It was homecoming at Miami Trace Friday night and they opened up their new bleachers and press box in grand fashion with a 35-21 victory over the Western Brown Broncos.
The Panthers dominated the first half of play and it all started on their first drive of the night. Miami Trace got the opening kick off and started on their own 35 yard line and proceeded to go 65 yards in 10 plays that culminated with a Dalton Mayer to Josh Gilmore 25 yard catch, Shoemaker's PAT was good to take a 7-0 lead. In what would end up being a theme Western Brown turned the ball over on downs but MT couldn't capitalize and had to punt on their second drive. A punt that put the Broncos inside their own 5 yard line where they proceeded to take the ball 97 yards in 8 plays that finished with a 50 yard throw and catch from Freshman QB Drew Novak to Logan Campbell to tie the game at 7. That would be the only points Western Brown would score in the first half.
The rest of the first half belonged to Miami Trace sophomore running back Jayden LeBeau. He scored on four the Panther's next five drives on runs of 61 yards, 10 yards and 66 yards and even caught a touchdown pass for 58 yards. LeBeau finished the first half with 208 yards rushing and 58 yards receiving. The Panthers had 304 total yards in the first half compared to Western Browns 212. Miami Trace went into the locker room leading 35-7.
In the second half senior QB Dalton Mayer sat out and the Panther offense fizzled as they didn't score a point the rest of the game, and Western Brown didn't score in third quarter either but by the fourth they were ready to make a comeback. The Broncos scored on back to back drives in the final period to cut the Panther lead to 14 but ran out of time and couldn't get any closer as Miami Trace's defense stepped up when it had to.
The Panther "D" started to look tired during the final quarter but when you chase wide receivers around the field for 70 pass attempts you can understand why. The game ended with Miami Trace holding on for 35-21 victory.
On the night Western Brown (0-5) finished with 447 total yards, 412 through the air. Novak was 37-70 for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns, they had two receivers over the 100 yard mark with Yani Williams catching 16 passes for 159 yards and Logan Campbell caught 8 passes for 118 yards, they committed one turnover and had 3 penalties but they turned the ball over on downs six times.
Miami Trace (3-) was able to capitalize on those turnovers in the first half and they finished the night with 398 total yards, 304 on the ground led by LeBeau's 260 yards on 24 carries with three rushing TD's, he also caught 1 pass for 58 yards and a score. The Panthers start league play next week on the road against a 3-2 Hillsboro team.