The Miami Trace Panthers celebrated the opening of their new turf field with a victory Friday night over the Circleville Tigers 30-15 in the opener of the High School Football season.
It seemed neither team wanted to be the first to score as both teams struggled to get their offense going. Miami Trace won the toss and elected to receive only to turn the ball over on their first possession, an interception thrown by QB Tyler Taylor right into the hands of Circleville defender Ahlijah Wright. Circleville was forced to punt on their first possession, and ended up punting on every possession in the first half, five times. While Circleville was punting Trace was turning the ball over, 4 times in the first half, two interceptions and two fumbles.
It took until :48 seconds remaining in the first half for Miami Trace to find the end zone. It came on a 9 yard throw and catch from Taylor to Junior wide-out Dalton Mayer, capping off a 7 play 52 yard drive to take a 7-0 lead into the half.
Circleville was held to 30 total yards in the first half and just one first down. Miami Trace ended the half with 134 total yards, 8 first downs but 4 turnovers. They did rush for 98 first half yards with 88 of those yards coming from Junior Caden Sweitzer, who was only getting started.
Circleville took the opening kick-off of the third quarter right down the field in 1:41 seconds going 79 yards on 5 plays to tie the game at 7. Miami Trace answered right back at they went 67 yards in 7 plays taking 3:17 off the clock as Sweitzer ran 5 yards for the score, PAT was no good giving Trace a 13-7 lead. After a nice defensive stand the Panthers got the ball back deep in their own territory and ended up taking a sack, cutting the lead to 13-9 but from then in on it was all Miami Trace. Tyler Taylor was able to connect with Mayer again on a 22 yard TD pass, then found Javin Robinette in the end zone, add a Justin Shoemaker field goal and the Panthers were up 30-9. The Tigers were able to score a mop-up touchdown with :26 remaining to make the final score 30-15.
The Miami Trace defense played a stellar game holding Circleville to 177 total yards, 107 rushing and 70 passing and forcing 3 turnovers. Circleville was penalized five times for 55 yards.
Miami Trace (1-0) was led by Caden Sweitzer who had 177 yards rushing on 31 carries and a score. Dalton Mayer had 5 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and Javin Robinette had 1 catch for a TD. QB Tyler Taylor finished the night strong going 8-15 for 170 yards, 3 TD's and 3 picks. The Panthers had 298 total yards, committed 5 turnovers and had 8 penalties for 85 yards.
The Panthers travel to Wilmington next Friday night to take on the Hurricane.