[Payton Brooker | WOUB]

Miami Trace takes down Washington Courthouse in instant classic

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Miami-Trace fought off a late comeback attempt to defeat rival Washington Courthouse on Friday night in an instant classic.

Up 14-6 midway through the second quarter, Panthers’ running back Jayden LeBeau took advantage of exceptional blocking from his offensive line to take a handoff 30 yards to the end zone untouched to make it 21-6.

The Lions wouldn’t go quietly into the night however, Tanner Lemaster recovered a Lion fumble in the end zone for a touchdown on first and goal from the one-yard line, capping off a solid drive before the half. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but the Lions had cut the lead to two possessions, making it a 21-12 ballgame just before halftime.

Washington Courthouse build off this momentum in the third quarter when Rocky Jones punched it in for the one-yard touchdown run to make it 21-19.

Later in the third quarter, the Miami-Trace offence took advantage of good field position courtesy of an interception by Bryson Sheets on a mishandled punt attempt by the Lions. The ensuing Jayden Lebeau touchdown run made it 28-19, and gave the Panthers some breathing room.

A long touchdown pass for the Lions late in the fourth cut the Panthers lead to 28-26, but it looked like the Panthers offense would be able to run the clock out for the victory. That is, until a delay of game penalty stopped the clock, and the Lions defense was able to force, and recover a fumble near midfield with under a minute to play.

Washington Courthouse quarterback Troy Thompson led an efficient drive to put the Lions in range for a potential game-winning field goal attempt, but the Panthers would not be denied, blocking the kick on the last play of the game to secure the win over their rivals by a score of 28-26.