The rains and storms that were forecast stayed away from Miami Trace High School Friday as the Panthers hosted the Jackson Ironmen in a battle for the top spot in the Frontier Athletic Conference.
The two teams entered the fray with identical 3-0 records in the FAC (both at 6-2 overall).
The Panthers scored on the opening drive of the game, but, after that, it was pretty much all Jackson as the Ironmen went on to post a 49-14 victory.
With the win, Jackson clinches at least a share of the FAC title. Jackson will host Chillicothe next week.
“It was just a frustrating game,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “We didn’t play well. Other than that first drive, there wasn’t a whole lot. There were some isolated plays that we (executed) well. As a whole, we didn’t play up to where we needed to play.
“I give credit to Jackson,” Williams said. “That’s a good football team.
“Our guys have got to be able to fight through adversity,” Williams said. “If we want to play at a championship level, we have to step up and start playing at a championship level and practicing at a championship level. When it gets challenging and we face that adversity, we’ve got to be able to respond.”
The Panthers took the opening kickoff and drove 84 yards for the score, which was an 11-yard pass from Weston Melvin to Ashton Connell. That score came with 5:54 to play in the first quarter.
Zach Warnock’s kick gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
Jackson scored on its first four possessions of the game.
The first touchdown for the Ironmen was a 32-yard pass play from Jacob Winters to Cade Wolford.
The extra-point kick was good by Ethan Crabtree, tying the game with 2:42 to play in the opening quarter.
Jackson scored with 9:56 to play in the second quarter on a 60-yard pass play to Tristan Prater.
With the extra-point kick, the Ironmen were in front, 14-7.
With 7:02 to play in the first half, there was a 53-yard pass for a touchdown.
Winters scored on a 2-yard run to give the Ironmen a 28-7 lead.
Connell had an interception for the Panthers near the end of the first half.
To start the third quarter, Winters found Prater for a 50-yard score. With 10:49 to play in the third quarter, Jackson was in front, 35-7.
The Panthers answered when Melvin connected with Connell for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Warnock’s kick put the score at 35-14 at the 4:50 mark of the third quarter.
Jackson responded to that score with another of their own, a 24-yard touchdown pass.
With the point-after kick, Jackson held a 42-14 lead with 1:33 to play in the third quarter.
With just over two minutes to play in the game, Jackson scored on a 6-yard run. With the extra-point kick, it set the final at 49-14.
The Panthers host the Washington Blue Lions next week.