Miami Trace scratches and claws its way to a victory against McClain

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GREENFIELD, Ohio (WOUB) — Miami Trace’s physical second-half performance rewarded the Panthers a 29-20 victory against the McClain Tigers 4-2. Miami Trace’s run game totaled 283 rushing yards and proved to show the dominant run game was at full throttle while holding McClain’s run game to 107 yards.  

The opening drive for Miami Trace found itself in a tough spot on a third and long inside their own 30-yard line but converted on a gutsy run play that kept the drive moving. Miami Trace would use several minutes of their opening drive to chip away yards and first downs that ended with a pass from quarterback Trey Robinette into the hands of wide receiver Garrett Guess to put the Panthers up 7-0 near the end of the first quarter.  

McClain would drive right back down the field and put Miami Trace’s backs to the end zone, but the Panthers defense held strong on McClain’s own fourth down attempt that would fail, keeping the game at 7-0 at the beginning of the second quarter.  

After multiple drives that ended in punts and failed fourth down conversions, McClain put together a drive led by quarterback Drake Stapleton and found themselves inside the 10-yard line. Stapleton would drop back to look for receivers, but none were open; Stapleton relied on his feet to cap off the drive with his scramble into the endzone to tie the game going into the half at 7-7.  

McClain’s opening drive in the second quarter would be intercepted by defensive back Jake Manbeyers to put Miami Trace in Tiger’s territory but would ultimately fail to score as McClain’s defense answered the call to keep the game tied at 7-7.  

McClain would be in a fourth and inches scenario inside their own territory. The Tigers quarterback sneak play call would backfire for the Tigers as the refs ruled Stapleton short of the first down. Miami Trace would use the energy from their fourth down stop and unloaded a 34-yard pass to Guess again for his second receiving touchdown of the night and put Miami Trace up by a score 14-7. 

Down by seven going into the fourth quarter, the Tigers needed to craft a drive to take back some of the energy. McClain would do just that, led by the Tiger’s passing game to command the drive and would punch in on the run game with Andrew Potts’ rushing touchdown. The home stands would celebrate the Tiger’s score to bring the Tiger’s within one, all fans were silenced to see that Miami Trace blocked the point-after attempt to keep the Panthers up one.  

Miami Trace used the run game from this point in the game, specifically Asher Lebeau, who scored his rushing touchdown from six yards and bruised into the endzone to extend the Panthers lead to seven, Lebeau finished with 175 rushing yards. A botch extra point turned into two points for Miami Trace as Cooper Enochs reached for the pylon to bring the score at 22-13. 

Stapleton would throw a haymaker back to Miami Trace with his 75-yard pass to Max Eikenberry, Eikenberry broke multiple tackles on the play and brought the game back to 22-20 with half of the fourth quarter left to play.  

The Panthers would be the team to finish the battle between the big cats, Robinette’s keep on a read option would be taken to the house for his third total touchdown of the game to push the lead back to nine. 

McClain failed to drive into Miami Trace’s side of the field and a couple knees would end the game at 29-20.  

Miami Trace improves to 4-2 for the year as they look forward to a big matchup on the road against Jackson 5-1. This is a game that will have huge implications for a league title and playoff seeding for region 11 in division three.  

For McClain they will look to bounce back and travel to a Chillicothe squad that currently sits at 1-5.