On a very warm next to last Friday in August, the Miami Trace Panthers took the field at Miami Trace High School to take on the visiting Waverly Tigers.
Miami Trace had things going its way in the first half, leading 20-0 at one point.
However, turnovers were costly to the Panthers as the Tigers rallied in the second half for a 42-39 victory.
“It was a tough one,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “I told the kids that the game is not necessarily won on Friday nights. It’s won Monday through Thursday.
“(Our) guys played hard, there’s no question,” Williams said. “We seemed undisciplined at times in some areas. At this point I have to question myself and look at myself and look at the staff and then look at the film and see what we have to do to improve.
“We practice every one of those scenarios throughout the week,” Williams said. “Starting with the coaches; I’m not going to pass the buck on anyone.”
The Panthers had sophomore Trey Robinette starting at quarterback and sophomore Evan Colegrove at running back.
“I thought Trey did really well,” Williams said. “As a hole, he made solid plays, he made things happen. He’s certainly going to be a good one.
“I think Evan Colegrove did a great job at tailback,” Williams said. “He made some great runs and good reads and cuts and saw the field very well.”
The Panthers got on the board with 1:11 to play in the first quarter with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trey Robinette to Landen Cope. The extra-point kick was no good.
With 9:07 to play in the first half, Evan Colegrove rushed into the end zone from 18 yards to give the Panthers a 12-0 lead. Zach Warnock’s kick put the Panthers in front, 13-0.
Waverly was moving the ball into Miami Trace territory when Austin Boedeker had an interception in the end zone to thwart that drive.
The Panthers moved down field and scored on a 3-yard run by Colegrove. Warnock’s kick gave Miami Trace at 20-0 lead.
After another Waverly punt, Waverly had an interception and turned that into six points on a 3-yard pass from Mason Kelley to Wyatt Crabtree. Hunter Hauck converted the extra-point kick to make it 20-7 with 20 seconds to play in the first half.
Waverly got on the board first in the third quarter with a 4-yard run by Quinton Hurd. The extra-point kick pulled the Tigers to within six points, 20-14.
Robinette connected with Coledon May for a 17-yard touchdown and Warnock’s kick made it 27-14.
The Tigers quickly scored to make it 27-21 with 6:32 to play in the third.
Waverly scored on an 18-yard pass to Mason Pollard with 4:19 left in the third. Hauck’s kick gave the Tigers a 28-27 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Warnock converted a 24-yard field goal to put the Panthers back into the lead, 30-28.
Waverly fumbled and the Panthers recovered at the Waverly 20-yard line.
This possession resulted with a 32-yard field goal to give the Panthers a 33-28 lead with 10 minutes to play in the game.
Boedeker came up with another interception and a nice return to put the ball at the Waverly 17-yard line.
The Panthers took advantage with Robinette passing to Garrett Guess for a 7-yard score. The try for two was no good, leaving the Panthers with a 39-28 lead with eight minutes remaining.
William Dawes had an interception for Miami Trace, but soon the Tigers had the ball back and scored on a 17-yard pass play with 2:15 to go in the game. The try for two points was no good, leaving the Panthers with a 39-34 lead.
An onside kick by Waverly was recovered by the Tigers at the Miami Trace 45-yard line.
With 1:57 to play in the game, Waverly scored on a 10-yard run. The two-point conversion run was good, putting the Panthers in front, 42-39.
Miami Trace had two timeouts remaining, but quickly fumbled and Waverly was able run out the clock for the win.
The Panthers will visit Wilmington next week to take on the Hurricane.