went for two to tie it up, to stop them. We made a great play. Preston Reed and Garrett Smith made a great play there at the end to knock their guy out of bounds a little short.”
Williams spoke about Jackson coming to Miami Trace next week with the top spot in the conference on the line.
“They seem to be the big boys on the block each and every year,” Williams said. “We have an uphill battle in front of us and we have to step up and play. We’re going to challenge our young men and we’ll see how they respond. We’ll give it our best.”