JACKSON — The Miami Trace Panthers had a rematch with the Jackson Ironmen in the first round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs Friday, Oct. 28.
In the first meeting of the season, back on Sept. 23, Jackson beat Miami Trace, 49-28.
Jackson went on to run the table in the Frontier Athletic Conference, going 5-0.
On Sept. 23, the Panthers trailed Jackson by seven points late in the game.
Jackson scored on its final possession and then had a pick-six in the final minute for the 21-point final margin.
Last Friday, the Panthers got behind early and Jackson went on to post a 44-7 victory.
Jackson improves to 9-2 and will host 9-2 Granville in the Regional quarterfinals this Friday.
The Panthers end the 2022 season with a record of 4-7.
Jackson led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 37-0 at halftime.
Jackson scored its final touchdown in the third quarter for a 44-0 lead.
The Panthers scored at the 11:01 mark of the fourth quarter on a 13-yard pass from Trey Robinette to Garrett Guess.
Zach Warnock made the extra-point kick for what would prove to be the final, 44-7.
For Miami Trace, Trey Robinette completed 8 of 13 passes for 58 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Jackson’s Jacob Winters, the Player of the Year in the FAC, completed 4 of 6 passes for 46 yards and one touchdown.
Jackson totalled 403 yards of offense to 100 for the Panthers.
The Ironmen had 357 yards rushing on 45 carries.
The Panthers had 19 carries and 42 yards rushing.
Miami Trace had two turnovers to none for Jackson.
The Panthers were penalized twice for 10 yards while Jackson was flagged thrice for 20 yards.
Freshman Westin Dawes had two carries for Miami Trace for 20 yards.
Garrett Guess had three receptions for 21 yards and one touchdown and Jake Manbevers had three catches for 19 yards.
Cade Wolford had 16 carries for 183 yards and two touchdowns for Jackson.
Austin Etzler led the Panthers with 6.5 tackles and one quarterback sack.
Bryson Sheets and Jayden Jones both had 4 tackles, Brady Sheets had 3.5 tackles and Austin Boedeker had 3 tackles.
“It’s very difficult, anytime you play Jackson two times in one year,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “They definitely got our best shot the first time. This time, it was difficult.
“We started off behind the eight-ball,” Williams said. “We fumbled the ball and they scored. Then they (recovered) an on-side kick and scored. Then we got the ball back and fumbled again.
“You can’t do that against a good team,” Williams said. “At that point, we’re playing from behind and it kind of takes you out of your game plan. Coach (Andy) Hall has a good team this year and he does a very good job of coaching those guys. We had to bring our ‘A’ game to play with them and we didn’t have our ‘A’ game Friday night.”
Williams had several groups of people he wanted to thank for their efforts on behalf of Miami Trace football for the 2022 season.
“This season started back in January,” Williams said. “These guys are in the weight room and committed to (the program) going all the way back to January.
“We require a lot from the kids,” Williams said. “We require a lot from the parents. First and foremost, the parents, for allowing us to ask this much of these young men. Our parents club does a fantastic job. It’s our Gridiron Club, they do a fantastic job of supporting us in the off-season; of feeding these guys and taking care of us. I want to thank them for everything they’ve done. It’s quite an endeavor by the Gridiron Club. I greatly appreciate everything they do.
“The person who really ran that this year is Lisa Thompson and she did a fantastic job,” Williams said.
“It’s going to begin again in January and we’re going to be asking these parents to do it all over again,” Williams said.
“The kids are fantastic,” Williams said. “They’re the best part of this. This senior class was one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever coached. These guys are very respectful and just a fun class to coach. They are good leaders who have set the foundation for the younger guys coming up, they really did.
“My coaching staff is such a committed group,” Williams said. “These aren’t guys that need patted on the back, but, they work so hard to get through a season. It certainly is a grind. And they worked their tails off. It really is seven days a week what we do for that entire season. I know we’re working 12 or more hours a day to put a good football team out there and to be making improvements as we go. So, I thank them and their wives or girlfriends. They are the ones who have to tolerate these guys. I do appreciate my coaching staff.
“I have a great support staff here at Miami Trace, in terms of the administration,” Williams said. “They do a fantastic job of making sure we get what we need and in taking care and looking out for us. I think we’re very blessed to have a staff and a (school) board of people who believe in this program and bring that high expectation every year.”