Bishop Hartley defeats Panthers, 56-14


By Chris Hoppes - choppes@aimmediamidwest.com



Senior Jayden LeBeau carries for Miami Trace during a Division III, Region 11 playoff game at Bishop Hartley High School Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. LeBeau rushed for 180 yards and one touchdown (he also caught a pass for a touchdown) and set a new single-season rushing record of 1,830 yards for the Panthers. Blocking for LeBeau are (l-r); senior Kylan Knapp (44), junior Bryson Sheets (53) and junior Cameron Casto (51).

Senior Jayden LeBeau carries for Miami Trace during a Division III, Region 11 playoff game at Bishop Hartley High School Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. LeBeau rushed for 180 yards and one touchdown (he also caught a pass for a touchdown) and set a new single-season rushing record of 1,830 yards for the Panthers. Blocking for LeBeau are (l-r); senior Kylan Knapp (44), junior Bryson Sheets (53) and junior Cameron Casto (51).


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

COLUMBUS — The Miami Trace Panthers visited Bishop Hartley High School Friday night to take on the Hawks in a Division III, Region 11 first round playoff game.

Hartley had a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and scored four touchdowns in the second quarter on their way to a 56-14 victory.

Miami Trace ends the 2021 season with a record of 7-4. The Panthers finished alone in second place in the Frontier Athletic Conference with a record of 4-1.

The Hawks (9-2) will play at 9-2 London Friday at 7 p.m.

Hartley was able to capitalize on several Miami Trace turnovers, as the Panthers had five on the night (three interceptions and two lost fumbles).

How good was Hartley? Good enough to score five times on its first nine plays from scrimmage.

Miami Trace senior running back Jayden LeBeau carried 17 times for 180 yards and one touchdown, a sprint to the house of 80 yards.

LeBeau ends the season with a new Miami Trace school record of 1,830 rushing yards for the season.

He is also now the all-time leading rusher for Miami Trace with 3,918 career yards in a total of 39 games.

“This is a scrappy bunch of guys,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said of the 2021 Panthers. “These are the hardest days for a coach, when you have to say good-bye to your seniors who have given everything to your program for the last four years.

“These guys battled up until the last second of this game,” Williams said. “They’ve done that all year. We’ve had three games that finished on the last play of the game. That speaks to the integrity and the character of this team.

“There is no question that they didn’t quit,” Williams said. “They battled and they played hard.

“Jayden broke (the school rushing record),” Williams said. “I think he had 70 yards after the first half. He’s been a battler and a warrior. He’s been the guy that we’ve been able to build this program around. What a fun kid. He deserves everything he gets.

“It was great to have him and a kid like Weston Melvin,” Williams said. “That’s been a good one-two punch.”

Williams spoke a bit about Bishop Hartley, as the Hawks rang their victory bell.

“This is a championship-calibre program that we want to model ourselves around,” Williams said. “(Hartley) is a good team that will certainly go very deep in the playoffs.”

After a fumble by Miami Trace on its first possession, Richard Kenny ran for a 41-yard touchdown. Alex Gabriel, the place-kicker for the Hawks, made it 7-0 with 8:26 to play in the first quarter.

On Miami Trace’s second possession, a tipped pass was intercepted, setting up a 20-yard run by Aidan Turner and giving Hartley a 14-0 lead at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter.

The Panthers started their third possession at their own 20-yard line. An 18-play drive took about seven and a half minutes off the game clock and resulted in Miami Trace’s first score of the game, a pass from Weston Melvin to Jayden LeBeau for 22 yards. Zach Warnock’s kick made it 14-7 with 33 seconds to play in the opening quarter.

This was as close as the Panthers could get, however, as the Hawks scored four times in the second quarter.

The Panthers tried an onside kick, which was recovered by Hartley. Four plays later, Cherod Bowens scored on a 3-yard.

When Hartley kicked off, Gabriel, who was booting everything into the end zone for a touchback, laid down an onside kick, recovered by the Hawks at the Panthers’ 45-yard line.

On the first play of this possession, Nyal Johnson ran 45 yards for the touchdown and a 28-7 lead.

Another Miami Trace turnover on their next possession gave Hartley the ball at the Miami Trace 15-yard line.

On the second play, Johnson scored from 7 yards out, putting the Hawks on top, 35-7.

Miami Trace next drove the ball down to the Harley 6-yard line, where they had a goal-to-go situation.

The Panthers could not punch it in and Hartley took over at its own 12-yard line.

The next turn for Hartley resulted in an 88-yard drive on seven plays, capped by a 2-yard run by DeAunte’ Hubbard.

The final three scores of the game came in the third quarter, with two touchdowns by Hartley — a 72-yard run by Treyvhon Saunders and a 28-yard run by Hubbard, sandwiched around an 80-yard run by LeBeau.

Miami Trace had 378 yards of offense on 55 plays to 416 yards of offense for Hartley on 30 plays.

The Panthers carried the ball 37 times for 246 yards to 331 yards for Hartley on 25 carries.

Weston Melvin was 9 of 16 passing for 127 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Shay Salyers completed 1 of 2 passes for five yards.

For the Hawks, Eric Underwood was 4 of 5 passing for 85 yards.

Saunders led the Hawks with 85 yards rushing on two carries.

The Panthers had 20 first downs (13 by rushing and 7 by passing) while the Hawks had 18 first downs (14 by rushing and 4 by passing.

Miami Trace was 6 of 11 converting on third down for 55 percent. The Panthers went for it four times on fourth down, converting one first down.

The Panthers had four penalties for 40 yards to five for 30 yards for Hartley.

Defensively, Tavein Brown led the Panthers with five tackles.

Ashton Connell and Brady Sheets each had one tackle for loss for Miami Trace.

“I want to say a few words about my coaching staff,” Williams said. “They’ve worked so hard. We’ve been undermanned this year. We haven’t had our entire coaching staff here all year. They worked double-duty and I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done.

“Our administration has been very supportive of our program,” Williams said. “It starts at the top from Mrs. (Kim) Pittser (Miami Trace superintendent) to Mr. (Bryan) Sheets (the high school principal) and Mr. (Aaron) Hammond (the school’s athletic director). The support we get at the high school is fantastic; it’s a great place to work.

“Hopefully they’ll have me back again next year,” Williams said. “And we’ll see what we can do about building (the program) and going a little deeper into the playoffs.”

Senior Jayden LeBeau carries for Miami Trace during a Division III, Region 11 playoff game at Bishop Hartley High School Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. LeBeau rushed for 180 yards and one touchdown (he also caught a pass for a touchdown) and set a new single-season rushing record of 1,830 yards for the Panthers. Blocking for LeBeau are (l-r); senior Kylan Knapp (44), junior Bryson Sheets (53) and junior Cameron Casto (51).
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2021/11/web1_Jayden-LeBeau-run-vs-Bishop-Harltey-10-29-21.jpgSenior Jayden LeBeau carries for Miami Trace during a Division III, Region 11 playoff game at Bishop Hartley High School Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. LeBeau rushed for 180 yards and one touchdown (he also caught a pass for a touchdown) and set a new single-season rushing record of 1,830 yards for the Panthers. Blocking for LeBeau are (l-r); senior Kylan Knapp (44), junior Bryson Sheets (53) and junior Cameron Casto (51). Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

By Chris Hoppes

choppes@aimmediamidwest.com