The Miami Trace Panthers returned home after two close games on the road when they hosted the Hillsboro Indians Friday night.
Miami Trace was looking to snap a three-game losing skid and post its first Frontier Athletic Conference win of the season. Miami Trace accomplished that with a 31-14 victory.
“It was a much-needed win for these guys,” Miami Trace head coach Jerry Williams said. “It’s always difficult coming off some loses, some very difficult losses that we’ve had here recently. For us to come out here and get a win tonight, it was much-needed. We had a pretty good game plan, even though I wasn’t really pleased with our practices this week. We were kind of flat.
“We preached about coming out here and starting fast. We had a very good first half. We need to have a better second half coming out. Those guys have to learn from this and really get out here and dominate the second half. Hillsboro made some adjustments and did some good things. We had some players who made some plays at key times, which we’ve been struggling with the last couple of weeks, so that was very important.”
On Hillsboro’s first possession, Miami Trace’s Austin Boedeker had an interception at the Hillsboro 47-yard line. That set up the game’s first score, a 13-yard touchdown run by Asher LeBeau. Zach Warnock’s point-after kick gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead at the 9:56 mark on the initial quarter.
After a very short punt by Hillsboro, Miami Trace took over at the Indians’ 20-yard line. Moments later, Trey Robinette passed to Garrett Guess for a 5-yard touchdown. Warnock’s kick gave Miami Trace a 14-0 lead with 6:57 to play in the first quarter.
Hillsboro had an interception by Jack Wagner, but could not capitalize.
With 55 seconds to play in the first half, Robinette connected with Shay Salyers for a 32-yard touchdown. It was 21-0 Panthers at the half.
Hillsboro began a comeback attempt in the second half.
The Indians scored at the 1:46 mark of the third quarter Hillsboro first scored in the third quarter on a 14-yard pass from Preston Fauber to Jevin Hochstuhl, but the extra-point kick was no good, leaving the Panthers in front, 21-6.
With 10:11 to play in the game, Hillsboro scored on a 43-yard TD run by Hochstuhl. Fauber passed to Hockstuhl for a two-point conversion, pulling to within seven points, 21-14.
Not long after that, Landen Cope caught a pass from Robinette for a 48-yard touchdown. Warnock’s kick gave the Panthers some breathing room, 28-14. That score came with 9:27 to play.
Warnock added a field goal with 4:46 to play to extend Miami Trace’s lead to 31-14.
Miami Trace improves to 3-5 overall, 1-2 in the FAC. The Panthers host McClain next week. McClain lost to Jackson Friday, 48-0. McClain is now 4-4 overall, 0-3 in the FAC. Jackson improves to 6-2 overall, 3-0 FAC.
Hillsboro drops to 3-5 overall, 0-3 in the FAC. The Indians host Chillicothe next week.
Chillicothe lost to Washington Friday, 24-14. The Cavs are now 6-2 overall, 2-1 in the FAC. Washington improves to 7-1 overall, 3-0 in the FAC.
Washington clashes with Jackson for first place in the FAC Friday at Jackson.
Chris Hoppes is the sports editor for the Record-Herald in Washington C.H.